Three Minute Thesis

Three Minute Thesis Logo

About the Competition 

The Graduate School at the University at Albany is hosting a Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition in Spring 2022.  

3MT is a competition for research master’s and doctoral students to develop and showcase their research communication skills. 

The first 3MT was held at The University of Queensland (UQ) in 2008 with 160 graduate students competing. Enthusiasm for the 3MT concept grew and its adoption by numerous universities led to the development of an international competition in 2010. Today students from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Hong Kong take part in their own regional and national events. 

Prizes: 

  • First Place: $1,000 
  • Second Place: $750 
  • Third Place: $500 
  • People's Choice: $250 (selected via audience vote) 

2021 Winners:

1st Place: Jessica Somers, Anthropology - PhD
Title: You Don't Get It Till You Get It
Advisor: Associate Professor Elise Andaya

2nd Place: Nidhi Nandu, Chemistry - PhD
Title: Looking at the Picture Differently
Advisor: Associate Professor Mehmet Yigit

3rd Place Tie: Meghan Appley, Chemistry - PhD 
Title: Birds of a Feather – Forensic Identification of Endangered Parrots
Advisor: Professor Rabi Musah

3rd Place Tie: Ya Ying Zheng, Chemistry - PhD 
Title: Title Looking at the Picture Differently
Advisor: Associate Professor Jia Sheng

People's Choice: Lauriana Gaudet, Atmospheric Science - PhD
Title: How Much Do Cloud Processes Affect Precipitation Forecast Uncertainty?
Advisor: Research Associate Kara Sulia

2020 Winners:

1st Place: Erica Graham, Nanoscale Science and Engineering - PhD
Title: How Close is Too Close? 
Advisor: Nathaniel Cady

2nd Place: Mohammad Amin Nourmohammadi, Biomedical Sciences - PhD
Title: Mapping Receptive Language Cortex Under Anesthesia 
Advisor: Peter Brunner

3rd Place: Clare Miller, Biology - PhD 
Title: Stopping a Virus in Its Tracks 
Advisor: Gabriele Fuchs

People's Choice: Victorio Reyes, English - PhD
Title: Mic Check: Finding Hip Hop's Place in the Literary Milieu
Advisor: Glyne Griffith

2019 Winners:

1st Place & People’s Choice: Mindy Hair, Chemistry - PhD
Title: When in Doubt, Sweat It Out!
Advisor: Jan Halamek

2nd Place: Ewelina Mistek, Chemistry – PhD
Title: Nondestructive In-Field Identification and Analysis of Bloodstains for Forensic Purposes
Advisor: Igor Lednev

3rd Place: Melissa Noel, Criminal Justice – PhD
Title: Predicting the Future? The Effect of Caregivers’ Expectations on Adolescents’ Who Have Experienced Parental Incarceration
Advisor: Cynthia Najdowski

Watch videos from previous Three Minute Thesis competitions at UAlbany.

Eligibility

Currently enrolled doctoral and master's students in all disciplines at UAlbany will be eligible to participate in 3MT®.

Work presented must have been conducted at UAlbany.  

Students should be in the final stages of graduate school, so they have some sound conclusions and impacts from their research.

Alumni are not eligible. 

How to Enter

Registration will open Spring 2022.


Presentation Title 

On the registration form, you will be asked to include the title of your presentation. Please aim to keep your title catchy, informative, concise, and true to your research.  

An important element of the competition is communicating your research in a concise and engaging manner and that starts with the title. Try to avoid long titles with technical jargon. 


Presentation Slide 

All participating students need to have a single, static PowerPoint slide (no animations, no transitions) to accompany their presentation. The slide must be in widescreen (16:9) format. 

When creating your slide remember that the slide is another tool to help you explain and illustrate your research. Try to avoid including too much text on your slide or having a slide that looks too busy, that can distract from rather than enhance your presentation. 

Think carefully about what is most important to include on your slide to tell the story of your research. Oftentimes the most memorable slides are simple and leave the audience with a clear snapshot of the research.  

 

Presentation Video

For the 2021 3MT Virtual Competition, all participating students need to provide a YouTube video of their presentation. Please follow the UAlbany 3MT Virtual Competition Guide for more information on preparing your video. 

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. cue cards, 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). 
     

  • 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

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? 
     

Comprehension 

  • 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 

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more? 
     

  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research? 
     

  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention? 
     

Communication 

  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research? 
     

  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range? Did the speaker maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance? 
     

  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation? Was it clear, legible, and concise?