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The 3 Minute Thesis Challenge

The 3MT challenges students to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience. Using only one static PowerPoint slide, do you have what it takes to present your research in 3 minutes or less to a panel of judges? Prizes: First place: $300, Second Place: $150, Third Place: $50, People’s choice: $250. The competition celebrates the discoveries made by research students and encourages their skill in communicating the importance of research to the broader community. Check out the video below for a look into the 3MT experience.

Check out the 3MT Flyer for a list of the upcoming events. If you need help preparing for your 3MT then consider attending one of our 3MT workshops!


3MT Practice Round:


3MT First Round:

  • Who: Open to all Graduate Students (spaces limited)
  • When: March 6th and 7th from 3:00-5:00pm each day
  • Where: MUB Theaters I & II
  • Register: https://www.gradschool.unh.edu/php/reg.php
  • Note: Students must be available for one of the first round dates as well as the final round


3MT Final Round:

  • Who: Top 12 students from first round advance
  • When: April 3rd from 3:00-5:00pm
  • Where: MUB Theater II
  • Register: CLOSED


Challenge Rules

While preparing your 3 Minute Thesis presentation, we ask that you please note the following:

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or "movement" of any description are allowed. 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 front of the theater.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Judging Criteria

3 Minute Thesis presentation will be judged on the following:

Comprehension and Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation - or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect so that other aspects of the presentation felt rushed?

Engagement and Communication

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?


photo of 2016 3 Minute Thesis winners and Graduate School staff

Congratulations to the 2018 3MT Winners

The top 12 finalists competed in the final round of UNH Graduate School's second annual 3 Minute Thesis competition, which was held on April 30. Be sure to check out videos of the 2018 3MT winners! We are grateful to the judges and spectators who came out to support our grad students as the condensed their years of research into just 3 minutes! We would like to thank all of our 3MT judges for supporting the work of our students, and we would also like to thank all of the graduate students who participated in the Challenge. We look forward to next year's event!