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Calling all graduate research students. Are you up for the challenge? Compete in the 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) academic research communication competition, founded by The University of Queensland, Australia.

  • Present your research topic and its significance in three minutes, using just one slide.
  • Test your academic, presentation and research communication skills.
  • Succinctly communicate your research to a wide variety of audiences, academic and non-academic.


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Haidar Aldaach

Civil Engineering Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Using Statistical and Machine Learning Methods to Address Environmental Challenges

Read More: Haidar Aldaach

Syeda Nyma Ferdous

Computer Engineering Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Machine Learning for Sustainable Environment

Read More: Syeda Nyma Ferdous

Tanner Hoffman

Plant and Soil Sciences Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design

Legacy Effects of Warming Alter Simple and Complex Soil Organic Matter Decomposition

Read More: Tanner Hoffman

Brian Leonard

Chemical Engineering Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Sustainable Solutions for Water Treatment

Read More: Brian Leonard

Kushal Naharki

Plant and Soil Sciences Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design

Early Detection of Invasive Spotted Lanternfly in West Virginia

Read More: Kushal Naharki

Kinsey Reed

Plant & Soil Science Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design

Plant Diversity for Livestock Sustainability

Read More: Kinsey Reed

Denis Ruto

Environmental Engineering Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

FIRST PLACE WINNER (TIE): Sustainable Nutrient Management Opportunities for Small Communities with Wastewater Lagoons

Read More: Denis Ruto

Kayla Steinberger

Immunology School of Medicine

SECOND PLACE WINNER: Hypoxia Regulates Vessel-modifying Macrophages and Vice Versa in Tumors

Read More: Kayla Steinberger

Vaishakhi Suresh

Industrial and Management Systems Engineering Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

THIRD PLACE WINNER: Exploring the Challenges of Handling Mass Fatalities during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Read More: Vaishakhi Suresh

Paige Zalman

Higher Education College of Applied Human Sciences

FIRST PLACE WINNER (TIE)/PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD RECIPIENT: The Picture of (Mental) Health: A Photovoice, Narrative Inquiry, and Critical Participatory Action Approach to Music Major Mental Wellness

Read More: Paige Zalman

Watch the 2024 3MT Grand Finale


Get out of your comfort zone, rise to the challenge, and gain valuable experience that will help you grow personally and professionally.

Master the skill of concisely pitching your academic research to get a leg up on job interviews, networking, and presenting to venture capitalists or grant funding agencies.

Enhance your online reputation, and CV or resume.

Win prize money!


Submit a video of your presentation by Thursday, Feb. 15 by 11:59 p.m. The video should cover:

  • What are you researching?
  • Why are you researching this topic?
  • What are the values or outcomes of your research?

Your video will be reviewed by at least three judges.

The 3MT Committee will select 10 finalists by Wednesday, Feb. 28 to advance to the WVU 3MT Grand Finale competition, which will be held on Wednesday, April 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.

This competition abides by the international 3MT rules and judging criteria, and uses the 3MT Competition Judging Rubric.


  • Betty Mei, Program Director for Graduate Student Success
  • Jake Follmer, Assistant Professor, Education, College of Applied Human Services
  • Courtney Glenn, Graduate Fellow, Chemistry, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
  • Trisha Phillips, Associate Professor, Political Science, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
  • Jim Simpkins, Professor, Department of Neuroscience, School of Medicine
  • Michael P. Strager, Professor, Resource Economics and Management, School of Natural Resources, Davis College
  • Micalyn Stump, Program Director, Graduate Academic Affairs


Prizes are awarded as “cash prizes” and are disbursed in check form without any obligation for future work or service. The IRS may consider these prizes “taxable income.”

first place

First Place


second place

Second Place


third place

Third Place


star medal

People’s Choice


medal icon

All Other Grand Finale Finalists


*Audience members who attend the final competition will be invited to cast a single vote to select the candidate who they believe best communicated their area of research to the audience. If the People’s Choice Award is also a grand finale winner, the cash prize will be added to their corresponding prize.


  • You must be enrolled in a doctoral program for a minimum of 1 credit hour and have completed enough dissertation work to present some preliminary results by the submission deadline. By the same deadline, make sure that your adviser has completed the Advisor Agreement Form acknowledging the aforementioned statement and that the presentation consists of original research conducted by the student and not the work of the research team.
  • You must be available on the designated competition date to participate in the finale if selected as a finalist. The grand finale will be held on April 3, 2024 from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • You must be in good academic standing within your program.
  • You must obtain permission from your academic adviser or committee chair to enter the 3MT competition.
  • You must obtain permission from any research collaborators if the research you plan to present incorporates the ideas or work of others.
  • Your presentation should take into account 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 information.)
  • All final presentations will be open to the public and published online.
  • By entering the contest, you must agree to allow the Office of Graduate Education and Life to use photographs and/or video from the competition in publicity surrounding the contest and/or in other contexts, such as websites, promotional materials, etc.


A 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.

  • 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; competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified. 
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g., no poems, raps, or songs).
  • Presentations will begin when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.

The decision of the judges panel is final.


Judges will rate each presentation in the following categories: 

  1. Comprehension

    • 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 (or expected outcomes)?
    • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  2. Engagement

    • Did the presentation make the audience want to know more?
    • Was the presenter careful not to over-generalize their research?
    • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
    • Did the presenter capture and maintain the audience's attention?
  3. Communication

    • Was the research topic, including key results, 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 speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact, and vocal range; maintain a steady pace; and have a confident stance?
    • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of the presentation - or did they elaborate too long on one aspect or rush the presentation?
    • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?

2023 3MT Grand Finale

Recap: April 4, 2023


Sindupa De Silva_headshot


Sindupa De Silva

Forestry and Natural Resources


Second PLACE

Johan Cuervo Correa

Plant and Soil Sciences



Qazi Arka Rahman



People's Choice

Mohammed Syedul Islam

Resource Economics and Management