3MT at Emory

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia for research students.What is 3MT?

The exercise challenges research higher degree (PhD) students to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes. 3MT® develops 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. 3MT® is not an exercise in trivializing or ‘dumbing-down’ research but forces students to consolidate their ideas and crystalize their research discoveries.

3MT at Emory

The 3MT at Emory competition serves as a skills development program that challenges students to explain their research project either through verbal or written communication to a non-specialist audience.

Students can compete in one of two ways: Presentation or Abstract. Both competitions are judged by a panel comprised of a diverse group of professionals (academic and non-academic) with a wide range of professional expertise. The program was piloted at Emory in spring 2013.

How It Works

Presentation Rules

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration). 
  • 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 (eg. no poems, raps or songs). 
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage. 
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech. 
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final. 
Abstract Rules
  • A single page is permitted. At the top students should list their name, program, and title of thesis or dissertation.
  • The abstract may not exceed one page.
  • The abstract is limited to 350 words (not counting the title).
  • May be single spaced.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final. 


Presentation Competition:
  • Winner - $750
  • Runner-up - $500
  • People's Choice Award - $250
Abstract Competition:
  • Winner - $500
  • Honorable mentions - amounts vary


Interested in participating?

Click Here to Register! 

Important Dates, 2015

  • March 17: Information Session (4pm, 206 Administration Building)
  • April 1: Sign up to compete (complete survey at link above)
  • April 15: Deadline for abstracts
  • April 24: Presentation Competition (4pm, Oxford Presentation Room - Oxford Road Bldg, 1390 Oxford Rd.)

Handout (includes dates)


Cora MacBeth


Spring 2014 Winners

  • Oral Competition: Shardule Shah (IMP, GDBBS)
  • Abstract Competition: Caitlin Davis (Chemistry)
  • People's Choice (verbal): Zachary Eyster (Religion)