What is 3MT?
Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland. Ph.D. students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance. 3MT is not an exercise in trivialising or ‘dumbing-down’ research, but challenges students to consolidate their ideas and research discoveries so they can be presented concisely to a non-specialist audience.
The first 3MT was held at The University of Queensland in 2008 with 160 students competing. Enthusiasm for the 3MT concept grew and its widespread implementation by universities has led to the development of an international competition.
Strong support for 3MT exists in Australia and New Zealand with 44 institutions coming together to participate in the 2013 Trans-Tasman 3MT Competition. The event also hosted special guests from Fiji and Hong Kong. The inaugural International U21 competition was also launched in 2013. The global reach of the competition can be seen by the extent of participation with universities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Vietnam also hosting local 3MT events.
In Spring 2014, Washington State University’s College of Education hosted the first 3MT event at the university. In conjunction with the 2015 Academic Showcase, WSU then hosted its first university-level competition. Five WSU colleges sent their respective college-level winner to the main event, and in the end, it was Emily Johnson from the College of Pharmacy who took home the crown.
In March 2016, WSU again hosted the event, and it was Phillip Uribe from WSU Vancouver that took home the hardware.
The March 2017 title was won by Panshak Dakup from WSU Spokane and the College of Pharmacy.
The March 2018 title was won by Naomi Wallace from the College of Veterinary Medicine.
March 2019 saw Sheena Dong from the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences take the win.
In March 2020, things looked a little different due to the global pandemic, and video was virtual. In a close race, Ashley Vu from the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture won it all.
It’s back once more! This year it will be held on Wednesday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. PDT on Northwest Public Broadcasting.
Why Participate in 3MT?
3MT is part of an effort to provide students with an opportunity to develop their oral communication and presentation skills, specifically as it relates to research.
Skills Training for Students
The exercise develops academic, presentation and research communication skills, while developing research students’ 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 Ph.D. students to come together, get to know one another and talk about their research. It also provides a supportive environment in which universities and their colleges can provide presentation skills training.
Let’s not beat around bush. Competitors have the chance to earn $$$. How much, you may ask? How about $3,000 for the winner, $1,500 for second place, and $500 for third! The money will be a travel award to go toward a research conference of your choice.