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 just three short 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.

This year's 3MT ® competition will be held on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.

About 3MT ® Competition

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.

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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 note cards, 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?

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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

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Previous Competitions


Click on this link to view all the presentations: 2018 - 3MT PRESENTATIONS.

Melinda Fuller was selected the Winner of the 2018 3MT Competition Award with her presentation "Collective Memory: Using Action Research To Improve the PhD Integration Experience." Melinda is a PhD candidate in Education in the Dreeben School of Education.

Valentina Rada was named runner-up. Her presentation was titled "Let's Talk About Social Media." Valentina is a Master of Business Administration candidate in the School of Professional Studies.

Patrich Matulich, Spirit of Research recipient, presented "Antimicrobial Properties of Extracts From Microalgae Commonly Used in Wastewater Treatment and Biorefinery Applications." Patrick is a candidate for the Master of Science in Biology degree in the School of Math,Science and Engineering.

Contact Information

Duncan Hayse, MA, MFA

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

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