Three Minute Thesis (3MT®)

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by the University of Queensland in Australia. It challenges graduate students to make a compelling presentation on their thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes. The competition helps students develop academic, presentation and research communication skills and the capacity to explain their research to a non-academic audience.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) 2020

2020 Changes

  • Due to the ongoing pandemic situation, 3MT 2020 will be an entirely virtual event rather than a live competition as it normally is. Student competitors will be required to record a 3-minute presentation with their slide via Zoom and submit a link to the cloud recording to the 3MT committee. This recording will be sent to a panel of judges for scoring, and 10 finalists will be chosen to participate in a final competition.

Registration

  • Registration for the 2020 3MT competition will open on September 14, 2020, at 8 a.m. and close on September 21, 2020, at 5 p.m.
  • Please click the following link to register: 2020 3MT Competition Registration Survey

Dates

  • Preparatory Session - September 23 via Zoom (link will be provided to registered students)
  • Slides and Video Recordings Due - October 5 by 5 p.m. to bradjo88@ufl.edu
  • Preliminary Competition Judging Period - This year, judges will have a period ending on October 25 to access the videos and provide their comments and scores
  • Finalists Announced - Finalists for this year's competition will be announced on October 26

Prizes

  • Winner: $550
  • Runner-up: $400
  • People’s Choice: $300

2020 Submission Instructions

This year, 3MT will be an all-virtual competition. Below, you will find both submission instructions and Zoom recording instructions. Even if you already know how to record a Zoom session, we advise that you read the instructions to make sure you are recording in format. Final submission instruction. are located at the end.

INSTALLING AND ACCESSING ZOOM

First, if you are on a UF computer, check to see if Zoom is already installed. If it is not, or you are planning to use your own computer, then follow these instructions:

  1. Go to ufl.zoom.us
  2. Sign in using your UF credentials.
  3. In the top right corner, hover over the RESOURCES dropdown menu and click Download Zoom Client.
  4. On the next page, download the Zoom Client for Meetings and install to your computer.

RECORDING YOUR PRESENTATION

  1. Make sure you have your PowerPoint presentation prepared and opened.
  2. Open the Zoom client on your computer and sign in.
  3. Once in Zoom, click on the Home button in the top center.
  4. In the Home section, click on New Meeting to initiate a new Zoom meeting.
  5. Inside the new meeting popup window, click on Record in the toolbar, and make sure you select Record to the Cloud (we will only accept links to Zoom cloud recordings and not files). You will know that your session is being recorded when the window shows a small bar in the top left corner with the word Recording visible.
  6. Once your session has begun recording, click on Screen Share in the main tool bar. Find your PowerPoint presentation in the window that appears, click on it, and then click Share in the bottom right corner.
  7. When your presentation has appeared, your face will be minimized into a small window. Maximize your presentation so that it fills the screen, and reposition the small window so that both you and the presentation are clearly visible. You may also wish to resize your camera window so that the judges can better see your face as you present.
  8. Now that you are ready to begin, you may begin speaking when ready. REMEMBER: your presentation itself is limited to 3 total minutes. Since this format is new to us all, we will allow some leeway this year, but TOTAL RECORDING LENGTH MAY BE NO LONGER THAN 3 MINUTES AND 10 SECONDS.
  9. Once you are satisfied with you presentation, click Stop Share at the bottom of the Zoom toolbar that has appeared. This will remove your presentation and return your face to the screen.
  10. Next, end your recording by clicking on Stop Recording at the bottom of the Zoom window. The client will ask you to confirm that you wish to stop recording, and afterward, Zoom will process your recording into the cloud. You will receive an email letting you know that your recording is ready for review when the program has processed.

REVIEWING AND EDITING YOUR RECORDING

  1. It is important to know the Zoom editor will only allow you to adjust the recording playback length and not edit the content of your presentation. This way, all competitors are limited to the same set of tools and may ensure that their presentation does not exceed the maximum length of 3 minutes and 10 seconds.
  2. Click on the link to view your recording found in the email you have received from Zoom and the client will launch your browser and open the UF Zoom webpage.
    The client should have opened up directly to your recording, but if you encounter a problem, click on the Recordings button in the left-hand navigation to access all of your previously recorded sessions.
  3. Once here, click on the video found in the center of the page to open up your recording. This will open your recording in a new window and allow you to adjust the playback time.
  4. To adjust, hover your mouse over the frame and click on the scissors icon located in the bottom right corner. This will make a blue bar with white arrows appear at the bottom of your recording.
  5. Using the arrows, slide the one on the left to the beginning of your presentation, and slide the one on the right to the end of your presentation. Once you have reduced your presentation to no more than 3 minutes and 10 seconds, you may click the blue Save button.

SENDING YOUR RECORDING TO THE 3MT PLANNING TEAM

  1. Once you have edited your recording down, close the window containing the video and return to the page you accessed from your email. If that page closed, simply click the link again from your email.
  2. Once here, click the button that says Copy Shareable Link in the center of the page. A small green notification will appear at the top letting you know that the link was successful copied. If there is a problem with copying the recording link this way, simply open the recording back up and copy the URL from browser.
  3. Open a new email and enter the following information:
    • Your name as it was recorded in the Qualtrics registration survey
    • Your recording link copied from the Zoom webpage
  4. Once you have entered that information, attach a copy of your PowerPoint presentation to the email.
  5. In the Subject line, please type 3MT 2020 Submission followed by your last name, like so: 3MT 2020 Submission Last Name
  6. Address the email to bradjo88@ufl.edu and await confirmation of its receipt. If you do not receive confirmation within 48 hours, you may inquire further.

Resources

Competition Rules

  1. A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or movement of any kind, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration).
  2. No additional electronic media (e.g., sound and video files) are permitted. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, this year's competition will be a virtual event. All registered competitors will be required to submit a recording of their presentation.
  3. No additional props (e.g., costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  4. Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  5. Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g., no poems, raps or songs).
  6. Presentations are to commence from the stage. As stated above, the current circumstances necessitate that all competitors submit a recorded presentation.
  7. Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  8. The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Judging Criteria

Comprehension & Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • 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?

Engagement & 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?

Contact Information

For more information concerning the competition, please contact:

  • Dr. Emilia Hodge, Director, Graduate Education Outreach, at ehodge@aa.ufl.edu
  • Bradley Osburn, Academic Assistant, Graduate International Outreach, at bradjo88@ufl.edu