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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 2016, FAU's Graduate College hosted the University's inaugural Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition. This exciting opportunity is open to any active 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 research scholarships and awards up to $2,500, with the possibility to win up to $5,500 to support one's graduate research.

Congratulations 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 Presentations

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


Stephanie Kelly
"Of Flies and Men: Insights from an Age-Related Stress Tolerance Assay"

FAU 3MT® Championship First Runner-Up and Heat 8 First Runner-Up
Doctoral candidate, Integrative Biology
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science 
Advisor: Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully & Dr. William Ja

Mikhail Guseynov
"Understanding Public Speaking"

FAU 3MT® Championship People's Choice Winner and Heat 4 First Runner-Up and People's Choice Winner
Master’s candidate, Business Administration
College of Business 
Advisor: Michelle Williams

Keith Murphy
"Postprandial Sleep Mechanics in Drosophila"

FAU 3MT® Championship Second Runner-Up and Heat 2 Winner and People's Choice Winner
Doctoral candidate, Integrative Biology 
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Advisor: Dr. Ken Dawson-Scully

Alberto Padilla
"Fatal Millenary Malady"

FAU 3MT® Heat 1 First Runner-Up
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine

Betsy Evans
"The Times They are A-Changin': Wood Stork Response to Human Development" 

FAU 3MT® Heat 6 First Runner-Up
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science 

Vassilia Binensztok
"Reflective Practice and Student Counselors' Case Conceptualization Skills"

FAU 3MT® Heat 4 Winner
College of Education 

Catalina Aranzazu-Suescun
"Event-based Clustering for Composite Event Detection in Wireless Sensors Networks" 

FAU 3MT® Heat 3 First Runner-Up
College of Engineering and Computer Science 

Douglas Holmes
"Making Pathogen Detection Safe With Synthetic Biology"

FAU 3MT® Heat 6 Winner 
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science 

Rachel Finley
"The Lie that Tells the Truth"

FAU 3MT® Heat 5 Winner and People's Choice Winner
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters 

Carlie Perricone
"Assessment of Fecal Pollution in Recreational Waters"

FAU 3MT® Heat 8 Winner and People's Choice Winner
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science 

Eric Nieves
"Magnetic Fields Created by Underwater Waves"

FAU 3MT® Heat 3 Winner and People's Choice Heat 3 Winner
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Shannon Ouellette
"Finding Empathy Through the Secondary Consciousness of Acting"

FAU 3MT® Heat 5  First Runner-Up
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters 

Kyle Newton
"Magnetoreception: Mutant Superpower of Stingrays"

FAU 3MT® Heat 6 People's Choice Winner and Second Runner-Up
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science  

Michael Miller 
"Approaches to Group Problem Solving"

FAU 3MT® Heat 2 First Runner-Up
College for Design and Social Inquiry

Victoria Erb
"Nest to Surf Mortality of Loggerhead (Caretta Caretta) Sea Turtle Hatchlings on Florida’s East Coast"

FAU 3MT® Heat 7 Winner
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science 

Nirthieca Suthakaran
"The Roles of MsrA and MsrB in Anoxia Tolerance in Aging Drosophila Melanogaster"

FAU 3MT® Heat 1 Winner and People's Choice Winner
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine  


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 Inaugural 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 throughout the Fall 2016 semester as well as for event day logistics during Preliminary Heats and the Final Competition.


Interested in participating, but want more information, or just want to know more about 3MT®? Fill out this short survey.



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

3MT® Championship

Date:  Friday, November 18, 2016

Time:    5:30 - 6:00 p.m.  Registration
   6:00 - 7:00 p.m.  3MT® Competition Finals
   7:00 - 8:00 p.m.  Reception 

Location:  Lifelong Learning Society, Boca Raton Campus

3MT® Preliminary Heats

Wednesday, October 19
Majestic Palm, Student Union, Boca Raton campus
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Colleges competing: Nursing, Medicine, Science
Wednesday, October 19
LY 501, Wimberly Library, Boca Raton campus
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Colleges competing: Business, Education, Design and Social Inquiry
Thursday, October 20 
Majestic Palm, Student Union, Boca Raton campus
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Colleges competing: Engineering and Computer Science
Thursday, October 20
LY 501, Wimberly Library, Boca Raton campus
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Colleges competing: Business, Education, Design and Social Inquiry
Thursday, October 20
Room PA 101, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, Boca Raton Campus
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Colleges competing: Arts and Letters
Friday, October 21
NU 202, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Boca Raton campus
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 
Colleges competing: Nursing, Medicine, Science
Friday, October 21
LY 501, Wimberly Library, Boca Raton campus
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Colleges competing: Nursing, Medicine, Science
Thursday, November 3 
Harbor Branch Johnson Education Center Auditorium, Harbor Branch campus
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Colleges competing: Science, Business, Education, Nursing

The Heat Winner, First Runner-Up, and People's Choice Winners advance to Championship. Click here to see the Heat winners.
Download the Heat Schedule flyer here.  

Workshops and Coaching

Stay tuned for upcoming workshops and coaching sessions!

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

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 (Katie Burke). Register here .

Date: Wednesday, September 21
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Location: CM 130

Date: Tuesday, October 4
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: GS 115

Date: Monday, October 17
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: CM 128 

Introduction to the 3MT® Competition

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

Date: Wednesday, September 28
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: CM 125

Date: Wednesday, October 12
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: CM 125 (with video conference to Davie, Jupiter, and HBOI - rooms TBA)

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! Refreshments will be provided. Presented by GPSA Director, Daniel Dorado. Register here .

Date: TBA - Rescheduled due to storm
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Office Depot Center (OD 101)

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 12/22/16