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Texas State 3MT®

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WHat is 3MT®?

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ) in which graduate students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis / dissertation research and its significance.  3MT® is not an exercise in trivializing or ‘dumbing-down’ research, but instead 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 Graduate College is excited about providing our students the opportunity to participate in the Texas State University 3MT® Competition.

Why Compete?

  • promote your research
  • enhance communication skills
  • learn how to explain your research to a non-specialized audience
  • develop your  “elevator pitch” discussions of your research (especially useful for  job interviews!)
  • awards at both the preliminary and final rounds


2018 Texas State University 3MT® Competition Eligibility

Graduate students currently enrolled in a Texas State University research Ph.D. or Ed.D. program and master's students on a thesis track are eligible to compete. The presentation must include findings/outcomes of research, i.e., you cannot present your proposal; you must have at least preliminary findings. Read more about the presentation rules and judging criteria.

How it works

2018 Preliminary Group Rounds

Students registered by the March 1 deadline will receive the time and date of their assigned preliminary group the first week of March. Groups will consist of doctoral and master's students. Each group will send the top scoring doctoral student, top scoring master's student, overall runner-up and the people's choice winner to the University Final. 

  The preliminary rounds will take place March 27–29, 2018.

2018 University Final Competition

Awards at the University Final Competition are not categorized by master's or doctoral level, and include 1st place and runner-up (awarded by judges) and people's choice (awarded by the audience). 1st place and runner-up can also win the people's choice because the latter is awarded separately by the audience in attendance at the 3MT®.

  The University Final will take place on April 3, 2018.


2018 University Preliminary Group

Awarded by judges:

  • 1st Place Doctoral: $100
  • 1st Place Master's: $100
  • Overall Runner-up: $75

Awarded by audience:

  • People's Choice: $75

2018 University Final

Awarded by judges:

  • 1st Place: $1,000
  • Runner-up: $500

Awarded by audience:

  • People’s Choice: $500

Shop Talks

If you are interested in participating, sign up for our Introduction to the 3MT® Shop Talk on February 6 to learn more about the 3MT® competition rules, how to prepare for the competition, and the next steps to take as a participant. (Of course, if you are not able to attend the Shop Talk, you can still participate! Just make sure to register!)

Students who are interested in competing in the 3MT® must sign up for the competition no later than March 1, 2018. Registration for the competition is limited so be sure to sign up soon!

Once you register, you will receive the time and date of your assigned preliminary round the first week of March.

Previous Competitions

Need some inspiration? Watch students present their research in previous Texas State 3MT® Competitions:

You can also watch 3MT®  winners from competitions at other universities.

2017 First Place Winner

Austin Leone, master's student in biology, presenting "How Different Teaching Approaches Relate to Learning"

2017 Runner-up

Erika K. Nielson, Ph.D. student in developmental education, presenting "Students in Developmental Education Navigating a Mindfulness-Based Intervention"

2017 People's Choice

Starla Thornhill, Ph.D. student in aquatic resources, presenting "Biofilm Growth and Control During Spaceflight"

The 3MT® was such a rewarding experience because, after spending so much time by myself researching and writing my dissertation, I finally had the opportunity to talk about my work in a way that resonated and connected with others.  — Sydney Granger Saumby, 2015 First Place Winner


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