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The Graduate School - Three Minute Thesis


Three Minute Thesis graphic

Founded by the University of Queensland in 2008, the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition allows students to present their research in three minutes to a general audience.  For more details, about the 3MT® competition, please visit https://threeminutethesis.uq.edu.au/.


Congratulations to Trayson Lawler, winner of WKU's 2023 3MT® competition!  Read about his presentation here.


Information on the 2023 competition:


     1. You must be actively enrolled in a Graduate Degree Program (Master’s, Specialist, or Doctoral) and be in good academic standing currently. Graduate students who are enrolled only in a Graduate Certificate Program and Undergraduate students are not eligible to participate.

          a. Graduate students who are not pursuing Thesis option may also participate if they are conducting research or creative scholarship activity. New graduate students who have just started their research or creative scholarship are also eligible to participate and share their preliminary findings. A project need not have been completed for students to participate.

     2. Have your research/faculty advisor's approval.

     3. Use the WKU 3MT® Powerpoint Template (found here)

     4. Eligible applicants must submit a link to their YouTube video presentation. See details under Submission Instructions below.

     5. Finalists must present in-person on Thursday, February 23, 2023.


Competition Details:

          Three Minute Thesis Competition

DSU 2123

Thursday, February 23, 2023

 3:00 – 5:00 PM (Central)

 Submission Window:

January 18- February 3, 2023

Submission Instructions:

Applicants will need to use the template (found here) and create a video and send the video link to graduate.school@wku.edu by the deadline of February 3.

The judges will review the video presentations and select the finalists. The finalists will be notified by February 16.

The finalists will present at the in-person competition on February 23rd from 3:00 – 5:00 PM (Central).


Competition Rules: (from The University of Queensland 3MT® website)

  1. Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  2. Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech (timing does not include the 3MT® title slide and commences from when the competitor starts speaking, not the start of the video).
  3. Videos must meet the following criteria:
    1. Filmed on the horizontal
    2. Filmed on a plain background
    3. Filmed from a static position
    4. Filmed from one camera angle
    5. Contain name and title in the 3MT® PowerPoint slide (a standard template will be sent to registrants by the Graduate School)
  4. A single static slide is permitted in the presentation (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description).
  5. The 3 minute audio must be continuous – no sound edits or breaks.
  6. No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment and animated backgrounds) are permitted within the recording.
  7. Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  8. No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording.
  9. The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  10. Submissions are via video format (mp4 format preferred). Files sent in other formats will not be accepted.

Note: Judging will be based on the criteria indicated below and not on the quality of the audio/video recording.


Each competitor will be judged on the criteria listed below.

  1. Comprehension and Content
  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed, while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation – or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?
  1. Engagement and Communication
  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?


The first-place winner qualifies to represent WKU in the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) 3MT®  competition.


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 Last Modified 3/22/23