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.

The 2023 competition is in person and will take place in the Student Union Building on Friday, October 6th.


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 sound conclusions and impacts from their research. Distance students are eligible to participate. Please see Competitors Guide or the Competitors Guide for Distance Students for more information. 

Competition Rules

  • 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).
  • 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).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Judging Criteria

Comprehension and content

  • Presentation provided clear background and significance to the research question
  • Presentation provided clear positionality of the presenter to the research and research approach. 
  • 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


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. The first-place winner will advance to the Three Minute Thesis Competition at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools to represent Texas Tech. Award amounts will be disclosed to winners after the competition. 

 Timeline & Deadlines

Deadlines for this event are firm. Production of the event program, assignment of judges, and scheduling of presentations require advanced planning. Additionally, these deadlines allow our staff to review all applications and slides so students can provide revisions if necessary. We appreciate your cooperation. 

  • Abstract/Slide Due - Friday, September 15th by 5:00 p.m. CST 
  • Videos Due (Distance Students ONLY) - Friday, September 22nd by 5:00 p.m. CST 
  • Competition - Friday, October 6th 

Submit an Abstract


Register to Judge


If you have any questions, please contact Graduate Student Life at studentlife.gradschool@ttu.edu.