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AU’s 2023 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition

Date and Time:
March 14, 2023 1:00 pm - March 14, 2023 3:00 pm (Mountain)
Location:
Online event
Description:

Writing an academic thesis is one thing… presenting it in plain language to a non-academic audience in just 3 minutes is something else entirely!

AU graduate students enrolled in a research-focused program are invited to take part in the annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition to refine their presentation skills, enhance comfort with public speaking, and connect with other inspiring researchers. And to sweeten the deal, the top three competitors will earn cash prizes!

The first-place winner will also be invited to compete at the Western Regional 3MT competition hosted May 25, 2023, by the University of Saskatchewan.

Register today to take part in the 10th annual AU 3MT competition!

The University of Queensland in 2008, the competition cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Presenting in a 3MT competition increases their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Competitors are allowed one static PowerPoint slide, but no other resources or props.

Why should I compete in the 3MT?

There are many benefits to competing in a 3MT competition.

  • Share your research with the public
  • Learn how to frame your thesis topic
  • Generate an easy-to-understand statement for scholarships
  • Get your name known
  • Develop presentation skills
  • Have a pitch ready for a job interview
  • Meet other people in the research community
  • Build your resumé/CV
  • Win prizes: $1,000 for first place and an additional $800 for travel costs to the Western Regional 3MT®, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place, generously provided by AU’s Research Office

Eligibility

Competitors are eligible if they meet the following requirements:

  • Currently a research-focused graduate student (thesis/project-based) in an active AU master’s or doctoral program
  • Good academic standing
  • Available to present live at the AU competition on March 14, 2023.

You are not eligible if:

  • you have convocated in 2022 or prior
  • you are a course-based student without a research focus
  • you are a visiting student

Note: Doctoral and master’s students who have defended, but have not yet convocated are eligible to participate.

Competition 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
  • Students must be visible via webcam throughout the duration of their 3MT
  • 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 considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final

Judging panel

What our judges are looking for

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 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 a strong 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?

AU’s 2023 3MT timeline

Feb. 21: Preparing a Winning 3MT Presentation. This preparatory webinar, hosted by AU’s 2022 3MT® winner Karli Jahn includes valuable insights for participants
March 6: The deadline to register for AU’s 3MT competition
March 10: Final day for competitors to submit their 3MT slide
March 14: AU’s 2023 3MT Competition
May 25: The winner from AU’s 3MT will go on to compete in the Western Regional 3MT Competition hosted by the University of Saskatchewan.

Competitor resources

For more information, contact Krystal Zahara.

Add to Calendar March 14, 2023 1:00 pm March 14, 2023 3:00 pm Mountain AU’s 2023 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition

Writing an academic thesis is one thing… presenting it in plain language to a non-academic audience in just 3 minutes is something else entirely!

AU graduate students enrolled in a research-focused program are invited to take part in the annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition to refine their presentation skills, enhance comfort with public speaking, and connect with other inspiring researchers. And to sweeten the deal, the top three competitors will earn cash prizes!

The first-place winner will also be invited to compete at the Western Regional 3MT competition hosted May 25, 2023, by the University of Saskatchewan.

Register today to take part in the 10th annual AU 3MT competition!

The University of Queensland in 2008, the competition cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Presenting in a 3MT competition increases their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Competitors are allowed one static PowerPoint slide, but no other resources or props.

Why should I compete in the 3MT?

There are many benefits to competing in a 3MT competition.

  • Share your research with the public
  • Learn how to frame your thesis topic
  • Generate an easy-to-understand statement for scholarships
  • Get your name known
  • Develop presentation skills
  • Have a pitch ready for a job interview
  • Meet other people in the research community
  • Build your resumé/CV
  • Win prizes: $1,000 for first place and an additional $800 for travel costs to the Western Regional 3MT®, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place, generously provided by AU’s Research Office

Eligibility

Competitors are eligible if they meet the following requirements:

  • Currently a research-focused graduate student (thesis/project-based) in an active AU master’s or doctoral program
  • Good academic standing
  • Available to present live at the AU competition on March 14, 2023.

You are not eligible if:

  • you have convocated in 2022 or prior
  • you are a course-based student without a research focus
  • you are a visiting student

Note: Doctoral and master’s students who have defended, but have not yet convocated are eligible to participate.

Competition 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
  • Students must be visible via webcam throughout the duration of their 3MT
  • 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 considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final

Judging panel

What our judges are looking for

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 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 a strong 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?

AU’s 2023 3MT timeline

Feb. 21: Preparing a Winning 3MT Presentation. This preparatory webinar, hosted by AU’s 2022 3MT® winner Karli Jahn includes valuable insights for participants
March 6: The deadline to register for AU’s 3MT competition
March 10: Final day for competitors to submit their 3MT slide
March 14: AU’s 2023 3MT Competition
May 25: The winner from AU’s 3MT will go on to compete in the Western Regional 3MT Competition hosted by the University of Saskatchewan.

Competitor resources

For more information, contact Krystal Zahara.

Online event
Register for AU's 2023 3MT® Watch the live competition