3MT® Competition Series

"This is an excellent opportunity for graduate students to learn how to present research without using technical language. Three Minute Thesis is not dumbing down the research, but is challenging students to consolidate their discoveries and present them with credibility."
—Joseph Oppong,
Associate Vice Provost of the Toulouse Graduate School

About 3MT®

The University of North Texas’ Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition celebrates the exciting research being conducted at our Tier One research university. The exciting exercise developed at the University of Queensland (UQ) cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills.

The competition supports the graduate students’ capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes to a non-specialist audience.

History

The first 3MT® completion was held at the UQ, with 160 doctoral candidates competing. Now, 3MT® is held in over 900 universities across more than 80 countries. Dr. Joseph Oppong, Professor of Geography, Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Academic Associate Dean of the Toulouse Graduate School, brought the multi-national competition to the University of North Texas (UNT) in 2015, and it’s been a pleasure to present our researchers to a global audience. The university hosts two competitions, with master’s students competing in the spring and doctoral students competing in the fall.

Why Participate?

During the thesis or dissertation, students focus primarily on synthesizing previous knowledge or creating knowledge. Communicating this new knowledge in a compelling, persuasive, and winsome way to other researchers as well as a non-technical audience such as policymakers is an important but neglected skill. Most academic programs do not provide training in communicating research findings at all. The 3MT® competition attempts to fill this gap. It provides researchers an opportunity to: communicate ideas effectively to the broader community, describe research findings to a non-specialist audience, improve the researcher’s profile within the community, and the opportunity to network with other doctoral students and sponsors. By requiring participants to communicate the essence of their research in three minutes, using only one slide without animations, to a non-technical audience, 3MT® prepares students for job interview situations and, more important, for effective communication in their future careers.

At UNT, we run two competitions – once in the fall for doctoral candidates and again in the spring for master’s candidates.

Competitor Registration

To compete in the 2021 Fall 3MT® Doctoral Competition, please complete the registration form at tgs.unt.edu/3MT. The TGS 3MT® Event Coordinator will contact you to confirm your participation and provide additional details about the 3MT® preliminaries (Live or Virtual).

Award

Prizes are a significant incentive for candidates entering the competition.

1st Place receives $1,000, 2nd Place receives $500, and the People’s Choice receives $250. Each college department and contestant should promote the competition and solicit votes for their respective competition submission. During the designated voting timespan, a ballot will be distributed using a Qualtrics survey.  In addition to the monetary award, graduate students receive a competition photo, video of their presentation, and a well-developed elevator speech.

Progression

Twelve contestants are selected from the UNT TGS preliminary round to advance to the UNT finals. The first-place winner of the fall semester doctoral competition will advance to the Council of Southern Graduate School’s 3MT® conference competition in February 2022.