Three Minute Thesis®

Three Minute Thesis

The 3MT® first held at The University of Queensland Australia in 2008 is a research communication activity to help students develop presentation skills for presenting their research to public audiences. The goal of the 3MT® is to train students to present an oration on their research and its relevance to a non-specialist but educated audience in a cogent, understandable and concise manner. Students have only 3 minutes and one static slide to convey to their audience what they do and its importance in a manner that makes their hearers want to know more! Since its inception, enthusiasm for the 3MT® concept has grown with the 3MT® adoption by numerous universities. OSU first held a 3MT® competition in 2013 with our winners competing against 3MT® winners from other universities in the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) regional 3MT® competition.

Our 2013 OSU 3MT® winner Ali Asmari won second place at the 2014 CSGS Regional 3MT® Competition held in San Antonio, Texas.

View Ali Asmari, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, PhD student, “Estimating Impurities to Recycle Combustion Residue”.

Our 2014 OSU 3MT® winner Amanda Curtis won a People’s Choice Award at the 2015 CSGC Regional 3MT® Competition held in New Orleans, Louisiana.

View Amanda Curtis, Animal Science, MS student, “Using Innate Immunity to Fight Off Infections without the Use of Antibiotics”

Our 2015 OSU 3MT® winner Katie McCauley, Plant and Sol Science, MS student, who will represent OSU at the 2016 CSGS Regional 3MT® Competition to be held in Charlottesville, North Carolina.

View Katie McCauley, Plant and Sol Science, MS student, “Improving the Overwintering Capability of Canola”.


Graduate programs with the highest percentage of their students participating in the 3MT® will be awarded Participation Awards of $200 in graduate studies-related travel money per participating student (up to a maximum of $2,000/program). Awards will be made for one program in the categories of small (<15 enrolled students), medium (15-50 enrolled students) and large (>50 enrolled students) sized programs. Encourage students in your program to participate and earn travel funds.


  • Students are eligible to compete in the 3MT® provided that they are currently enrolled in a thesis master’s or doctoral degree program.
  • The topic of the presentation must be directly related to the student’s thesis or dissertation research.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word and cannot consist solely of a poem, rap or song; however, a few lines of a poem, rap or song can be included in the presentation (if these are directly related to the research topic).
  • Reading the presentation from hardcopy notes or electronic devices is not permitted.
  • 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. laser pointers, costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • 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.

Initial 3MT® competitions will be held at the unit and/or college-level. At the unit or college-level, preliminary screening of your 3MT® presentation may be either an uploaded prerecorded video or an in-person presentation depending on the requirements of your unit or college. Competitors selected at the preliminary screening level will move to the college-level competition using an in-person presentation format and similar judging panel composition. Finalists from the college-level competitions will win the opportunity to compete in the 2016 OSU 3MT® Finals at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 3rd in the Student Union Little Theater located on the Stillwater campus.

Judging Criteria
Each of the three judging criteria has equal weight. Note what each criterion has in common: an emphasis on the audience.

  • Communication style: was the thesis/dissertation topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an educated but non-specialist audience?
  • Comprehension: did the presentation help the audience understand the research and its relevance?
  • Engagement: did the oration make the audience want to know more?

2016 OSU 3MT® College Competitions

College of Education
   3:00 PM Wednesday February 4th
   Willard Hall Living Room
College of Human Sciences
   2:30 PM Wednesday February 10th    
   Helmerich Browsing Room, Edmon Low Library
College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
   6:00 PM Thursday February 11th
   101 Ag Hall
Center for Veterinary Health Sciences
   6:00 PM Thursday February 11th      
   McElroy Hall Auditorium     
Center for Health Sciences
   12:00 PM Thursday February 18th     
   D107 OSU-CHS
College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology
   1:00 PM Thursday February 18th     
   102 ATRC
College of Arts and Sciences
   2:00 PM Friday February 19th  
   Helmerich Browsing Room, Edmon Low Library
Graduate College Interdisciplinary and Spears School of Business Preliminary
   3:30 PM Thursday February 25th  
   101 Ag Hall

Three Minute Thesis


Time and Date of Oral Presentations of the Finalists: 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 3rdat the Student Union Little Theater located on the Stillwater campus. Presentations are open to the public. Please invite your friends and program faculty to attend and support you and your college.

Finalists will be showcased on OSTATE.TV