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 crystallize their research discoveries. Check out the video below (from the UA 2019 competition) to learn more or visit the 3MT University of Queensland site.

Key Dates

Nomination Deadline: Thursday October 27, 2021 (submit nominations HERE)

Semi-Finals: Thursday November 4, 2021 (Rose G55; Round 1 9-10:30am, Round 2 10:30am-noon, Round 3 1:30-3:00pm).

Finals: Monday November 15, 2021 at 7pm (Ferguson Center Ballroom).


1st Prize: $1,500 (and represent UA at the Council of Southern Graduate Schools 3MT competition)

2nd Prize: $1,000

3rd Prize: $750

4th Prize: $250

People’s Choice: $750

*The People’s Choice winner is determined by the 3MT audience. All other winners are determined by the judging panel.

**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 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

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