3MT at Emory

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ) Australia in which graduate students deliver a compelling presentation to a non-specialist audience in three minutes or less. Since its founding in 2008, 3MT® is now offered at over 600 universities in 60 countries, with winners going on to compete in regional and national events as well.

The Laney Graduate School 3MT® Competition will serve as a skills development program that challenges students to explain their research project to an educated but non-specialist audience.

A note about this year’s format: Please note that this year, the LGS 3MT® competition will take place in an in-person format. To enter the competition, you must first submit an application via this form. Those who are selected to continue to the preliminary round will compete live and will be judged by a panel of preliminary round judges according to the 3MT® rubric. The ten competitors who score the highest during the preliminary round will be invited to compete live in the Final round to an audience of LGS students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

3MT Competition Schedule

Date and Time


January 21, 2022

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.  

3MT® Information Session

via Zoom

(Register to attend here)
February 4, 2022

3MT® Application Due

(Apply to compete for 3MT at Emory)
Week of February 22, 2022

Preliminary Round

April 6, 2022

4 p.m. – 6 p.m.   

3MT® Finals Competition

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.

Why participate in the 3MT?

Benefits include the opportunity to:

  • share your work and its impact with a wider audience

  • enhance your ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience - in the 3MT competition, in an elevator talk, or at a family picnic

  • refine your public speaking and presentation skills

  • expand your professional network

  • gain media exposure - finalist videos are posted to Laney's YouTube Channel and winners are highlighted in Laney publications

  • be a part of a growing university trend - 3MTs are now held at over 600 universities in 60 countries and Emory's winner can participate in additional 3MT showcases and events

3MT at Emory

The competition is judged by a panel comprised of a diverse group of professionals (academic and non-academic) with a wide range of professional expertise. 

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.

LGS 3MT Planning Committee Members

  • Heather Boldt
  • Allyson Michael
  • Rob Pearson
  • Monica Polisetty
  • Ashley Turner

2021 Winning Presentation

1st Place 3MT Presentation "Towards an Innovative Water Purification System" by Misael Romero-Reyes.