3MT® President's Council Special Edition

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition, developed by The University of Queensland, where finalists will summarize their research in a mere three minutes with only one slide. The competition is designed to help students develop their academic, presentation, and research communication skills and helps prepare students to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.

This fall, the Graduate School is partnering with Purdue's President’s Council to bring you a special edition of this competition, judged by members of the President’s Council! This is an online competition, where finalists will summarize their research in a recorded video. President’s Council members will vote for the winner from November 8-23!

During the competition, graduate students will have three minutes to present a compelling discussion on their research topic, including its significance and relevance, to the general public. 3MT® is not an exercise in trivializing or "dumbing down" research, instead forcing competitors to consolidate their ideas and crystallize their research discoveries. This is a fast-paced competition where the top 5 finalists compete by summarizing their two to three-plus years of research in only three minutes with only one slide. 


Why Participate in 3MT®? 

  • A $2,000 prize will be awarded to the winner of this competition.

  • Connect with members of the President's Council

  • Learn how to talk about your research with future employers and funding agencies

  • Share your research with the Purdue Community

How to Apply

Those interested in competing should submit a draft video of their 3MT presentation and a copy of their slide by clicking the button below. Before submitting, please read the competition rules, below. In addition to these rules, competition finalists are required to be on campus to record their final 3MT presentation. 

The submission deadline for this competition is Friday, September 18, 2020.

  • When applying, you will submit your video recording and PowerPoint slide in two different sections of the Qualtrics form. You are not required to combine your video recording and slide. 

  • For tips and tricks on producing your 3MT draft video, click here!

  • Currently enrolled graduate students in all disciplines at Purdue University, West Lafayette and regional campuses are eligible to participate.

  • Work presented must have been conducted at Purdue University, not from a previous degree, and should be in the final stages so you have some sound conclusions and impacts from your research.

Apply Now!

Virtual Competition Format

  • September 18th: Submission Deadline
  • September 21th – 25th: Graduate Leadership Selects Finalists
  • September 25th - 30th: Finalists will record final 3MT presentation with the President’s Council
  • November 8th: Presidents Council Monthly Offerings go live - 3MT Student video go live as well as voting
  • November 23rd: Online voting closes and votes are counted, winner is determined.
  • December 13th: The President’s Council will announce the winner their website, social media, and the post-annual weekend email to all President’s Council members

 For more information, please contact competition administrators.

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or "movement" of any description).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g., sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g., costumes, musical instruments or laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum, and competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.
  • All presentations will be videotaped and will appear on the graduate school 3MT® website.

Each 3MT® presentation will be judged based on communication style, comprehension, and engagement. Please view our archive of video presentations made by past winners.