3 Minute Thesis Competition (to be held virtually in spring 2022)

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Check out "From Left to Write," our big Spring 2022 Write-Along event where you can be productive, grow as an academic writer, AND have a chance to win money and cool prizes!

Spring 2022 Schedule

Virtual Q & A Session for graduate students who may be interested in competing - Wednesday, February 9th at 3:00pm (click here to enter

Registration Deadline Wednesday, February 23rd by 5:00pm (click here or scan QR code to register to compete

Practice Session for Presenters - Wednesday, March 9th from 3:00pm - 5:00pm

3MT Competition - Wednesday, March 23rd from 4:00pm - 6:00pm 


Spring 2022 Prizes

1st Place - $500

2nd Place - $400 

3rd Place - $200 

People's Choice - $100 

What is the 3 Minute Thesis Competition?

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT ®) competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by graduate students. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), 3MT cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills.

The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.


For the Lehigh University event, any active Lehigh University graduate student working on a research project. 

To progress to the regional and national competitions, participant must be an active PhD and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidate who has successfully passed their confirmation milestone (including candidates whose thesis is under submission) by the date of their first presentation are eligible to participate in the 3MT competition.


  • 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. 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

Comprehension and Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?

  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?

  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?

  • Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?

  • 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 and Communication

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

  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialise or generalise their research?

  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?

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

  • 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?