Graduate School to host second annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition

Author: Aaron Bell


3MT Kickoff Event printable poster

The Graduate School will host it’s second annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition beginning with a November 9, Kickoff Event from 5 to 6 p.m. at Legends of Notre Dame. Ph.D. graduate students who have completed their candidacy exams can compete in 3MT®. All graduate students can attend Professional Development workshops related to 3MT to strengthen and polish their presentation skills. If interested, you may register for the Kickoff Event here. Qualifying heats begin in late February 2017 and will culminate in a Final Event on March 23 with a first prize of $2,000.

The goal of the 3MT® competition is for Ph.D. students across all disciplines to explain their research, its breadth and significance, in a language appropriate to an audience of specialists and non-specialists alike, all within three minutes.

“The competition challenges participants to really polish an overview of their work, to distill its essentials, and to dynamically present it,” said Lisa Michaels, program manager for 3MT® Notre Dame and Graduate Career counselor. “Fundamentally, 3MT® is about communication and inspiration.”

Competitors must address a live audience and a panel of judges. Their presentations must be accompanied by a single static slide.

3MT® will be a venue for graduate students from various disciplines to interact with one another and discuss their research and its implications. Additionally, the competition provides an opportunity for undergraduates, alumni, industry partners, various on-campus departments and institutions, and the community to be exposed to the high-level, cutting-edge research being performed at the University of Notre Dame.

Laura Carlson, Dean of the Graduate School, adds that, “Like TEDxUND and the McCloskey Business Plan competition, my hope is that 3MT® will ignite graduate students’ passion for discovery across disciplines, and foster a greater sense of community."

Although the competition is the main event, preparation for 3MT® informs the content of several Professional Development workshops dedicated to developing confident, articulate scholars throughout January and February. “Distilling Your Scholarly Research” and “Improvisation for Scholars: Utilizing Improv Techniques to Connect with an Audience” are examples of workshops offered in association with the competition. The Graduate School also provides sessions for virtual one-on-one coaching.

“Whether you’re competing this year, or preparing for future competitions, any graduate students can take these workshops,” emphasized Michaels. “We can all benefit from learning how to be more engaging presenters, more poised and confident scholars.”

Visit the 3MT® website for more information on competition rules and deadlines.

Originally published by Aaron Bell at on November 01, 2016.