Texas Tech University

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®)



Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) celebrates the exciting research you are doing as a graduate student. Developed by The +University of Queensland (UQ) in 2008, this exercise cultivates your academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The competition supports the capacity to effectively explain your research in three minutes or less, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience while using just 1 static PowerPoint slide.

2016 Winners

First Place: Amanda French - Arts and Sciences – Environmental Toxicology
2nd Place: Mandana Pahlavani – Human Sciences – Nutritional Sciences
3rd Place: Sara Calandrini – Arts and Sciences – Mathematics and Statistics
People's Choice: Sara Calandrini – Arts and Sciences – Mathematics and Statistics


The following chart* shows the progression of students through the local 3MT® competition. The winner of each morning heat will then compete in the final heat in the afternoon to determine the winner. Some winners may have the chance to advance to the final UQ 3MT® or Asia-Pacific 3MT® competitions.


*Chart is an example of heats. Number of heats and number of students per heat will depend on number of participants and may change.

Judging Criteria

Comprehension & Content

  • 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?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, key results and research 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 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 trivialise or generalise 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?