3MT (Three Minute Thesis)

3MT (Three Minute Thesis)

3MT (Three Minute Thesis)
Competition Information

UCF’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition

Doctoral research is being 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 prizes.

Hosted by the College of Graduate Studies and Blackstone LaunchPad, 3MT is free and open to the public. The audience is invited to vote on their favorite presentation to determine the People’s Choice Award Winner. A panel of judges will determine the first place winner and runner up.

Join us for the next 3MT on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 from 3-4:30 p.m. at the UCF Live Oak Events Center!

Applications are being accepted now! See the Submission Guidelines section below for details on how to apply. 

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

About 3MT

The 3MT competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by doctoral students. Developed by the University of Queensland, the exercise cultivates students’ academic, presentation and research communication skills. 

Participants are judged on the ability to effectively convey the essence and importance of their research in an engaging way to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes, with one PowerPoint slide. A panel of judges will determine the first, second and third place prize winners.

The first 3MT competition was held at the University of Queensland in 2008. In 2009 and 2010 the 3MT competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities. Since 2011, the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT competitions are now held in over 600 universities across more than 59 countries worldwide. 

Why 3MT?

In addition to prizes, all applicants will learn how to: 


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. 

Participants must be available to present, in person, at the 3MT competition on November 20, 2019 

All presentations will be videotaped and will appear on the Graduate College’s website.


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed. If material for public use is included on a slide, the reference(s) must be clearly cited on the slide. 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 three minutes maximum and competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified. 
  • 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 either movement or speech. 
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final. 

Judging Criteria

  • Communication style: Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience? 
  • Comprehension: Did the presentation help the audience understand the research? 
  • Engagement: Did the presentation make the audience want to know more? 

Submission Guidelines

Applicants will be notified by October 30, 2019 if they have been selected to compete in the 3MT Finals. All Finalists are required to meet with a coach in the Blackstone LaunchPad to practice their pitch in preparation for the Finals.

Important Dates

Submission Open: September 9, 2019
3MT Info Session and Pitch Workshop: September 17, 2019
3MT Info Session and Pitch Workshop: October 3, 2019
Submission Deadline: October 16, 2019
Finalists Announced: October 30, 2019
Blackstone LaunchPad Coaching Sessions (for finalists): November 8-15, 2019
3MT Event: November 20, 2019

Fall 2019 Presentation Workshops

3MT preparation workshops are offered to help all graduate students learn how to communicate research to a non-specialist audience. Workshops are open to all graduate students and are a helpful resource for those doctoral students preparing to enter the 3MT competition.

September 17, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.
October 3, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.

Workshops will be held at the Graduate Student Center located on the second floor of Trevor Colbourn Hall, room 213.

Additional Resources

Practice Your Presentation

A video recording studio is available by reservation and free of charge at UCF’s Technology Commons II. Watch yourself, assess your performance and share with others to get their feedback and improve your presentation. 


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 

Your Thesis, in Three Minutes by Elisabeth Pain, Science Magazine  

Congratulations Spring 2019 Winners!

The following participants were the awardees for the 2019 3MT event:

First Place: Qitian Ru, Optics and Photonics PhD
Second Place and People’s Choice: Katrina Phillips, Conservation Biology PhD
Third Place: John Konvalina, Conservation Biology PhD

Thank You, Spring 2019 Judges!

We’d like to thank the three community members who served as the judges for our inaugural 3MT event:

Eric Burris, Meteorologist, WESH Channel 2
Albert Manero, PhD, President, Limbitless Solutions
Danya Shea, CEO and Co-Creator, FervorWorks Professional Training and Coaching