3 Minute Thesis Competition Spring 2022

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The image is a photo of a clock with the graduate writers' studio logo in the center. There is a coffee mug with a Lehigh logo, a paperclip, and the 3MT logo. There is a time clock with 3 minutes on it.

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.

 

FAQs

What are the Rules?
  • 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.
 
Why Should I Compete?

The 3MT competition is an opportunity for Lehigh graduate students to showcase and promote their research, publicly acknowledge themselves as researchers, and add an impressive line to their curriculum vitae. Not only does this competition benefit graduate students, but it also benefits Lehigh University as a whole. The 3MT competition is an opportunity for the University to boost the visibility of our research endeavors and successes as our competitors can earn a spot in a national and in an international competition. 

 

Not to mention, there are monetary prizes for the winners! Spring 2022 Prizes - 1st Place - $500; 2nd Place - $400; 3rd Place - $200;  People's Choice - $100

 
Who Can Compete?

Any Lehigh University graduate student working on an academic research project who wants to practice their presentation skills and ability to succinctly and clearly explain their work to others.

Do I Have to Be a PhD Candidate to Compete at Lehigh?

Nope. For our campus competition, we welcome any Lehigh graduate student at any graduate level. 

 
Do I Have to Be a PhD Candidate to Compete Regionally, Nationally, or Internationally?

Yes. Though we here at Lehigh welcome all graduate students and all kinds of academic research, the competitions at the regional, national, and international levels require competitors to be PhD candidates working on academic research. 

What Are the Important Dates I Should Know?
  • Deadline to register to compete is no later than Wednesday, February 23, 2022 by 5:00pm
  • The GWS will host a practice session / workshop for all registered competitors on Wednesday, March 9th from 3:00pm - 5:00pm.
  • The 3MT Competition will be held virtually on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 from 4:00pm - 6:00pm.
Will There Be Opportunities for Practice and Feedback?

Yep. There are a few opportunities for practice and feedback. 

  • Schedule a consultation with any Graduate Writing Consultant in the GWS.
  • Schedule a coaching appointment with Ali Erk in the CCPD.
  • Attend the practice session / workshop on Wednesday, March 9th from 3:00pm - 5:00pm.
  • You will have access to the Big Interview platform, which you can use to practice your talk. Big Interview will give you immediate feedback about the strength of your presentation, and you can opt to send a copy to me for review and feedback. 
How Will I Be Judged?

Competitors will be judged on two broad categories:

Comprehension & 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 & Communication

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize 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?
 
How Do I Sign Up?

In order to compete, you must register no later than Wednesday, February 23rd by 5:00pm (click here to register to compete). To register you must provide

  • Name
  • ID Number
  • Program of Study
  • Name of Faculty Advisor / Sponsoring Professor’s Name
  • Your Mobile Phone Number
  • Research Topic
  • Draft 3MT Title
  • 100 Summary of Presentation
  • Draft of Your Slide
Who Do I Contact If I Have More Questions?

You can email the Graduate Writers' Studio at gradwriting@lehigh.edu