Three Minute Thesis participant

What is the 3MT?

An 80,000 word thesis would take 9 hours to present. The 3MT time limit ... 3 minutes.


  • The 3-Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition that challenges students to communicate the significance of their projects without the use of props or industry jargon, in just three minutes.
  • Originally established by the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2008, the competition challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects in just three minutes, with the aid of a single, static slide.

3MT develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students' capacity to quickly explain their research in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience leaving them wanting to know more. 

Competitions at the University of Minnesota

Three Minute Thesis Logo

Collegiate-level 3MT Competitions

University-wide 3MT Competition

  • The Graduate School hosts a University-wide competition held every November. 
  • All active graduate students who have advanced from their collegiate competition are eligible. 
  • Previous 3MT winners (first prize, runner-up, and people's choice) are not eligible to compete a second time.

3MT Prizes

  • The University-wide 3MT competition gives cash prizes to 1st place ($500), runner-up ($250), and the winner of a people's choice vote ($150).

3MT Competition Rules

  • Single static PowerPoint slide. No slide transitions, animations, or “movement” of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from beginning of oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, lab equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum, and participants exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps, or songs).
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts her presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

3MT Preparation Resources

Who can I talk to about 3MT?

Please contact Dr. Noro Andriamanalina, Assistant Vice Provost, Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Initiatives: