The Graduate School's annual Three Minute Thesis Competition will be held at the Joe
Paul Theater on November 9 and 10, 2023. The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic
research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland, Australia.
3MT competitors are asked to explain their thesis or dissertation in a three-minute
presentation; effectively communicating the complexity of their topic and research
to a non-academic audience. The competition is a great opportunity for students to
hone their 30-second elevator pitch and win prizes while doing so.
The Preliminary Round will take place on Thursday, November 9 from 11am-5pm. The Final
Round will be held on Friday, November 10 from 1pm-3pm.
During the preliminary competitions, students will compete in one of the following
Physical Sciences and Mathematics
Social and Educational Sciences and Business
Arts and Humanities
Life, Health and Environmental Sciences
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.
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
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?