Home  >  Office of Research & Graduate Studies  >    >  Three Minute Thesis

Three Minute Thesis Competition

Developed by the University of Queensland in 2008 and designed originally for PhD students, the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition in which students have only three minutes to present a compelling speech about their research and its significance. The competition gives students valuable practice in editing and condensing difficult research, and an opportunity to excel at a public presentation of that research using non-specialist language to their peers, professors, and the public.

Three winners will be chosen, two by a panel of judges and the audience will select the UIW Spirit of Research award-winner.

Please join us for the 3MT competition Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Engagement Center Ballroom. Vote for your favorite presenter and help choose the UIW Spirit of Research award winner!


3mt fall 2017 UIW


  About 3MT Competition

 3MT Judges 2018 


Valerie Ballesteros

Dr. Valerie Ballesteros is a Senior Lecturer in Consumer Affairs at Texas State University. A South Texas native, Dr.valerie ballesteros 3MT judge Ballesteros has practiced professionally and researched in South Texas, the Texas Gulf Coast, and Northern Mexico. She has also served U.S. and international clients as a financial services professional for over 25 years for investment and banking industry institutions such as Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, BBVA Compass, and Bank One. She began teaching as a part-time faculty at the University of the Incarnate Word in 2011 where she was an undergraduate instructor in economics and finance, and where she began the Doctor of Business Administration program in 2013.

Valerie’s recently completed dissertation is part of her research activity in developing culturally conscious business curriculum and financial education for diverse student populations as well as Latino businesses and consumers.

Valerie is a wife and working mother of three, including a Special Needs young adult. Her passions include her children, education, the financial industry, musical theater, and all things Latin.


Carolyn Castillo

Dr. Carolyn Castillo has 16 years of dedicated service at ESC-20 where she has served as an Educational carolyn castillo 3MT judgeSpecialist, Coordinator, and Component Director and now Deputy Director for Administrative and Instructional Services. Additionally, Carolyn has served as a teacher and Director of Early Childhood at SAISD.

Her education credentials include a PhD in Leadership Studies, and Master’s in Educational Administration and a BA in Elementary Education. She is certified in Mid-Management Administration, Elementary Spanish, Elementary, Bilingual/ESL, and Early Childhood. Carolyn is also a Certified Professional Coach. A bilingual San Antonio native, Dr. Castillo is committed to serving the education community in the ESC-20 service area.



Paul Mann

Paul Mann is Co-Founder, CEO, and CIO of CounselorChat, which focuses its work on contributing to the well-being paul mann 3MT judgeof others and at the same time disrupting the status quo of the counseling industry. In applying his IT expertise to CounselorChat, Mr. Mann strives to create the preeminent mental health user experience for clients and counselors alike.

An accomplished business owner, Mr. Mann devotes significant portions of his time to fostering and advancing the community around him. He serves on the board of the Small Business Development Council at the University of Texas at San Antonio, holds the position of Learning Chair at the San Antonio chapter of the Entrepreneur’s Organization, and works with the San Antonio Humane Society and San Antonio Pets Alive! in helping make San Antonio a no kill city.



Who is Eligible to Participate?

  •  Must be a currently enrolled student at the University of the Incarnate Word.
  •  Must be in the final stages of preparing to present your research in either Capstone, Master's Thesis, or Doctoral Dissertation.
  •  The 3MT is a research-based competition. Students carrying out a research-intensive master's capstone or professional doctoral project project may be eligible. If you think this is the case, complete the participant registration form and you will be contacted by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies to confirm your eligibility. Otherwise, your eligibility is based on your program of study and course enrollment.

Participation Requirements

 To participate in the 3MT competition, you need:

  • One well-prepared PowerPoint slide.
  • One concise and well-rehearsed oration timed to last no more than 3 minutes.

<Return to Top>

Competition Rules

  • The presentation limit is 3 minutes. Competitors who exceed 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Must be spoken word only. Cannot be song, dance, musical presentation.
  • One static PowerPoint slide is permitted. The slide is to be presented at the beginning of the student’s speech. The slide cannot contain any animations, movements, or transitions of any kind.
  • No other kind of electronic media are permitted, nor are any other props including notecards, mobile phones, notebooks or tablets, laser pointers, costumes, lab equipment, or musical instruments.
  • Presentations begin when the competitor is on stage and begins the presentation through movement or speech.
  • Decisions of the judges are final.

 Judging Criteria


  • Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • 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?


  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize the research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for the research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain the audience's attention?


  • Was the presentation topic, key results, and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology, and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range, maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of the presentation, or did the presenter elaborate for too long on one aspect, or was the presentation rushed?
  • Did the slide enhance the presentation—was it clear, legible, concise, and not a distraction?

<Return to Top>

Awards and Prizes

Special awards will be given to winners of

  • Best Presentation

  • Runner-up

  • UIW Spirit of Research Audience Award

Preparing Your 3MT Presentation

Many universities run a comparable competition. Many offer suggestions and ideas about preparing your presentation. View the latest results from UT-Austin here. Check out winning 3MT presentations from around the world and view other information from the University of Queensland about the Three Minute Thesis.

<Return to Top>

Contact Information

  Duncan Hayse

Duncan Hayse, MA, MFA

Administration Building, Suite 1A
Office: (210) 829-2758
Fax: (210) 805-3559


 <Return to Top>