Graduate student presenting research at 3MT

What Is Three Minute Thesis?

3MT logoThe Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed in 2008 by The University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia. Today, 3MT is held in over 900 universities across more than 85 countries worldwide.

Since the first competition in 2015, Georgia Tech has helped graduate students hone their presentation and research communication skills by challenging them to explain their research in just three minutes to a non-technical audience.

You never know when these valuable skills could be useful in the future: Watch Alexis Noel (who tied for third place in the Ph.D. category of the 2017 competition) discuss her research on CBS Sunday Morning.

Who Is Eligible?

Currently enrolled Georgia Tech master's and doctoral students from ALL DISCIPLINES, who are engaged in original research are eligible to participate in 3MT. The research must be at a stage where findings, preliminary conclusions, and broader impacts can be discussed. Presentations must focus on research students are conducting or have conducted during their current degree program.

Previous winners of the 3MT competition are not eligible to participate.

Previous participants are eligible and encouraged to participate!

What Are the Prizes?

For Ph.D. Students:

  • Winner: $2,000 research travel grant
  • Runner-up: $1,500 research travel grant
  • Third Place: $1,000 research travel grant

For Master’s Students:

  • Winner: $1,000 research travel grant

People's Choice Award

PhD or Master's: $500 research travel grant

Voted on by audience members. Students may win this coveted award in addition to one of the awards listed above. Voting will take place live immediately after the competition.

One People's Choice winner will be selected from all participants (master’s and Ph.D.) and will receive a $500 research travel grant. (Voting for the People's Choice will take place live at the finals.)

What Are the Rules?

  • 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. laser pointers, 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.

What Are the Judging Criteria?

Comprehension and Content

  • Presentation provided clear background and significance to the research question
  • Presentation clearly described the research strategy/design and the results/findings of the research
  • Presentation clearly described the conclusions, outcomes and impact of the research

Engagement and Communication

  • The oration was delivered clearly, and the language was appropriate for a non-specialist audience
  • The PowerPoint slide was well-defined and enhanced the presentation
  • The presenter conveyed enthusiasm for their research and captured and maintained the audience’s attention