Texas Tech University

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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 competition 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.


Currently enrolled master's and doctoral students in all disciplines at Texas Tech University will be eligible to participate in 3MT™. Work presented must have been conducted at Texas Tech University. Students should be in the final stages of graduate school so they have some sound conclusions and impacts from their research. Graduates are not eligible.

Virtual Competition Rules

• Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
• Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech (timing does not include the 3MT title slide and commences from when the competitor starts speaking, not the start of the video).
• Videos must meet the following criteria:

  • Filmed on the horizontal;
  • Filmed on a plain background;
  • Filmed from a static position;
  • Filmed from one camera angle;

• A single static slide is permitted in the presentation (no slide transitions, animations or movement' of any description). This can be visible continuously, or 'cut to' (as many times as you like) for a maximum of 1 minute or submitted via email if not included in the presentation.
• The 3 minute audio must be continuous – no sound edits or breaks.
• No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment and animated backgrounds) are permitted within the recording.
• Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
• No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording.
• The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Please note: competitors *will not* be judged on video/ recording quality or editing capabilities (optional inclusions). Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MT PowerPoint slide.

3MT Zoom Instructions

Judging Criteria

Comprehension and 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?
• Was 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 and 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?


First, second, and third prizes will be awarded to the top students in the final heat of the competition. A People's Choice award will also be awarded. Prize may be used for travel or research purposes for the prize winner.

First Prize                  $300
Second Prize              $200
Third Prize                 $100
People's Choice          $100


  • Application/Slide Due October 16, 2020 by 5:00 p.m. CST
  • Video Due Wednesday, October 21, 2020 by 5:00 p.m. CST
  • Virtual Competition Thursday, October 29, 2020

    *Coordinator will be on contact with participants for video submissions*


If you have any questions, please email Mari Baeza