Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland. The exercise challenges graduate students to present a compelling oration on their thesis or dissertation topic and its significance in just three minutes. 3MT develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students’ capacity to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.
Auburn University’s 3MT competition is held each fall. To determine who competes in the 3MT, a preliminary competition is held and the top 10 competitors advance to the university-wide final and compete for cash prizes. Auburn's winner will also have the opportunity to represent the university in regional 3MT competitions.
Once a student begins his or her presentation, the clock begins to run. With 30 seconds to go, the timekeeper holds up a sign. A bell chimes at the end of the 3-minute period. If a competitor breaks any of the competition rules, he or she is disqualified.
At every level of the competition each competitor will be judged by a panel of five judges on the three judging criteria listed below. Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.
Each judge assigns competitors a score of 1 through 10 for each of the three criteria. Once presentations are over, the judges' scores are combined and the student with the highest points tally is declared the winner. Additionally, the audience casts their own ballots to select a winner for the People's Choice Award. (The People's Choice Award is not awarded during the preliminary).
Prize money awarded at the 3MT final:
|We are working to obtain sponsorship for the 3MT competition. If we are successful, the amount of prize money offered is likely to increase.|
The winner and runner-up are both eligible to receive the People's Choice award. Prize money is deposited into each competitor's student account.
3MT resources for students:
The first 3MT was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 RHD (research higher degree) students competing. Enthusiasm for the 3MT concept grew and its adoption by numerous universities led to the development of an international competition. The inaugural Trans-Tasman 3MT was held at UQ in 2010 with 33 universities participating.
In 2011, 43 universities were represented in the Trans-Tasman 3MT which was hosted by The University of Western Australia, and for the first time students from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Hong Kong took part in their own regional events.
Auburn University held its first 3MT in the summer of 2013.
Visit Three Minute Thesis to see a list of other schools around the world that participate in 3MT.