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Southern Miss Graduate Students to Showcase Research in Thesis Competition

Thu, 10/29/2015 - 09:55am | By: Vanessa Molden

The University of Southern Mississippi's graduate students will showcase their research in a competitive format in the Second Annual Three-Minute Thesis Competition, Nov. 4-6, from 2-5 p.m. each day at the Trent Lott Center on the Hattiesurg campus. The preliminaries will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 4 and Thursday, Nov. 5. Eight students will compete in the finals on Friday, Nov. 6.

The Three-Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a communication skills development competition which challenges graduate students to explain the significance of their research project to a general audience in three minutes or less.

Dr. Karen Coats, dean of the Graduate School, points out that many researchers focus mainly on articulating their research to people within their discipline and forget the importance of being understood by people outside their narrow field of study. If the research is truly of value, it should be understandable to a broad audience ranging from policy makers to parents.

“Effective communication is among the most important skills any individual can develop. Yet, that skill is frequently under-emphasized or narrowly focused in graduate education,” said Coats. “Three-Minute Thesis is a key professional development opportunity for graduate students that challenges them to improve their communication skills by learning to distill their message.” 

Forty-seven students will compete in one of the following four categories: 1) arts and humanities; 2) life, health and environmental sciences; 3) physical sciences and mathematics; 4) social and educational sciences and business. Cash prizes will be awarded to students ranging from $250 to $1,000.

“We are grateful for the co-sponsorships provided by the offices of the Provost, Registrar, Vice President for Research, Vice President for External Affairs, and Vice President for Student Affairs whose generous support makes this competition possible,” said Coats.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Southern Miss Graduate School by phone, 601.266.4369 or visit,