Sponsored by Raju Law!


Congratulations to the 2023 3MT winners!

1st Place: Jennifer Gilby -MS Bioinformatics

2nd Place: Brent Reed- Ph.D. Organizational Science

3rd Place: Allison Stadick- Ph.D. Nanoscale Science

People’s Choice: Nneka Ubi- MS Construction & Facilities Engineering

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®️) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia that challenges graduate students to succinctly summarize their research for a non-specialist audience in 3 minutes or less. The goal of the competition is for students to leverage all of their communication skills to convey their research to a general audience without jargon. All master’s and doctoral students currently involved in research are encouraged to participate (even if your research is not yet complete).

Why should you participate?

  • 3MT is a great experience to list on your resume/CV and talk about in interviews.
  • It’s an opportunity to practice and improve your public speaking and communication skills.
  • There are cash prizes for the finalists! In 2023″ First place: $1000, second place: $750 ; third place: $500
  • The first-place winner progresses to the regional 3MT competition at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools which for the 2023 3MT competition will be in Greenville, South Carolina on March 13 – 15, 2024.
  • You have nothing to lose! Even if you don’t win the grand prize, the experience will help you improve your communication and public speaking skills and will allow you to think about your research in a new way!
  • We will also provide you with your preliminary round video for you to keep!

What is Three-Minute Thesis (3MT®)?

  • 3MT is a competition for graduate students held each fall semester at UNC Charlotte.
  • The event originated at the University of Queensland, Australia in 2008 and is now held at over 600 universities in 85 different countries.
  • Graduate students condense their research into a clear and engaging three-minute presentation supported by only one static slide.
  • Students deliver their presentations before a group of non-specialist judges and audience members who award overall winners and a People’s Choice selection.


Who is eligible to compete in 3MT?

Students enrolled in either Master’s or doctoral programs may compete. A student’s program of study must contain an original research project. The degree program need not formally require a thesis or dissertation. However, the presentation topic must cover the original research project.

What is allowed on my 3MT slide?

One single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. In preparing the slide, remember that “less is more”. It does not have to include text. Visual cues are very effective in assisting the presenter’s explanation of their research (No slide transitions, animations, sound or “movement” is permitted). Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps, or songs).

Is there a time limit?

Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified. Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.

Can I use additional props during my presentation?

No, additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are not permitted during a 3MT presentation. Your slide should be simple enough that you do not need to emphasize elements to the audience.

Can I use sound or video?

No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) is permitted during a 3MT presentation.

Is there a dress code?

There is no stipulated dress code. Please wear whatever is comfortable for you. NO COSTUMES (including hats, masks, etc).

What happens if I cannot attend the final?

The winner of each heat or final is expected to represent their School/Institute/Faculty/University at the next stage of the competition. If the winner is unable to attend the final, the runner-up will proceed to the next round of the competition.

What are the Judging Criteria?

The judges will evaluate the presentation by analyzing both the “Comprehension & Content” part and the “Engagement and Communication”:

  • Comprehension and content
  1. Presentation provided clear background and significance to the research question
  2. Presentation clearly described the research strategy/ design and the results/findings of the research
  3. Presentation clearly described the conclusions, outcomes, and impact of the research
  • Engagement and communication
  1. The oration was delivered clearly, and the language was appropriate for a non-specialist audience
  2. The PowerPoint slide was well-defined and enhanced the presentation
  3. The presenter conveyed enthusiasm for their research and captured and maintained the audience’s attention