The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by graduate students. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the exercise cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. The first 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 Research Higher Degree students competing. In 2009 and 2010 the 3MT competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities and enthusiasm for the concept grew.
Currently enrolled master's and doctoral students in all disciplines at the University of Texas at Austin will be eligible to participate in 3MT™. Work presented must have been conducted at the University of Texas at Austin. Students should be in the final stages of graduate school so they have some sound conclusions and impacts from their research. Graduates are not eligible. If you have any questions, please contact Danielle Thoma.
Preparation Workshop Series
- September 23, 2020, 2 – 3:30 p.m. | Telling Your Research Story | Recording available
- September 28, 2020, 3:30 p.m. | Research Speed-Dating 2020
- October 1, 2020, 1 – 2 p.m. | Editing Your Research Story | Recording available
- October 7, 2020, 3:30 - 5 p.m. | Visualizing Your Research Story |
- October 12, 2020, 1 – 2 p.m.– Panopto Training |
- October 15, 2020, 3 – 4 p.m.– Panopto Training |
- *NEW DATE* October 26, 2020, 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Public Speaking Workshop |
- Rehearse virtually with a Public Speaking Consultant | Make an Appointment
Virtual Competition Rules
- Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
- Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech (timing does not include the 3MT title slide and commences from when the competitor starts speaking, not the start of the video).
- Videos must meet the following criteria:
- Filmed on the horizontal;
- Filmed on a plain background;
- Filmed from a static position;
- Filmed from one camera angle;
- Contain a 3MT PowerPoint slide (top right corner/right side/cut to)
- A single static slide is permitted in the presentation (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description). This can be visible continuously, or ‘cut to’ (as many times as you like) for a maximum of 1 minute or submitted via email if not included in the presentation.
- The 3 minute audio must be continuous – no sound edits or breaks.
- No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment and animated backgrounds) are permitted within the recording.
- Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
- No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording.
- The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
- Submissions via video format (only video link provided to Event Coordinators). Files sent in other formats will not be accepted
Please note: competitors *will not* be judged on video/ recording quality or editing capabilities (optional inclusions). Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MT PowerPoint slide.
At every level of the competition, each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below. Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on the audience.
Comprehension and content
- Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed, while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
- Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
- Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
- Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
- Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation - or did they 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 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?