3MT (Three Minute Thesis)

3MT (Three Minute Thesis)

3MT (Three Minute Thesis)
Competition Information

UCF’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition

Doctoral research is presented in a novel and exciting way at UCF’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. Doctoral students communicate their research in just three short minutes and with only one PowerPoint slide to non-expert judges while competing to win scholarship awards.

First developed in 2008 by the University of Queensland in Australia, the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT competitions are now held in over 600 universities across more than 59 countries worldwide. 

For questions about this event, please email gradworkshops@ucf.edu.

Fall 2020 Event

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation, UCF’s Fall 2020 3MT event will be entirely virtual rather than a live competition.

Event competitors will be required to record a three-minute presentation with their slide via Zoom and submit a link to the cloud of their recording.

The recordings will be sent to a panel of judges for scoring and finalists will be chosen. The finalist’s presentations will be streamed at a live event to be held on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 3:00 PM. The event winners will also be announced at this event.

Important Dates

Presentation Skills Workshop: October 13, 2020 (register in Pathways to Success)
Submission Deadline: October 20, 2020
Review of Presentation Submissions: October 21–30
Finalists Announced: Early November
3MT Event: November 18, 2020 at 3:00 PM

Submission Instructions

Below, you will find submission instructions and Zoom recording instructions. Please read the instructions carefully to make sure you are recording in the correct format.

When you have your presentation recording ready, you can register for this virtual event by completing our Fall 2020 3MT Submission Form. Please note that if you are chosen as a finalist, your video presentation will appear be shared at the November 18, 2020 event and on the College of Graduate Studies YouTube page. 

Submissions for the 2020 3MT competition will close on October 20, 2020.

Installing and Accessing Zoom

The following instructions are for installing Zoom using the UCF Zoom client on your own computer; this step is necessary to record correctly (note: Zoom accounts are provided for free to all UCF students):

  1. Go to ucf.zoom.us
  2. Sign in using your NID and NID password
  3. In the top right corner, hover over the RESOURCES drop down menu and click Download Zoom Client
  4. On the next page, download the Zoom Client for Meetings and install to your computer
  5. For UCF Zoom help, please see the Additional Resources section below

Recording the Presentation

  1. First, have your single PowerPoint slide ready and opened
  2. Open the Zoom client on your computer and sign in
  3. Once in Zoom, click on the Home button in the top center
  4. In the Home section, click on New Meeting to initiate a new Zoom meeting
  5. Inside the new meeting popup window, click on Record in the toolbar, and make sure you select Record to the Cloud (we will only accept links to Zoom cloud recordings and not files). You will know your session is being recorded when the window shows a small bar in the top left corner with the word Recording visible
  6. Once your session has begun recording, click on Screen Share in the main tool bar. Find your PowerPoint presentation in the window that appears, click on it, and then click Share in the bottom right corner
  7. When your presentation has appeared, your face will be minimized into a small window. Maximize your presentation so that it fills the screen and reposition the small window so that both you and the presentation are clearly visible. You may also resize your camera window so viewers can better see your face as you present
  8. Now that you are ready to begin, you may begin speaking when ready. REMEMBER: your presentation itself is limited to three total minutes. Because this format is new for this year, some flexibility will be allowed, but the TOTAL recording length cannot be any longer than three minutes and 10 seconds.
  9. Once you are satisfied with your presentation, click Stop Share at the bottom of the Zoom toolbar that has appeared. This will remove your presentation and return your face to the screen
  10. Next, end your recording by clicking on Stop Recording at the bottom of the Zoom window. The client will ask you to confirm that you wish to stop recording, and afterward, Zoom will process your recording into the cloud. You will receive an email letting you know that your recording is ready for review when the program has processed

Reviewing and Editing Your Presentation Recording

  1. The Zoom editor will only allow you to adjust the recording playback length and not edit the content of your presentation. All competitors are limited to the same set of tools and may ensure that their presentation does not exceed the maximum length of three minutes
  2. Click on the link to view your recording found in the email you have received from Zoom and the client will launch your browser and open the UCF Zoom webpage
    The client should have opened up directly to your recording, but if you encounter a problem, click on the Recordings button in the left-hand navigation to access all of your previously recorded sessions.
  3. Once here, click on the video found in the center of the page to open your recording. This will open your recording in a new window and allow you to adjust the playback time
  4. To adjust, hover your mouse over the frame and click on the scissors icon located in the bottom right corner. This will make a blue bar with white arrows appear at the bottom of your recording
  5. Using the arrows, slide the one on the left to the beginning of your presentation, and slide the one on the right to the end of your presentation. Once you have reduced your total presentation to no more than three minutes and 10 seconds, you may click the blue Save button
  6. Remember: if you do not like a recording, you can always record again!

Submitting Your Recorded Presentation

  1. Once you have edited your recording down, close the window containing the video and return to the page you accessed from your email. If that page closed, simply click the link again from your email
  2. Once here, click the button that says Copy Shareable Link in the center of the page. A small green notification will appear at the top letting you know that the link was successful copied. If there is a problem with copying the recording link this way, simply open the recording back up and copy the URL from browser
  3. Go to the Fall 2020 3MT Submission Form, fill out your information, and include the previously copied link to your presentation recording
  4. Submissions for the 2020 3MT competition will close on October 20, 2020

Eligibility and Awards

Participants must be currently enrolled UCF doctoral students actively engaged in doctoral research. A competitive candidate should have a well-conceived project (ideally their dissertation research), compelling data collected, and a novel story to share. Work presented must have been conducted at UCF for the student’s current degree program. 

The number of finalists chosen for the event on November 18, 2020 will depend on the submissions made. The first place winner and runner up will be chosen by an adjudicating panel.  Scholarships will be awarded to the first place winner ($1,000) and runner up ($750). A scholarship for the audience choice award ($250) will also be provided. 


Judging Criteria

Additional Resources

Zoom Resources

UCF’s Center for Digital Learning (CDL) provides support for UCF Zoom users. Please see their Zoom Guides page for additional information and resources.

Support for technical assistance, concerns, or questions related to Zoom, access the phone, email and live chat resources at CDL’s Webcourses@UCF Support page.

Zoom’s Help Center also contains many resources, including FAQs, troubleshooting assistance, and training information.

Other Resources

Creating Your 3MT Slide, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Download pdf 

How Grad Students Can Effectively Tell Their Research Story by Jackie Amsden, Simon Fraser University 

How to Talk About Your Thesis in Three Minutes by Inger Mewburn, RMIT University  

How to Win the 3MT by Inger Mewburn, RMIT University  

Making the Most of Your Three Minutes by Simon Clews, University of Melbourne Download pdf 

Practicing Your Presentation, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Download pdf 

Ten Hints for Improving Presentations for the Three Minute Thesis Competition by Danielle Fischer, Charles Darwin University Download pdf

Tips and Techniques for More Confident and Compelling Presentations by Matt Abrahams, Stanford University 

Writing Your 3MT, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Download pdf 

Fall 2019 3MT Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our 3MT event held on November 20, 2019:

First Place: Nasif Sayeed, Biomedical Sciences PhD
Runner-Up: Omar Ahmed, Materials Science and Engineering PhD
People’s Choice: Nusaiba Zaman, Physics PhD

See our YouTube playlist for videos of the Fall 2019 3MT participants!

Fall 2019 3MT Event Judges

We would like to thank the following UCF and Central Florida community members for serving as our event judges.

Chantel Carter, Associate Director, Office of Student Involvement
Cary D’Ortona, President of Arnold Palmer Hospital 
Wendy Kurtz, Founder and President of Elizabeth Charles & Associates, LLC
Carl Metzger, Chief, UCF Police Department