Three- Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition

Congratulations to the 2024 3MT winners!

Sarah Davis
Ph.D. Biological & Environmental Sciences

Md Abdullah al Rumon
Ph.D. Electrical Engineering

Helani Singhapurage
Ph.D. Physics

And thank you to all finalists who did a phenomenal job!

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an exceptional opportunity for URI graduate students to hone their research communication skills and compete for recognition and prizes. Participating in URI’s 3MT competition will sharpen your ability to convey the central point of your research findings to a general audience in a vivid, cogent, and jargon-free style.

Embark upon the 3MT Challenge:

What would it mean to translate your research into a three-minute presentation? Could you capture an audience’s attention without reverting to academic jargon? Is it possible for a stand-alone slide to demonstrate the breadth and rigor of your research? Yes, by participating in 3MT!

At the University of Rhode Island, 3MT participants can expect to advance their professionalization and job-market readiness while embracing camaraderie across disciplines.

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

3MT Timeline & Prizes


  • Fall 2023: Training Workshop Series
  • Jan 30, 2024: Video Submissions Due by 11:59 p.m.
  • Feb 2024: Announcement of First-Round Results
  • Mar 21, 2024: University-Wide Finals, 6-8 p.m. (all graduate students are invited)
  • Apr 2024: Winner Advances to Regional Competition


$1,000.00 for first place
$500.00 for Runner Up
$500.00 for People’s Choice
Paper Certificates for all Finalists

Resources for Participants

Internal URI Resources

3MT resources

Model Presentations

Other Resources

How will I prepare and submit my first round video?

How can you create your video? So, you are not a professional videographer or haven’t done something like this before?  Your video can be as high tech or low tech as you want to go.  Videos can be created simply using a smartphone, or in a more professional manner.  

  • Video submissions are limited to 3 minutes
  • Presentations should be in spoken word format (no poems, no rap, no songs, no additional electronic media like sound and video files, no additional props are allowed).
  • The 3 minute submission needs to be continuous without any interruptions or edits.
  • A single static slide is permitted in the presentation (no slide transitions, animations, or ‘movement’ of any description). This can be visible continuously, or ‘cut to’ (as many times as you like) for a maximum of 1 minute or submitted via email if not included in the presentation.
  • Video submissions need to meet the following criteria to qualify for judging:
    • Must be filmed from a single camera angle throughout the presentation
    • Camera position should be horizontal so that the presenter is clearly visible under the lighting
    • Presenter needs to be seen physically in the video
    • Clear audio with no background noise
    • Clear visibility of text and figures on the slide 
    • Static slide with no animations, slide transitions or movements
    • The slide background can be white or any other color, as long as the images (and the text within the images) are clearly visible on the screen.
    • You can include a title slide with the title of your talk and the 3MT logo and then your static slide
  • The decision of the judging panel is final and cannot be challenged.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation by speaking. (Timing commences from when the competitor starts speaking, not from the start of the video)
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Please note: competitors *will not* be judged on video/ recording quality or editing capabilities (optional inclusions). Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MT PowerPoint slide.

Video Submission

  • Please email your 1st Round, 3-minute video submission youtube link to Cara Mitnick by January 26, 11:59pm. Upload your video file to YouTube and be sure to select that the video is “not made for kids” under the “Audience”  section of the “Details” tab on the upload page.  And, make sure your video is set to “Unlisted,” which can be found under the “Visibility” tab on the upload page. 
  • Not sure how to upload to YouTube? First, use YouTube help. For remaining help, ask Diana Fontaine, Professional Development TA for assistance.

How will I be judged?

See this rubric for judging criteria

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 viewer’s attention?
  • Did the presenter have sufficient eye contact, and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the poster board, slide, or image enhance the presentation – was it clear and concise?

Please note: competitors *will not* be judged on video/ recording quality or editing capabilities (optional inclusions). Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MT PowerPoint slide.

Upcoming 3MT Events

    1. Half-life Your Research Message! Distill Your Research and Craft Your Scholarly Communication – Thursday, October 26, 9-10:30 a.m., 250 Pastore (Graduate Writing Center). Breakfast served.
    2. Improve Your Research Imagery! Create an Effective 3MT Slide – Wednesday, November 8, 4-5 p.m., via Zoom.
    3. Create an Effective, and Concise Research Talk with Word Pictures! -Thursday, November 16, 4-5:30 p.m., 250 Pastore (Graduate Writing Center). Pizza served.
    4. 3MT Script Design – December and January TBD