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Three Minute Thesis Competition

  • Thursday, Apr. 18, 2019
  • JFL Terrace Conference Rooms

Start Time

  • 2:30 p.m. (presenters check in at 2:00 p.m.)

Three Minute Thesis

An 80,000 word Ph.D. thesis would take 9 hours to present. Your time limit... 3 minutes.

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

This will be an opportunity for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students to concisely summarize and clearly communicate a well-conceived thesis/dissertation project, compelling data collected, and a novel story to share. The ability to do this in three minutes or less allows the student to develop academic, presentation and research communication skills.

Visit the Center for Research & Scholarship for more details on Research Week 2019. The research submission portal will open on November 1, 2018.


Active undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students who have selected a faculty sponsor and whose thesis is under submission by the date of their first presentation are eligible to participate in 3MT competitions at all levels. 

Rules & Judging Criteria


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or 'movement' 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.

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 their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their 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?

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? 
  • Was 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 the presentation — or did he/she elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?
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