2020 CSGS Three Minute Thesis Competition


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 a 3MT competition at the 2020 Annual Meeting scheduled for March 5-7 in Birmingham, Alabama. 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 31, 2020.
    • A PDF copy of the slide should be uploaded to the nomination form.  Otherwise, nominees can email their slide to CSGS, but must do so no later than January 31, 2020. Slides must be in a PowerPoint widescreen PDF file format.
    • Ideally, the student’s CSGS Photo and Release Form is also uploaded to the nomination form by January 31, 2020 but it can also be emailed to CSGS at a later time.
  • Institutions must also register their 3MT participant for the conference by January 31, 2020.


General Information:

  • The $100 registration fee, paid by the institution, gives 3MT competitors access to all sessions, meals, and receptions. All 3MT participants must be nominated, registered and have submitted their slide by the above-listed deadlines.  The nominating institution is also responsible for all transportation, lodging, and meals.
  • Students are encouraged, but not required, to attend the conference sessions.
  • Students will receive a letter detailing important information after all nominating materials have been received.
  • Students must complete and submit the CSGS Photo and Release Form. This form is ideally submitted as part of the student’s nomination by January 31, 2020 but can also be emailed to CSGS at a later time.
  • Students should check-in at the conference no later than 8:00 a.m. Saturday, March 7, 2020.
  • The 3MT finals will be followed by a reception for all meeting attendees. 3MT competitors are invited to bring a guest to this reception (free of charge).


Competition Rules:

  • One single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. Slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description of the slide content is not allowed.
  • Students must submit a PDF copy of their slide saved in widescreen format by January 31.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. notecards, scripts, pointers, costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3minutes 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 begins through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.


Judging Criteria:

  • Competitors will be evaluated and ranked by a judging panel guided by the Judging Matrix.
  • Feedback regarding the competitor’s performance will not be provided.


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