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Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition 

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

This Fall 2017, FAU's Graduate College hosts the University's second annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition. This exciting opportunity is open to any active, enrolled FAU graduate student in good academic standing with the University. This competition provides all participants with a unique and invaluable professional development experience and championship winners are awarded graduate student research scholarships and awards up to $2,500, with the possibility to win up to $5,500 to support one's graduate student research.

Apply to compete at the Fall 2017 FAU 3MT® Competition!


Apply to Compete!

Note: Application closes September 1, 2017.

Get Involved

Volunteer opportunities are available in a variety of areas.

Check back soon for more announcements.

Congratulations 2016 3MT® Championship Winners!

Congratulations to the inaugural 3MT® Championship winner, Mickelene Hoggard, whose research is titled, "Snail Spit to Medicine." Mickelene is a doctoral candidate in chemistry from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. 

Download the 3MT® Championship program booklet.

Watch FAU's interview with inaugural 3MT® Champion, Mickelene Hoggard.

What is 3MT®?

The 3MT® competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by graduate 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, in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

The first 3MT® competition was held at the University of Queensland in 2008 with 160 students competing. In 2009 and 2010 the 3MT® competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities and enthusiasm for the concept grew. Since 2011, the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT® competitions are now held in over 170 universities across more than 18 countries worldwide.

2016 FAU 3MT® Three Minute Thesis Championship Winner

Mickelene Hoggard 

"Snail Spit to Medicine"

FAU 3MT® Championship Winner and Heat 7 First-Runner Up and People's Choice Winner.

Doctoral candidate, Chemistry
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science 
Advisor: Dr. Mare Cudic



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 a 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 FAU 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.


  • 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 (i.e. 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.

FAU's 3MT® Competition with Aaron Shapiro

How to Judge the FAU 3MT® Competition with Aaron Shapiro

Judging Criteria

At both the Heats and Championship, competitors will be judged on the criteria listed below. Judges can download the 3MT® Judging and Coaching Handbook here.

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 or was the presentation 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?

Tools for Students

University of Notre Dame - 2016 Winner

University of Missouri Kansas City - 2016 Winner
University of Idaho - 2016 Winner

Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne - 2016 Winner
Cornell University - 2016 Winner

Trent University - 2016 Winner

Get Involved


We are seeking coaches! Faculty, staff, and other professionals who would be willing to serve as an individual or group coach and has experience with public speaking and mentoring students. You are welcome to nominate coaches as well. Download the 3MT® Coaching and Judging Handbook.


FAU’s 3MT® event will greatly benefit from your help. Volunteer opportunities are available in a variety of areas, including event day logistics during Preliminary Heats and the Final Competition.


Contact us at 3mt@fau.edu or 561-297-4740. More information on the 3MT® Program can be found on threeminutethesis.org.



Championship Winner
First Runner-Up
$1,500 People's Choice*
$1,000 Second Runner-Up

Heat Winner
First Runner-Up
People's Choice*
Second Runner-Up

*Each audience member gets one vote by paper ballot
Additional scholarships and prizes may become available depending upon sponsorships.

The championship winner will receive a paid trip to compete in the regional 3MT® Competition in Annapolis, Maryland. Other prizes may become available at the heats and championship.

Event Details

2017 3MT® Championship

Date:  Friday, October 27, 2017

Time: Event begins at 6:00 p.m. (arrive by 5:45 p.m.), followed by a reception.

Location:  Boca Raton campus, TBA

3MT® Preliminary Heats

Preliminary Heats are tentatively scheduled to take place October 2-6, 2017. Official event dates, times, and locations to be announced.

The Heat Winner, First Runner-Up, and People's Choice Winners advance to Championship. 

*Dates and times subject to change.

Workshops and Coaching

Stay tuned for upcoming workshops and coaching sessions! See some of the workshops which may be offered for the Fall 2017 3MT® Competition.

Interested in participating in workshops and coaching sessions for the 3MT® Competition? See the listing of workshops available below. 

3MT® Stage Presence Workshops

Preparation. Presentation. Performance. Learn how to draw in an audience with clear communication of complicated ideas, physical presence, and timing. These workshops are not sequential, the same topics will be covered at each session. Presented by Lead with Your Voice.

Introduction to the 3MT® Competition

An overview of the 3MT® Competition, including deadlines, rules, judging criteria, and tips on how to succeed. 

How to Create a 3MT® Static Slide

What should you include on your single static PowerPoint slide? Learn about developing your static slide and more! 

Additional workshops to be added! Please contact 3mt@fau.edu, or speak with your advisor, if you are interested in individual coaching.



The Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.

 Last Modified 6/6/17