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Three Minute Thesis Competition

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Three Minute Thesis founded by the University of Queensland

Virtual Three Minute Thesis Competition

If you only had three minutes, could you:

  • Explain your research to a prospective employer?
  • Convince a potential donor to support your project?
  • Share your discoveries with a non-specialist audience?
  • Entice others to want more information about your research?

Do you want to improve your communication and presentation skills?

Enter the University of Oklahoma 3MT® Competition!

Winners will receive a $1000-$2000 cash prize!

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland, Australia, and is now held at hundreds of universities around the world. This exercise will challenge you to present your master's or doctoral research in just three minutes to a non-specialist audience. As you prepare for the competition, you’ll decide on the most important points in your research, find an interesting way to convey them, then deliver them in a clear, concise, and confident manner.

Competitors will present their research to a panel of judges in real time via Zoom.

3MT® Competition Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 957 0298 9210
Passcode: 84651364

The 2021 competition is open to current OU Norman, Tulsa, and HSC graduate students in good standing who meet the following criteria:

  • Students must be enrolled as of Spring 2021 in a master’s program (thesis, project, exhibition) or a doctoral program.
  • Students may enter the competition even if their research results have not been fully finalized.

Registration for the 2021 competition is now closed.

  • Presentations are limited to three minutes; competitors exceeding three minutes will be disqualified.
  • Competitors will present their research to a panel of judges in real time via Zoom.
  • Design one static slide to be displayed throughout the presentation. All slides must be submitted as a pdf image (1024x768 pixels).
  • No slide transitions, animations, or ‘movement’ are allowed.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g., no poems, raps, or songs).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g., sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g., laser pointers, costumes, musical instruments, or laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a competitor starts their presentation through either movement or speech.

When deciding what to include on the slide to accompany your presentation, let the phrase "less is more" be your guide.

  • Your slide should be clear and concise. Remember, the judges are concentrating on you and your presentation—three minutes offers very little time to focus on an overly-detailed slide.
  • Choose quality images, and if you include text, be certain the font is clear and easy to read.
  • Create a draft of your slide. Show it to your friends/relatives and ask them to describe what they see. Their objective responses will help you create the most effective slide to enhance your winning presentation.
  • Preliminary rounds of the competition will be held February 2, 4, and 5, 2021. Competitors will present their research to a panel of judges in real time via Zoom. Prerecorded video entries will not be accepted.
  • Finalists selected will present their three minute presentation with slide to a panel of judges on Friday, February 26, 2021 beginning at 1:30 p.m. Zoom connection information: 
  • Prize winners will be announced following the competition. The decision of the judging panel is final.
  • Cash prizes will be awarded.
  • First Place - $2000
  • Runner-up - $1500
  • People's Choice Award - $1000
  • The OU-Norman Graduate College will invite the winner to compete March 25-26, 2021 in the 3MT Competition as part of the annual meeting of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools. The competition will most likely be held in a virtual format. Additional details are forthcoming.

January 22, 2021

  • Deadline to submit single static slide and title of presentation

February 2, 2021

  • Preliminary competitions, 9:30-11:00 a.m. or 2:00-3:30 p.m., via Zoom

February 4, 2021

  • Preliminary competitions, 9:30-11:00 a.m. or 2:00-3:30 p.m., via Zoom

February 5, 2021

  • Preliminary competitions, 9:30-11:00 a.m. or 2:00-3:30 p.m., via Zoom

February 15, 2021

  • Finalists will be chosen to present at the final 3MT competition.  

February 26, 2021

  • Final 3MT® competition begins at 1:30 p.m.
  • The First Place, Runner-up, and People's Choice Award winners will be announced immediately after the judges conclude their deliberations.
  • Additional details are forthcoming.

March 25-26, 2021

  • The winner of the OU 3MT® Competition is invited to compete in the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) 3MT® Competition, as part of the MAGS annual meeting. The meeting and competition will most likely be held in a virtual format. Additional details are forthcoming.

Questions? Contact the Graduate College:

Linda Kelly, Assistant to the Dean, lindakelly@ou.edu