Three Minute Thesis (3MT®)

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland. The competition develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of students' capacities to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.

During each 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, it forces competitors to consolidate their ideas and crystallize their research discoveries. This is a fast-paced competition where the top 10 finalists compete by summarizing their two to three-plus years of research in only three minutes with only one slide. Cash awards are given to the winner, runner-up, and People's Choice Award winner.

3MT® at Purdue

Enrolled graduate students in all disciplines at Purdue University are eligible to participate in 3MT®. Research presented must have been conducted at Purdue University, not from a previous degree, and should be in the final stages so students have some sound conclusions and impacts to present. Purdue Alumni are not eligible to participate.

Purdue holds its annual 3MT® competition early each spring. It is a celebration of the discoveries made by graduate students and will allow the broader community to learn about ongoing research at Purdue. It is free and open to the public. Cash awards are given to the winner, runner-up, and People's Choice Award winner.

2024 Competition Timeline

  • Friday, February 9, 11:59 PM - Faculty Nominations Due
  • Monday, March 3, 11:59 PM - Student Submissions Due
  • Monday, April 14 - Rehearsal, Fowler Hall 5:00 p.m. EST - mandatory
  • Tuesday, April 15 - Competition, Fowler Hall, 7:00 p.m. EST

 Cash Awards

  • 1st place $5,000 
  • 2nd place $3,000 
  • People's Choice $2,000 

A panel of judges will select the first and second-place winners, while the People's Choice Award will be selected by the audience.

2023 Winners

First Place: Elina Dawoodani, Health and Human Sciences

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Graduate Student Submissions

The Graduate School welcomes submissions from all Purdue University disciplines. For help with presenting and visual aids please see the following free professional development workshops.

Please read the 3MT® competition rules in the drop-down button below.

Video Competitor Guide

  • 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, and People's Choice voting results will not be released.
  • All presentations will be videotaped and will appear on the graduate school 3MT® website.
  • Students who are over the cost of attendance allowance may not be eligible for prizes.

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


Please email the program administrators at if you have any questions!