Announcing the First 3MT® Competition at Texas State University
What is 3MT®?
Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ). Doctoral students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their research and its significance. 3MT® is not an exercise in trivializing or ‘dumbing-down’ research, but challenges students to consolidate their ideas and research discoveries so they can be presented concisely to a non-specialist audience.
The first 3MT® was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 students competing. Enthusiasm for the 3MT® concept grew and it has now been adopted by numerous universities in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, and the United States. The Texas State University Graduate College is excited about providing our students the opportunity to participate in the first annual 3MT® Competition held at our university.
Why is it called the three minute thesis?
The research product of doctoral students in Australia is referred to as a thesis. In the United States we call the document a dissertation. The concept applies equally to doctoral research regardless of what the final document is called. Imagine hearing an 80,000 word dissertation explained in less than 180 seconds? 3MT® contestants must do just that by condensing their research into a brief, engaging presentation for a non-specialist audience, using a single presentation slide.
The 3MT® Competition helps doctoral students develop academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students' capacity to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Accept the challenge to distill your dissertation research into a three minute presentation that is understandable to individuals outside of your field and participate in the 2014 Texas State University 3MT® Competition.
The Texas State University 3MT® Competition
Graduate students currently enrolled in a Texas State University research doctoral program are eligible to compete. Students in Master’s and professional graduate programs are not eligible.
At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the three judging criteria listed below. Please note that each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.
How the Competition Works
There are several levels of competition including:
Each doctoral program will hold a Program Heat. There is no limit to the number of doctoral students competing at this level. The Program Heat judging panel will select the First Place Winner and Runner-up. The audience will vote to select the People’s Choice winner. These three student winners will advance to the next level of the competition. Program Heats will be held in February, 2014.
This level of competition will be composed of three discipline areas: Science, Social Science and Education. The three student winners of each Program Heat will compete against the student winners from other programs in the Discipline Competitions. The Discipline Competition judging panels will select the First Place Winner and Runner-up. The audience will vote to select the People’s Choice winner. The First Place Winner from each Discipline Competition will automatically advance to the University Final Competition. The Science Discipline Competition will include winners of the Program Heats in Aquatic Resources, Mathematics Education, and Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization. The Social Science Discipline Competition will include winners of the Program Heats in Criminal Justice, Environmental Geography, Geographic Education, and Geographic Information Science. The Education Discipline Competition will include winners of the Program Heats in Adult, Professional and Community Education, Developmental Education, and School Improvement. The Discipline Competitions will be held March 4 and 5, 2014.
Wildcard Final Competition
The People’s Choice winner of each Discipline Competition will advance to the Wildcard Final Competition to compete with the other People’s Choice winners from the Discipline Competitions. If the People’s Choice winner is also the First Place Winner of a Discipline Competition, the Runner-up will advance to the Wildcard Final. The Wildcard Final judging panel will select the Wildcard Final winner. The winner of the Wildcard Final will advance to the University Final Competition. The Wildcard Competition will be held March 7, 2014.
University Final Competition
The three First Place Winners from the Discipline Competitions and the Wildcard Final winner will compete in the University Final Competition. The University Final judging panel will select the First Place Winner and Runner-up. The audience will vote to select the People’s Choice winner. The University Final Competition will be held March 31, 2014.
Awards at the University Final Competition level include:
First Place Winner - $500
Runner-up - $350
People’s Choice - $250
Videos of 3MT® winners from competitions at other universities are available at http://threeminutethesis.org/.