Developed by The University of Queensland in Australia, the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition celebrates research conducted by graduate students and challenges graduate students to present their research in a compelling and creative manner. Limited to a three-minute time frame and a single, static PowerPoint slide, competitors must effectively explain their research and its importance to a non-specialist audience. The first 3MT® competition was held at The University of Queensland in 2008. Since 2011, the popularity of the competition has increased, with competitions being held at more than 900 universities worldwide. McAda Graduate School has held 3MT® competitions since spring of 2020.

  • You must be a graduate (master's or doctoral) student currently enrolled at Midwestern State University.
  • You must be in good academic standing.
  • You do not need to be an on-campus student; online students can participate.
  • Your research must have been conducted at Midwestern State University as part of a graduate-level research project (dissertation, thesis, research paper, capstone, et cetera).
  • Your research results do not need to be finalized.

Participation Instructions
  1. Submit the Abstract Submission Form by 11:30 p.m. CST on April 5.
  2. Record your 3MT® presentation as a video using whichever method or software you prefer. Refer to the 3MT® Competition Guide for help and suggestions.
  3. Upload your video to YouTube and set the video as unlisted.
  4. Email the video link to Emma Brown at emma.brown@msutexas.edu by 11:30 p.m. CST on April 12.
  5. On April 19, all 3MT® video presentations will be played for an audience and judging panel in the Graduate Student Resource Center (Ferguson Hall 202). Participants are welcome but not required to attend.
  6. Participants will be notified of the outcome of the competition the evening of April 19. A $500 scholarship will be awarded for first place, and a $300 scholarship will be awarded for second place.

  • Presentations are limited to three minutes. Presentations exceeding three minutes will be disqualified.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when the presenter starts their presentation through speech. In other words, timing commences when the presenter starts speaking, not when the video starts.
  • Videos must be filmed on the horizontal, on a plain background, from a static position, and from one angle.
  • Videos must contain a single, static PowerPoint slide (no slide transitions, animations, or movements). The slide can be visible for the entire presentation in the top right corner or on the right side, or the presenter can cut to the slide for a maximum of one minute. If a reference is needed for any content within the slide, it can be shown at the bottom of the slide in a small box.
  • The audio of the video must be continuous with no edits or breaks.
  • No props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, lab equipment, animated backgrounds) are permitted in the video.
  • Presentations must be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps, or songs).
  • No electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted in the video.
  • The decisions of the judging panel are final.

3MT® Presentation Examples

Visit vimeo.com/threeminutethesis to watch presentations by past competitors from around the world.

Judging Criteria

Comprehension and Content

  • The presentation provided clear background and significance to the research question.
  • The presentation clearly described the research strategy/design and the results/findings of the research.
  • The 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.


If you have questions, please contact Emma Brown, Graduate Academic Counselor, at emma.brown@msutexas.edu or 940-397-4666.