2017 Three-Minute Thesis (3MT)
About the 3-Minute
Thesis (3MT) is an academic research communication
by The University of Queensland, Australia, for graduate research students. This
competition challenges graduate students to present their research topic and
its significance in three minutes and using just one slide. The 3MT
competition develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills,
as well as supports the development of graduate students' capacity to succinctly
communicate their research to a non-specialist audience.
For more information about the 3MT international organization and competition, please visit http://threeminutethesis.org/.
Enter the 3MT Competition?
competition challenges doctoral students to present their research and share
its significance to their professional field in just three minutes. Each
presentation should address the following questions:
are you researching?
are you researching this topic?
are the values or outcomes of your research?
this competition, doctoral students will gain valuable experience in discussing
and communicating effectively to a wide variety of audiences, both academic and
ability to present and communicate their academic research in a concise way to
a non-specialist is a crucial skill to have. Having such skills "in
their back pockets" may help them with job interviews, networking at
conferences, presenting research to venture capitalists, or grant funding
agencies. Additionally, entering the 3MT competition may enhance their online
reputation, and CV or resume.
and Special Considerations
- Students must be enrolled in a doctoral program for a minimum of
1 credit hour, and has either 1) completed at least two semesters of their program, or 2) reached
doctoral candidacy. Note that in either
case the student’s research must be at a stage where findings, conclusions and
broad impact can be addressed.
must be in good academic standing within their program.
must obtain permission from their academic advisor or committee chair to enter
the 3MT competition.
must obtain permission from any research collaborators if the research they
plan to present incorporates the ideas or work of others.
- Special considerations (before students enter the 3MT Competition):
presentation should take into account any intellectual property issues. (If
research content is embargoed or sensitive, the presentation will need to be
structured to avoid compromising any future research or any other sensitive
All final presentations will be open to the public and published online.
The 3MT Grand Finale event on Thursday, April 6, 2017, will be photographed and videotaped. By entering the contest, students must agree to allow the WVU Office of Graduate Education and Life to use the resulting photographs and/or video in publicity surrounding the contest and/or in other contexts, such as websites, promotional materials, etc.
- Each participating student must submit a video of their presentation for the
preliminary competition to OGEL no later than March 19, 2017 at 11:59 PM.. Note
that student who submit a video must
be available on April 6, 2017 from 6:00 PM in case they are selected for the
- Each video will be reviewed by at least three judges.
- The 3MT Committee will select 12 finalists to advance to
the WVU 3MT Grand Finale competition on Thursday, April 6, 2017.
- This competition abides by the international 3MT rules and judging
criteria, and uses the 3MT Competition Judging Rubric.
Grand Finale Competition Rules
single, static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations,
or 'movements' of any kind are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the
beginning of and throughout the presentation.
additional electronic media (e.g., sound and video files) are permitted.
additional props (e.g., costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment)
are limited to 3 minutes; competitors exceeding 3 minutes are
are to be spoken word (e.g., no poems, raps, or songs).
will begin when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement
The decision of the judge’s panel is final.
How to Enter the WVU 3MT 2017 Competition
to enter the 3MT competition, you must complete an online competition entry
form by 11:59 PM on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Note that all submissions require strict adherence to the 3MT rules, and
the online application requires you to upload a single PowerPoint slide and
video of your 3-minute presentation. To submit a video, complete the online application form.
a Video Submission:
- Video submissions should be submitted as an MP4, WMV,
or MOV file and should have the size limit of 1GB. Note that initial competition
submissions may differ in style and content, but the research topic/subject
matter must remain the same.
- All video files must be saved as
“firstname_lastname_3MT.mp4”, “firstname_lastname_3MT.wmv”, or
- At the beginning of each video, please state your
full name, graduate program, and the title of the presentation.
will rate each presentation in the following categories:
the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research
question being addressed and its significance?
the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including
conclusions and outcomes (or expected outcomes)?
the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
the presentation make the audience want to know more?
the presenter careful not to over-generalize their research?
the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
the presenter capture and maintain the audience's attention?
the research topic, including key results, significance, and outcomes,
communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology, and provide adequate background
information to illustrate points?
the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact, and vocal range;
maintain a steady pace; and have a confident stance?
the presenter spend adequate time on each element of the presentation - or did
they elaborate too long on one aspect or rush the presentation?
the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and
Deadlines and Notifications
Round 1 submissions
Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 11:59 PM
Contestants must be available on April 6, 2017 for the Grand Finale to submit a video
Finalists selection notifications
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Finalists must submit final PPT presentation slide
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, by noon
3MT Live Finale
Thursday, April 6, 2017, at 6:00 PM in Room G21 Ming Hsieh Hall
Grand Finale Prizes
place prize: $2,000
place prize: $1,000
- Third place prize: $500
- People’s Choice prize: $250 (All audience members who attend the final competition will be invited to cast a single vote using the Polleverywhere mobile device software. The audience will be asked to use their mobile phones to select the candidate who they believe best communicated their area of research to the audience. (In the event that the People’s Choice Award is one of the first through third place winners, the cash prize will be added to their corresponding prize.)
- Each finalist will receive $50 (not including students who placed in the competition).
awarded to students as a “cash prize.” Note that all prizes will be disbursed in check form without any
obligation for future work or service. The IRS may consider these prizes
about the WVU 3MT Competition
Please view these helpful websites about the 3MT process that may answer
How to prepare for the 3MT competition.
Scholarly article about 3MT competitions in the United States.
Examples of 3MT Finalist videos.
If you have any other questions, please contact the Office of Graduate Education and Life at GradEd@mail.wvu.edu.