Three Minute Thesis Application

Competition Details

Date: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020
Time: Competition will begin 10 a.m.; competitors must check in by 9:30 a.m.
1819 Innovation Hub, room 230

  • 3MT presentations are timed; competitors who exceed the three minute time limit during the competition will be disqualified.
  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. 
  • The winner will receive a $1,000 award, which will be posted to their Catalyst student account.
  • Visit the Three Minute Thesis page for all rules and judging criteria.


The deadline to apply for the UC 3MT competition is Sunday, Nov. 24, by 11:59 p.m.


  • All UC master's and doctoral students enrolled during the 2019-20 AY are eligible to participate.
  • Students must attend least one of the "Composing Your Presentation Toolkit" workshops offered by the Graduate School in order to be considered for the competition. Applicants may attend a workshop before or after they submit their 3MT application. The Graduate School will track workshop participation.

Criteria and Timeline

  • The application requires submission of a 30 second video. 
    • The video should introduce your research/scholarship and explaining (briefly) why it makes a significant contribution to your discipline.
    • Your video will be evaluated on your ability to communicate your research, not on the production quality of the video.
    • For ideas on how to structure your video, view this video from the CIRM Elevator Pitch Challenge or this excerpt from The University of Manchester's PhD Elevator Pitch Presentation.
    • To protect your intellectual property, please upload your video to a private cloud storage folder such as DropBox, OneDrive, or Google Drive. You will enter the link to your video in the application form. Make sure your video is able to be viewed until December 21, 2019.
  • Applications will be reviewed by a selection commitee. Applicants will be notified before the end of the calendar year whether they have been selected to compete.
  • Competitors must attend specialized training in early spring semester to further prepare for the 3MT. Multiple sessions will be offered on a variety of days and times, and competitors will sign up for their training on a first come, first serve basis. More information will be provided to those selected to compete. 
  • The winner of UC's 2020 Three Minute Thesis competition will be registered to compete in the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools' regional 3MT competition. The MAGS 3MT competition will be held on Friday, April 3, 2020 during the MAGS annual meeting.