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Three-Minute Thesis Details


Announcing The University of Southern Mississippi's 7th Annual Three-Minute Thesis Competition

Our 7th Annual Three-Minute Thesis will be taking place November 4-6, 2020.

Sign-up now! Registration closes October 12.

Video link and slide PDF are due October 26.

After careful consideration, the Graduate School has decided to host the 2020 Three Minute Thesis Competition virtually. While this year’s competition may look a bit different from previous years, the value of competing this year and gaining both communication and technological skills is substantial.


  • After successful registration, you should begin preparation of your 3-minute presentation.
  • Competitors should record and edit their 3MT presentations (using any available recording or mobile device) and upload to a Vimeo account (competitors set up a personal Vimeo account – free version will suffice) and provide the presentation link to lindsey.garrityFREEMississippi by Oct. 26, 2020. Late submissions will NOT be accepted. 
  • Judges will review videos to select category winners on Nov. 4 and 5, with the finals competition following on Friday, Nov. 6.
  • Scianna Hall room 1003 will be open to the public for Finals Day viewing on Friday, Nov. 6 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm. Limited seating will be available for anyone who wishes to attend. Sign up here!


Any active master’s, specialist’s or doctoral student who is currently enrolled in coursework or thesis/dissertation hours may participate.

During the preliminary competitions on November 4th and 5th from 2-5 p.m., students will compete in one of the following four categories:

  • Physical Sciences and Math
  • Social and Educational Sciences and Business
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Life, Health and Environmental Sciences

A first and second place winner will be selected from each category. Those eight finalists will compete in the finals competition on November 6, from 2-4 p.m. A Grand Champion and Runner-Up winner will be selected. (The Graduate School reserves the right to combine categories at its discretion.)

The Grand Champion will compete in the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) regional Three Minute Thesis competition in Spring of 2021. Any expenses will be paid by the Graduate School.


  • Grand Champion - $1,000
  • Runner-Up - $750
  • Each of the Eight Category Winners - $250



  • The presentation must describe current research. Research for which a degree was previously awarded or which was done at another institution is not allowed.
  • A single (8 1/2" x 14” landscape) static PowerPoint slide is required (no slide transitions, animations or “movement” of any description, 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. pointers, note cards, costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum, and competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when the presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the judges is final.

Video Criteria*

  • Filmed on the horizontal
  • Filmed on a plain background
  • Filmed from a static position
  • Filmed from one camera angle
  • Audio must be continuous - no sound edits or breaks

 *Please note: Competitors will not be judged on the video/recording quality or editing capabilities. Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and the content of the 3MT PowerPoint slide.



Comprehension and Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Were the thesis topic, key results, and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of his/her presentation - or did the presenter elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?


Engagement and Communication

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for the research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain the audience's attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?

 Three Minute Thesis


 The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.

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