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3MT Competition

What is it?

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition is an academic research communication competition that challenges graduate students to explain their research project and its significance to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.  During the presentation, students must explain and summarize their research using only speech and one static PowerPoint slide. 

The 3MT competition was developed by the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, and is designed to cultivate graduate students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Additionally, students increase their capability to effectively communicate the importance of their research to a non-specialized audience. 


About the 3MT® Competition

The 3MT competition rules and guidelines are based on the criteria set forth by the University of Queensland.

  • Students will compete in a preliminary round(heat), with no more than 10 students per heat. The top three from each heat will move on to the Finals.
  • The finalists from the preliminary round will compete again in the final round. Judges will select First, Second, and Third Place winners.
  • The overall winner (first place) will continue on to the regional competition hosted by the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools. 


When is it?

The 3MT competition is held once per year. The final round of the fall 2023 competition will take place on Friday, November 10, 2:20 - 3:20 p.m. The event will be held in the Close-Hipp building, room 335.


Registration for the fall 2023 competition is open as of October 3, 2023.  Registration slots are limited due to space constraints.  Students are encouraged to register as early as possible and participant selection will operate on a first-come first -served basis.  Selected students will be invited to present in a preliminary round from 10–11:30 a.m. on November 10. Students who advance from the preliminary round will compete in the finals from 2:20 to 3:20 pm. All presentations will take place in person in the Close-Hipp building. Register here.



Any current USC graduate student in any program is welcome to present.


Past 3MT Competitions

Champion: B. Celia Cui, Pharmaceutical Sciences
1st Runner-Up: Gelareh Rezvan, Chemical Engineering
2nd Runner-Up: Taylor Larison, Chemistry



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