3 Minute Thesis Competition

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Noon-1:00 pm in the University Center Theater

Created at the University of Queensland (Australia), 3MT® provides graduate students the opportunity to develop their professional presentation and research communication skills. The objective of the event is to distill projects into an engaging three-minute presentation designed for a general (non-specialist) audience using just one slide.

If you have any questions about the 3 Minute Thesis Competition, please contact the Graduate School: grad@wcu.edu 

Register Now

  

Frequently Asked Questions

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE?

All WCU graduate students can participate, whether in a residential or distance program.

MY PROGRAM DOES NOT REQUIRE A THESIS. CAN I STILL PARTICIPATE?

Yes! All types of professional projects are appropriate topics for a 3MT® presentation—business plans, meta-analyses (watch an example), literature reviews, and original research.

I AM A FIRST-YEAR MASTER’S STUDENT AND MY PROJECT IS NOT VERY FULLY DEVELOPED. CAN I PARTICIPATE?

Yes! Preliminary data can be presented in a 3MT® competition. After all, you are presenting for only three minutes. You can provide limited data in that amount of time; just be sure to inform your audience how this data highlights future research. (Watch an example of a 3MT® winner presenting preliminary research.)

WHY SHOULD I PARTICIPATE?

3MT® will help you hone an important skill needed as a graduate student and professional. The ability to distill complex information into a short speech with high impact for a lay audience is a valuable skill for all aspects of one’s life.


If that is not reason enough, how about this? The top winner in WCU’s competition will receive a $500 scholarship to be credited to their student account. Second-place and People's Choice winners will each receive a $250 scholarship. The first-place winner will represent WCU at the Council of Southern Graduate Schools regional competition on February 14-16, 2019 Knoxville, TN (expenses paid).

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR A GOOD PRESENTATION?

YouTube has examples of good 3MT® presentations. An effective presentation tells the audience why the research is important, and it hooks the audience early. A metaphor or comparison is also useful for the audience. Be sure to tell the audience what your research reveals, but do not bog them down in the minutia. The Graduate School will provide coaching for students. You can learn more about 3MT® here: http://threeminutethesis.org.

Here are some example presentations related to subject/discipline that might inspire you to participate.

  

YouTube has examples of good 3MT® presentations. An effective presentation tells the audience why the research is important, and it hooks the audience early. A metaphor or comparison is also useful for the audience. Be sure to tell the audience what your research reveals, but do not bog them down in the minutia. Faculty advisors/sponsors often serve as a coaching resource, but if you desire additional coaching assistance, please contact the Graduate School. 

WHAT ARE THE RULES?

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. Slide must be a normal 4:3 size. 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.

 

HOW ARE THE PRESENTATIONS JUDGED?

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?

  

3MT Competition - 2017  

Three Minute thesis

Acting Chancellor Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar congratulates the 2017 Three Minute Thesis participants

  

First Place
Maci LeQuire
“Only a Woman’s Pamphlet:” Caroline Norton’s Feminist Rhetoric in “A Letter to the Queen…”
MA English

Second Place
Mary Jessamine Michaels
D.U.K.E.S. of Biohazard: Detecting Unknown Evidentiary Samples with the MinION Sequencer
MS Biology

People's Choice
Sarah Britton
Indirect Effects of House Wrens on Reproductive Behavior of Carolina Chickadees”
MS Biology

  



 






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