2022 CSGS Three Minute Thesis Competition (in person!)


What is the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition?

The Three Minute Thesis contest challenges graduate students to summarize their research within three minutes to a general audience. The University of Queensland developed the contest in 2008 to help graduate students improve their oral communication skills.

CSGS is sponsoring an in-person 3MT competition at the 2022 Annual Meeting scheduled for February 17-19, in Raleigh, NC. One student from each member institution is eligible to compete.


Institutional Guidelines:

  • Only CSGS member institutions, in good standing, are eligible to compete.
  • The institution must hold its own 3MT competition. Institutions may not nominate a student who did not compete in a local competition.
  • The institution must register their competition with the University of Queensland.
  • Students enrolled in either Master’s or Ph.D. programs may compete. A student’s program of study must contain an original research project.  The degree program need not formally require a thesis or dissertation. However, the presentation topic must cover the original research project.
  • One student per institution is allowed.
  • Students who have graduated between the institution’s competition and the CSGS final are still eligible to compete.


Nomination and Registration of a Student Competitor:

  • Only the official who supervises graduate education (e.g., graduate dean) may nominate a student for competition. Institutions are urged to submit the complete online nomination form as early as possible but no later than Friday, January 15, 2022.
    • Ideally, the student’s CSGS-Photo-and-Slide-Release-Form is also uploaded to the nomination form by January 15, 2022 but it can also be emailed to CSGS at a later time.
    • Upon registration, students will need to confirm that they have adhered to all copyright laws and have considered any intellectual property issues prior to the regional competition.  If the student has questions, they should contact their library for copyright assistance and their Office of Research for guidelines on intellectual property rights.
    • Students are encouraged, but not required, to attend the conference sessions.
    • Institutions must also register their 3MT participant for the conference by January 15, 2022 (registration is free).


Competition Rules:

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


Judging Criteria:

Each competitor will be judged on the criteria listed below.

       Comprehension and content

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


Questions? Contact: csgs.3mt@gmail.com