Three Minute Thesis (3MT)

About the Competition
Three Minute Thesis (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.

View the UAlbany 2019 3MT Competition Videos

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Preliminary Round – Support your fellow graduate students as they present their Three Minute Thesis. Light refreshments and free swag will be provided.

Thursday, February 27th, 10:30am -12:00pm and 1:00-2:30pm Campus Center West Expansion Board Room (2nd Floor above the GSA Office)

2020 Preliminary Round Presentations

3MT Final Round - Cheer on the top 8 competitors and vote for your favorite.

Wednesday, March 4th, 1:00-2:00pm Campus Center West Expansion Board Room (2nd Floor above the GSA Office)

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.

Registration for the 2020 competition is open until 11:59pm on Friday, February 14, 2020.

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.

You will be asked to select your availability for the preliminary rounds. Please select any dates that you are available. If selected to participate, you will receive an email shortly after the February 15 deadline indicating which preliminary round you will present in.

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.

Access the registration form.

3MT General Information PPT

Communicating with a Non-Specialist Audience

This workshop will cover (1) how to find a hook to get audiences interested in their research, (2) how to feel more comfortable speaking in front of groups and how to create engaging oral presentations, and (3) how to frame your research, focus on the most compelling aspects of the work, and make a strong case for your work's importance to non-specialist audiences.

Dates to be announced.

Preparing for the 3MT/Oral Presentations                      

Practice makes perfect. Join us for our 3MT Workshop, where you will have the opportunity to present your 3MT and to receive feedback from a live audience on your content and delivery. The low-stakes workshop environment can help you get valuable feedback and ease your nerves before the preliminary rounds. All registrants must come prepared to present their 3MT pitch. It is optional to provide their PowerPoint slide to the organizer in advance of the workshop.

Dates to be announced.

  • 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.


  • 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?


  • 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?


  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
  • 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?
  • First Place: $1,000
  • Second Place: $750
  • Third Place: $500
  • People's Choice (audience vote): $250