The University of Alabama Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition will be held on November 11, 2019 (6:00-7:30pm) in the Bryant Conference Center (Rast)

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition which challenges graduate students to present a compelling oration on their research and its significance in just three minutes in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. ​The 3MT is NOT an exercise in trivializing or ‘dumbing-down’ research but forces students to consolidate their ideas and crystalize their research discoveries. Check out the video below (from the UA 2017 competition) to learn more or visit the 3MT University of Queensland site.

List of Other Important Dates

  • Submission of names and PowerPoint slides to Graduate School: October 17*
  • Semi-finals: October 24, 1:00pm-3:30pm, SERC 2039

*Please ensure that PowerPoint slides are submitted in the standard 4:3 aspect ratio – please do not use widescreen.

Anyone who is currently registered and enrolled in a Masters or Doctoral program will be eligible to participate in 3MT. Graduates are not eligible.

  • 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. 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.


Each competitor will be judged on the criteria listed below. Click HERE for a copy of the ballot that will be used by our judges.

Comprehension & Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed, while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Were the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation – or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?

Engagement & Communication

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?

The Speaking Studio

Practice your Three Minute Thesis in front of a live camera!  You are welcome to make an appointment to run through your speech in the new Presentation Lab in Reese-Phifer room 166.  Click HERE to see available time slots and to sign-up.

ONLINE  3-Minute Thesis Practice for students

Practice your 3MT presentation online using CrimsonCareers.  Follow these directions:

  1. Students login to CrimsonCareers and complete their free account.
  2. On the student homepage of CrimsonCareers, select the Resources tab to find the option for Mock Interviews.
  3. Search for “3-Minute Thesis” on the list of customized interviews.
  4. If students have a computer with a built-in webcam, they can select the 3MT interview and do a trial run of their 3MT presentation as many times as they would like. If students do not have access to a webcam, students are welcome to contact the Career Center (348-5848) to use their Mock Interview space.

Students can watch their own recordings as well as submit their recordings to have them critiqued online. This is a great tool we recommend all graduate students to try.

Past Winners

Watch three minute presentations by past winners and learn more about 3MT at


Contact Tierney Jenkins at