The 3mt competition

The 3MT competition was developed by the University of Queensland, whose website provides the following history of the competition. The idea for the 3MT competition came about at a time when the state of Queensland was suffering severe drought. To conserve water, residents were encouraged to time their showers, and many people had a three minute egg timer fixed to the wall in their bathroom. The then Dean of the UQ Graduate School, Emeritus Professor Alan Lawson, put two and two together and the idea for the 3MT competition was born.

The first 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 Higher Degree by Research students competing. In 2009 and 2010 the 3MT competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities and enthusiasm for the concept grew. Due to its adoption in numerous universities, a multi-national event was developed, and the Inaugural Trans-Tasman 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2010. Since 2011, the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT competitions are now held in over 600 universities and institutions across 65 countries worldwide.

why participate?

Fame and fortune
With prizes of $1000 for the winner, $500 for second, and $250 for the People’s Choice, the question is, why not participate? Moreover, the winner advances to a regional competition and a chance to compete on a larger stage.

Skills development for research candidates
Preparing and delivering a 3MT talk develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills, while emphasizing students’ ability to explain their research effectively in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

Building research culture throughout the campus
3MT provides a valuable opportunity for students to come together across disciplinary boundaries, get to know one another, and talk about their research in a supportive and fun environment.

Building external relations for the university
3MT is an excellent networking opportunity. Previous 3MT finalists have made connections that continue beyond the competition.

Judging Criteria

At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the two judging criteria listed below. Please note that each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.

Comprehension and content

  • Presentation provided clear background and significance to the research question
  • Presentation clearly described the research strategy/design and the results/findings of the research
    Presentation clearly described the conclusions, outcomes and impact of the research.

Engagement and communication

  • The oration was delivered clearly, and the language was appropriate for a non-specialist audience.
  • The PowerPoint slide was well-defined and enhanced the presentation.
  • The presenter conveyed enthusiasm for their research and captured and maintained the audience’s attention


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


For examples of winning presentations from around the world, visit


To register to compete in the 3MT Competition at UNCG, please complete the registration form and submit. Once registration has closed, we will contact you with your assigned preliminary round date and time.


UNCG’s 3MT competition is open to currently enrolled master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation students only. Participation will be limited to the first 60 master’s or doctoral students to register. Any eligible entries received beyond 60 will be put on a waiting list to be reviewed if space becomes available.

Registration is now closed for the 2022 3MT Competition.

UNCG will hold a maximum of 4 qualifying rounds of 15 students each. These qualifying rounds will take place on Thursday, October 20 and Friday, October 21 from 4:00-6:00 pm at Scuppernong Books at 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro, NC. Participants will be assigned randomly based on their registered availability.

Approximately ten (10) individuals will be selected from the qualifying rounds to participate in the final round. The final round will take place on the evening of Wednesday, November 2nd from 5:00-6:30 pm in the EUC Auditorium.  First place ($1,000), second place ($500), and People’s Choice ($250) winners will be selected and announced at the end of the competition on November 2nd . Participants are eligible to win a place award and People’s Choice, which is voted on by the audience.

The first place winner may accompany a representative of UNCG’s Graduate School to the Council of Southern Graduate School’s annual meeting in Tampa, FL to compete on Saturday, March 4 in the conference’s regional 3MT competition. Please note:  This is dependent on funding and number of registrants CSGS will accept. If an individual is sent from UNCG, The Graduate School at UNCG will provide transportation and lodging.

*For First, Second, and People’s Choice Winners:  The monetary award will be posted to your University student account.  If you have a zero balance when the award posts, the cashier’s office will issue you a refund check for the full amount.  If you have a current balance, your award will pay that balance first and any funds that remain will be issued to you as a refund check.  If you received Federal financial aid in 2022-2023, your loan debt may be reduced by the amount of this award.

Need help preparing your slide or 3 minute presentation?

3MT Q&A Session

Recorded brief 3MT Zoom Session that gives an overview of the 3MT process and information about the competition.

3MT Zoom Session

Passcode : bE%*Nmz9

3MT Competitor Guide

Click here for important information about drafting your message, slide suggestions, and presentation information from the 3MT founding institution, the University of Queensland.

The Digital Media Commons

The Digital Media Commons can help with your technology needs! Visit their desk in the lower level of the library for assistance with questions about multimedia technology or, simply use/reserve space to work. Students can also make an appointment with staff for assistants, such as, if they have questions
concerning images that can be used or are new to using PowerPoint. There is also a Presentation Practice Room students can reserve to practice their talk, record their session, watch, and review.

Contact: or visit their website.

The University Speaking Center

The University Speaking Center provides consultation support and instructional workshop services for UNCG students, faculty, employees, and members of the Greensboro community. Support is designed to help speakers further develop their own oral communication confidence and competence. Consultants provide peer-to-peer feedback, guidance, and other support in the areas of public speaking preparation and delivery, interpersonal communication, and group or team communication.

The Speaking Center is located along with the Writing Center on the third floor in 3211 MHRA. MHRA is on the corner of Forest and Spring Garden – across the street from the Mossman Building.

For more information, please visit:

2023 3MT winners and finalists

First place: Farhat Chowdhury, Economics,
How does providing free menstrual products in schools affect test scores: Evidence from New York
Faculty Mentor: Dora Gicheva

Second place: Tamera Jones, Chemistry & Biochemistry,
Experiences of marginalized women pursuing doctoral degrees in chemistry: The critical role of recognition
Faculty Mentor: Maia Popova

People’s Choice: Panesun Tukur, Nanoscience,
NanoNexus: Uniting Nanoparticles for Catalytic Supercharge
Faculty Mentor: Jianjun Wei

Lexi Kier, Kinesiology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Eric Drollette
Bridging Racial Inclusive Disparities Gapping Electroencephalography (EEG) Research.

Panesun Tukur, Nanoscience
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jianjun Wei
NanoNexus: Uniting Nanoparticles for Catalytic Supercharge

Tamera Jones, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Maia Popova
Experiences of marginalized women pursuing doctoral degrees in chemistry: The critical role of recognition

Madeline Kujabi, Peace and Conflict Studies
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Marcia Hale
Rhythms of Peace: Unveiling the Power of Indigenous Ritual Dances

Kendra Bryant Aya, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amy Vetter
Lorde Have Mercy: Calling (Inside) Out Social Justice Educators

Farhat Chowdhury, Economics
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Dora Gicheva
How does providing free menstrual products in schools affect test scores: Evidence from New York (JMP)

Aleiza Higgins, Kinesiology
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Louisa Raisbeck & Dr. Scott Ross
Practicing CPR to Keep Athletes “Stayin’ Alive”

Ashley Herring Nicholas, Nanoscience
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Eric Josephs
Tailoring CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing for Precision Medicine

Amanda Barclift, Kinesiology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Louisa Raisbeck
The Effects of Physical Activity throughout a 12-week Balance Intervention Program with Attentional Focus Instructions in Older Adults

Zachary Bunch, Biology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kimberly Komatsu
Impacts of Patch Burn Grazing on the Invertebrate Communities of Kansas Rangelands

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