Communication Skills

Online Write-A-Thon
   October 20, 2020
   10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Online Write-A-Thon
   October 22, 2020
   10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
CGL STEM Communication Fellows
STEM Communication Series: Networking: You Know You Should, But You Don’t Know How
   October 22, 2020
   4:00 PM to 5:30 PM

Whether networking, writing your thesis or dissertation, or in general seeking to strengthen your communication skills, the Center for Graduate Life has a variety or resources to help you succeed. Check the Calendar for upcoming events designed to help build your communication skills.

Three-Minute Thesis

Could you describe your research to a lay audience in only three minutes with just one static slide? Would you like the chance to win $500? The 3-Minute Thesis Competition is the opportunity to try! Register here by October 26. You will then receive instructions for how to submit your recorded presentations by October 31. The final round will be held live online on November 13! 


What is Three-Minute Thesis (3MT®)?
  • 3MT is a competition for graduate students held each fall semester at UNC Charlotte.

  • The event originated at the University of Queensland, Australia in 2008 and is now held at over 600 universities in 85 different countries.

  • Graduate students condense their research into a clear and engaging three-minute presentation supported by only one static slide.

  • Students deliver their presentations before a group of non-specialist judges and audience members who award overall winners and a People’s Choice selection.

Why should you participate?
  • 3MT is a great experience to list on your resume/CV and talk about in interviews.

  • It’s an opportunity to practice and improve your public speaking and communication skills.

  • There are cash prizes for the finalists (up to $500!)

  • The first-place winner progresses to the regional 3MT competition at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools. 

STEM Communication Fellows Program

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the creation of this new program, which has been made possible by a grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. For details, visit the STEM Communication Fellows Program web page.  

CGL GRAD Courses

(Register for graduate courses at

GRAD 6212/8212  Academic Writing for Graduate Students (3 credits)

This course refines academic writing skills, especially those related to writing about empirical research. This course is best suited for graduate students in education, social sciences and STEM disciplines, although students in the humanities may also benefit from it. The course focuses equally on product (i.e., the text) and process (i.e., the steps necessary to complete a text).   In terms of product, you will gain skills to help you effectively produce key parts of an empirical paper: introduction, literature review, methodology, analysis, results, discussion and conclusion. Also, explore different academic genres relevant to your discipline, which may include conference proposals, book reviews, and research articles; then produce a relevant academic genre of your choice.  With respect to process, you will learn best practices for composing scholarly pieces of writing, from drafting through editing text. You will also learn strategies for planning a large writing project, developing a regular writing schedule, managing procrastination and perfectionism and responding to critical feedback.

Notes:  Students must be enrolled in a graduate program terminating in a Master’s degree or a doctoral degree.  Students who do not speak English as a first language must have already taken GRAD 6210/8210 or gained prior approval from the instructor to enroll in GRAD Special Topics Course.

GRAD 6000/8000 Making Dissertations Happen: Managing Writing & Life (2 credits)

This course will help you manage your dissertation work through such topics as prioritizing your dissertation, writing more effectively and efficiently, improving your productivity, strengthening your relationship with your dissertation advisor and handling stress in healthier ways.  Join a supportive community of dissertation writers and learn to create more balance in your life.

GRAD 6210/8210 - Graduate Level Writing for International Students (3 credits)

Students who speak English as a second language will learn concepts central to graduate-level writing in the United States such as academic integrity, audience awareness, discipline-specific variation in writing norms and culture and rhetorical purpose. Graded on a Pass/Unsatisfactory basis. (Fall, Spring)

GRAD 6340/8340 Data Analysis and Presentation for Impact (2 credits)

Learn to gather, organize and present data for understanding and impact in a professional setting. Helps develop decision-making and predictive modeling.