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2024 CSGS Three Minute Thesis Competition

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia that challenges graduate students to succinctly summarize their research for a non-specialist audience in 3 minutes or less.

CSGS will host an in-person 3MT competition at the 2024 Annual Meeting on March 13-15 in Greenville, South Carolina. The winner of the CSGS 3MT competition will advance to the 2024 Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) 3MT showcase. Prize money will be awarded to first place ($1000), second place ($500), and People’s Choice Award winners ($250). Other finalists will receive an award of $150.


Institutional Guidelines:

  • Only CSGS member institutions, in good standing, are eligible to compete.

  • NEW in 2024: One regular registration must accompany the 3MT competitor; we will not accept 3MT competitors who will attend without someone who is a regular conference attendee.

  • 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 competition are still eligible to compete.

How to Register Your Institution for the 3MT Competition (N/A, past the deadline):

  • December 8th was the deadline for registering your institution to participate in the 3MT competition.

  • When you register to attend the annual meeting, you will indicate that your institution intends to send a 3MT student competitor and pay a $150 3MT student competitor conference registration fee. Payment of this fee will provide your 3MT competitor access to all sessions, meals, and receptions, as well as graduate student specific programming offered throughout the conference.

  • Please note that if more than one member from your institution registers to attend the conference, only one attendee should indicate your institution’s intent to send a 3MT competitor to ensure that your institution is not charged the $150 3MT student competitor conference registration fee more than once.

How to Provide 3MT Competitor Name and Contact Information:

  • The deadline to submit the 3MT Competitor Information Form, below, which you will provide the name and contact information of your student competitor, is January 26th, 2024, before midnight.

  • When you register yourself for the CSGS annual meeting, you will be asked if your institution intends to send a competitor. Simply answer yes to this question. You will notice that a $150 fee will automatically be added to register your student competitor for the annual meeting. Please note that if more than one individual from your institution registers for the annual meeting, only one of you should answer yes to this question to avoid being charged multiple times for your student’s annual meeting fee. You will not be asked to provide specific information about your student competitor at this point in the process.

  • CSGS will communicate directly with student competitors to collect required presentation titles, slides, and photo release forms and to provide logistics information about the conference.

  • All 3MT competitors must check in at the annual meeting by the morning of Thursday, March 14.

  • Your institution is responsible for arranging and funding travel to Greenville, lodging (ideally in the conference hotel block), and meals not included in the annual meeting for your 3MT competitor.

Competition Rules:

  • Students must submit a PNG copy of their slide by the deadline. Last-minute changes will NOT be accepted.

  • A single static 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. notecards, scripts, pointers, costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.

  • Presentations are limited to 3-minute maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes will be disqualified.

  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps, or songs).

  • Presentations are to commence from the stage or in the front of the room.

  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter begins through movement or speech.

  • The decision of the judging panel is final.

  • There will be 4 preliminary heats on Thursday, March 14th. In each heat, the audience will vote on a People's Choice Award, and that winner along with the judges' top two scoring competitors will move forward to compete in the final round on the afternoon of Friday, March 15th. Finalists will be announced during Friday’s reception and posted on the Guidebook app.

  • Participants should avoid loud noises such as screaming.


Judging Criteria:

  • According to University of Queensland guidance, judging panels will consist of 3-5 judges balanced by age, gender, academic/professional positions, and discipline.

  • Competitors will be evaluated using the University of Queensland judging criteria and rubric. So your student competitor knows how best to prepare and what to expect at CSGS, we encourage your institution to use these criteria and rubric as well.

Questions? Contact:

Provide 3MT Competitor Information

Let us know by January 26th, 2024, before midnight, which student represents your institution. 

240 px by 240 px in size

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