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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 nearly 900 universities and institutions across 86 countries worldwide.

The goal of the 3MT® competition is for Florida Atlantic 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 Florida Atlantic graduate students with the opportunity to sharpen their professional development skills, reignite their passion for discovery, promote preeminent research, and foster community. Florida Atlantic 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.


  • 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 considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or movement) and 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.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  • Competition Rules (read more)

Judging Criteria

  • At every level of the competition, each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below. Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.
  • Comprehension and Content

    • Presentation provided clear motivation, background and significance to the research question
    • Presentation clearly described the research strategy/design and the results/findings of the research
    • Presentation clearly described the conclusions, outcomes and impact of the research
  • Engagement and Communication

    • The oration was delivered clearly, and the language was appropriate for a non-specialist audience
    • The PowerPoint slide was well-defined and enhanced the presentation
    • The presenter conveyed enthusiasm for their research and captured and maintained the audience’s attention


  • Scoring is the same for Preliminary Rounds 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, Second Runner-up Awards

  • A panel of esteemed judges (faculty, administrators, and Florida Atlantic community members) determine 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 for 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.
  • 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.