Fall 2018 (3MT®) Competition

3MT trademark imageThree Minute Thesis (3MT®) celebrates the exciting research conducted by doctoral and master’s students. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the exercise cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes with just one slide.

About the Competition 
Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is professional international research communication competition. Participants are challenged to clearly and engagingly communicate their research to a non-specialist audience in just 3 minutes with one, static, slide. The final competition will be held on Friday, November 9 from 3:00-5:00pm.   This year's final competitors are: 

Sarah Abdellahi, Computing and Information Systems
Akshay Ayyanchira, Computer Science
Gizem Bacaksizlar,
Computing and Information Systems
Xueying Brown,
Infrastructure and Environmental Systems
Christina Danis. Public Policy
Jack Flinchum,
Organizational Science
Anindita Ghosh, Biology
Donna Goodenow, Biology
Hyunjae Jeon, Biology
Prem Pugalenthi,
Curriculum and Instruction
Vidhushini Srinivasan, Computer Science

Winners from the final round will receive cash prizes: first place ($500), runner-up ($400), and people’s choice [voted on by the audience] ($200). The first place winner will also receive travel funding to represent UNC Charlotte at the Conference of Southern Graduate School’s annual meeting. Master- and Doctoral-level students who have defended their thesis/dissertation proposal are eligible to compete and registration is limited to 60 students on a first come, first served basis.  Any eligible entries received beyond 60 will be put on a waiting list to be reviewed if space becomes available.

Questions? You can learn more about the 3MT® here: http://threeminutethesis.org. If you have any questions, please email Liana Kreamer at lkreamer@uncc.edu

The History of 3MT
The first 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 Research Higher Degree students competing. In 2009 and 2010 the 3MT competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities and enthusiasm for the concept grew. Due to its adoption in numerous universities, a multi-national event was developed, and the Inaugural Trans-Tasman 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2010.Since 2011, the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT competitions are now held in over 350 universities across more than 18 countries worldwide.

Why participate?

Skills development for research candidates
The exercise develops academic, presentation and research communication skills, while developing research candidates’ ability to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

Building research culture in schools and institutes
3MT provides a valuable opportunity for research higher degree candidates to come together, get to know one another and talk about their research. It also provides a supportive environment in which Schools and Institutes can provide presentation skills training.

Building external relations for the university
3MT winners may go on to represent their university at national and international 3MT competitions which provides an excellent networking and professional development opportunity. Previous 3MT finalists have benefited from invitations to a variety of other networking events following their participation in the competition.

Eligibility: UNC Charlotte’s 3MT competition is open to current master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation students only.


  • 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 (e.g. 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 either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Judging Criteria

Comprehension & 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 or was the presentation rushed?

Engagement & 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?

Congratulations Fall, 2017 3MT Winners!

UNC Charlotte’s Three-Minute Thesis competition on November 10th, 2017 saw ten brave graduate students squeeze years of work and thousands of words into a three-minute presentation using only one slide for support.

Morium Bably, Public Health Science, 1st Place winner. Brittany Ernst, Organizational Science, Runner-up and People’s Choice winner.

2017 UNC Charlotte 3MT participants

Fall, 2017 3MT finalists: top row (from left to right): Pankaj Bhowmik, Payal Bordia, Ali Pouyafard, Vamshidhar Rao Gampala, Britney L. Phippen, Arthur Isaac Christian III; bottom row (from left toright): Brittany Ernst, Morium Bably, Katherine Holtzman;  Not pictured – Neha Mittal.

Morium Bably, Public Health Sciences Ph.D. program, took the First Award in the event that is aimed at sharpening the students’ academic, presentation and communication skills. 

Morium’s presentation on her dissertation, “Reason Behind Delayed Complementary Feeding in Developing Countries,” earned her $500 and the opportunity to represent UNC Charlotte in the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools’ regional competition in Fayetteville, AK, February 24th, 2018.

Brittany Ernst, Organizational Science Ph.D. program, took both the Runner-Up and People’s Choice Awards ($400 and $200 awards, respectively) for her 3-minute presentation on “Boundaries, Copresence, and Entitativity in an Online Sports Forum.”

Other finalists in the Fall, 2017 competition included:

  • Neha Mittal, Biological Sciences Ph.D., Omic approaches to jettison the bully of "Hunger"
  • Ali Pouyafard, Optical Science and Engineering Ph. D., High Precision Surface Measurement using Deflectometry
  • Vamshidhar Rao Gampala, Mechanical Engineering M.Sc., Capturing Movement of a Human Knee Joint
  • Arthur Isaac Christian III, Educational Leadership Ph.D., School Financial Management
  • Katherine Holtzman, Biological Sciences Ph.D., Modulation of Macrophage Inflammatory Activities to Prevent Breast Cancer Progression
  • Payal Bordia, Earth Sciences M.S., Impact of Urbanization on Water Quantity and Quality - A Watershed Approach
  • Pankaj Bhowmik, Electrical Engineering Ph.D., Next Energy Revolution: Power Electronic Transformer
  • Brittany L. Phippen. Biological Sciences Ph.D., Bacterial responses to a suffocating ocean.

Images courtesy of Daniel Jones.

Spring 2017 3MT Competition Highlights

First Place and People's Choice Winner
Shayan Nazari

Danny Yonto