Home / Graduate College / Three Minute Thesis

Florida Atlantic University's Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition
An 80,000 word thesis would take 9 hours to present....their time limit is 3 minutes

This Fall 2018, FAU Graduate College will host the University's Third Annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition. This exciting competition challenges FAU graduate students to present their research in only 3 minutes. Students compete in a heat specific to their discipline; the First Place, Runner-Up, Second Runner-Up, and People's Choice winners from each heat advance to the Championship. Scholarship prizes are awarded to both Heat and Championship winners. Audience members determine the People's Choice winner by electronic ballot at each Heat and at the Championship. 2018 Championship - Friday, November 2.


Questions? Contact us at 3mt@fau.edu or 561-297-6065.


 RSVP to attend the Championship!


Stay tuned for 2019 registration. 


Several opportunities available.


Support 3MT Scholarships!

Congratulations to FAU's 2018 3MT® Winners!

FAU's third-annual 3MT® Championship took place Friday, November 2, at 6:30 p.m., 2018, at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Barry & Florence Friedberg Auditorium (Boca Raton campus).

Congratulations to FAU's 2017 3MT® Winners!

The University’s second annual 3MT® Championship took place Friday, October 20, at 6:30 p.m., 2017, at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Auditorium (Boca Raton campus).

What is the Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®)?

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) celebrates the exciting research conducted by gradaute students around the world. Developed by  The University of Queensland (UQ) in 2008, 3MT competitions are now held in over  600 universities and institutions across 65 countries worldwide . 

The goal of the 3MT® competition is for FAU graduate students from all departments and colleges to cultivate the ability to explain their research, including both breadth and significance, in a language appropriate to an audience containing both specialists and non-specialists. Graduate students must present their research in 3 minutes and are allowed one PowerPoint slide , but no other resources or props

The 3MT® competition provides FAU graduate students with the  opportunity to sharpen their professional development skills, reignite their passion for discovery, promote preeminent research, and foster community.  FAU 3MT® is a venue for graduate students from various disciplines to interact with one another and discuss their research and its implications.  The competition provides an opportunity for undergraduates, alumni, industry partners, various on-campus departments/institutions and the community to gain exposure to high-level, cutting-edge research being performed at Florida Atlantic University. 


  • 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.

Judging Criteria

Comprehension and Content (10 Points Possible)

  • 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 (10 Points Possible)

  • 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?


Scoring is the same for Heats and the Championship. The First Place, Runner-Up, Second Runner-Up, and People's Choice winners from each Heat win scholarship prizes and advance to the Championship.

First Place, Runner-Up, and Second Runner-Up Awards

  • A panel of judges determines the First Place, Runner-up, and Second Runner-up winners.
  • The number of judges on each judging panel may vary, however, it is the Graduate College's priority to ensure fair competition by carefully selecting each judging panel. 
  • Judges give competitors scores of 0-10 in two categories (detailed above). Scores are tallied for each competitor.
  • Competitors with the top three scores are named First Place, Runner-up, and Second Runner-up. 

People's Choice Awards

  • Audience members determine People's Choice winners.
  • Each member of the audience gets one vote by electronic ballot.
  • The competitor with the most audience votes is the People's Choice winner. Please note: the People's Choice winner may also win First Place, Runner-Up, or Second-Runner-Up. 

2017 FAU 3MT® Three Minute Thesis Championship Winner

Boris Tezak 

"Sea Turtle Sex Ratios in a Changing Climate"

FAU 3MT® Championship Winner and People's Choice Winner and Heat 7 People's Choice Winner.

Doctoral candidate, Integrative Biology
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science 
Advisor: Dr. Jeanette Wyneken



Keith Murphy
"Using Light to Control Meal Size"

FAU 3MT® Championship First Runner-Up and Heat 1 Second Runner‐Up
Doctoral candidate, Integrative Biology 
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science 
Advisor: Dr. Ken Dawson‐Scully & Dr. William Ja

Bryan Conklin
"Designing a Brain‐Computer-Interface that Improves Memory"

FAU 3MT® Championship Second Runner-Up and Heat 7 Second Runner‐Up
Doctoral candidate, Complex Systems and Brian Science
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science  
Advisor: Dr. Steven Bressler 

Emily Stark
"The Nose Knows: Applications in Machine Olfaction"

FAU 3MT® Heat 7 Overall Winner
Doctoral candidate, Experimental Psychology 
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Advisor: Dr. Elan Barenholtz 

Cristina Pimenta
"Democracy in China: Paradox or Possibility?"

FAU 3MT® Heat 3 Overall Winner; Heat 3 
People's Choice Winner

Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters 

Julia Roblyer
"Smell‐O-Vision: Using Human Odorant Binding Protein to Measure  Landfill Odors"

FAU 3MT® Heat 2 First Runner‐Up
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Brian McMahon
"Early Warning Systems: Predicting Student Success"

FAU 3MT® Heat 5 First Runner‐Up
College of Education 

Natalie Bermudez 
"Exploring Moral Comfort in Nurses" 

FAU 3MT® Heat 6 First Runner‐Up
Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing 

Marisa Martinez
"Forecasting the Future of Coastal Ecosystems: A Bird's Eye View"

FAU 3MT® Heat 1 First Runner‐Up
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science 

Nicole Reid
"Game Time"

FAU 3MT® Heat 5 Overall Winner
College of Education 

Joseph Niederhauser
"The Secret Lives of Sparrows"

FAU 3MT® Heat 4 First Runner‐Up
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science 

Kirstie Tandberg
"Marine Natural Products as Cancer Therapies: Screening for Survivin Inhibitors"

FAU 3MT® Heat 8 Second Runner‐Up
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Nandini Singh
"Transformers of the Sugar Code"

FAU 3MT® Heat 1 Overall Winner; Heat 1 People's Choice Winner
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Breanna DeGroot
"Movement and Habitat use of Spotted Eagle Rays throughout Florida"

FAU 3MT® Heat 8 First Runner‐Up (tie)
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science  

Mikhail Guseynov
"The Association Between Positive Mentality and Academic Success"

FAU 3MT® Heat 6 Overall Winner; Heat 6 People's Choice Winner
College of Business 

Rachel Bladow
"Sea Turtle Development in a Changing Climate: Goldilocks Temperatures are Hard to Find"

FAU 3MT® Heat 4 Overall Winner; Heat 4 People's Choice Winner
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science 

Bob Halstead 
"Connecting the Dots in the Circle of Life: A Fish Story"

FAU 3MT® Heat 8 First Runner‐Up (tie)
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Nicholas Davenport
"Mind Body 1:  Training the Brain by Training the Body"

FAU 3MT® Heat 5 Second Runner‐Up
College of Education

Rachel Saless  
"Singing Behavior in the Northern Cardinal"

FAU 3MT® Heat 4 Second Runner‐Up
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Malissa Sanon 
"Who’s Your Cody?"

FAU 3MT® Heat 5 People's Choice Winner
College of Education

Eric Nieves
"Multiple‐Vehicle Based Underwater Sensing"

FAU 3MT® Heat 2 Overall Winner; Heat 2 People's Choice Winner
College of Engineering and Computer Science 

Felicia Cooper
"Sudden Death due to Pulmonary Embolism Arising from Occult  Ovarian Cancer"

FAU 3MT® Heat 7 First Runner‐Up
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine

Gabriela Tortoledo
"Marianne from the Tropics: Finding the Feminist Between the Lines"

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

Michael Miller
"Diffusion of Mission-Related Investing by University and Foundation Endowments"

FAU 3MT® Heat 6 Second Runner‐Up
College for Design and Social Inquiry

Daniel Creed  
"You Are What You...Read"

FAU 3MT® Heat 3 Second Runner‐Up
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters 

Brandon McHenry
"Zombie Bacteria: Understanding the Viable but Nonculturable State of Vibrio vulnificus"

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



FAU's 3MT® Competition with Aaron Shapiro

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

Tools for Students

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 2016 3MT® Heat Winners

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

Watch the 3MT® Championship Red Carpet Interviews



Contact us at 3mt@fau.edu or 561-297-6065. 


Event Details


Date: Friday, November 2
Location: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium 
Time:  6:00 PM Competition | 8:00 PM Reception



$2,500 First Place
$1,500 People's Choice**
$1,000 Second Runner-Up

**Each audience member gets one vote by text message. 


Fall 2018 Championship Scholarships were generously sponsored by:

Kelly Family Scholarship Fund (Championship Winner)

Kelley Kronenberg Attorneys at Law; Tom Mersch, ESQ., Partner (First Runner-Up)  

Advanced Pediatrics of Boca; Dr. Patricia Anastasio, M.D., F.A.A.P. (People's Choice)

Interested in becoming a sponsor?  Please contact 3mt@fau.edu, 561-297-6065, or donate online here.  


 The Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. More information on the 3MT® Program can be found on  threeminutethesis.org


 Last Modified 11/13/18