Three Minute Thesis
The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an academic competition that assists current graduate students with fostering effective presentation and communication skills. Participants have just three minutes to explain the breadth and significance of their research project to a non-specialist audience.
3MT was developed by The University of Queensland in 2008, and is now held in more than 900 universities in 85 countries around the world.
Master’s degree and doctoral students enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill from any discipline administered by The Graduate School are welcome to register and participate in the competition.
2020 3MT Virtual Event – UNC Chapel Hill Final Competition (October 21, 2020)
Winners for 2020 are:
- FIRST PLACE ($1000): Jeliyah Clark (Environmental Sciences and Engineering) – Eating for Two: Mother’s Diet as an Intervention for Arsenic-Induced Lower Birth Weight
- SECOND PLACE ($600): Meryem Ok (Biomedical Engineering) – Human Intestine on a Dish
- PEOPLE’S CHOICE ($400 each, tied):
Rachel Johnson (Chemistry) – A Hybrid Antibiotic to Overcome Antibiotic Resistance
- Isabel Laterzo (Political Science) – Don’t Call the Police: Measuring the “Dark Figure” of Crime
At every level of the competition, each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below. Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.
Comprehension and 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 and 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?