You are here

Three-Minute Thesis Competition

Finalists of the inaugural 3MT Competition at UMD pose with judges.
3MT develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills.

3MT at UMD

What is 3MT®?

The 3-Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition founded by the University of Queensland that challenges graduate students to communicate the significance of their independent projects without the use of props or industry jargon, in just three minutes. The exercise develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and enhances the capacity of research students to explain their work to a non-specialist audience and to leave their audience wanting to know more. Presenting in a 3MT competition cultivates grad students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Competitive participants have a well-conceived research project, compelling data collected, and a novel story to share.

2020 Competition

The 2020 UMN Systemwide 3MT competition was held on Friday, November 13. The UMD competition is hosted each fall, and the winner represents UMD at the systemwide competition.

2019 Competition

Fai and Graduate School staff sit behind a desk at the June 2019 Board of Regents presentation.

Gills Fai, Dean Lanyon, and Associate Dean Shimizu at the Board of Regents meeting in June.

The inaugural UMD 3MT competition took place in spring 2019, culminating with the final round on April 30th. The runner-up of the event, Gills Fai, presented his talk to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents on June 13th, 2019.

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2019 Competition!

  • Kirsten Rhude (Water Resources Science) - Winner
  • Gills Fai (Mechanical Engineering) - Runner-Up
  • Kirsten Rhude (Water Resources Science) - People's Choice
Two men smiling

Gills Fai and Regent Kenyanya at the June Board of Regents meeting.

And Congratulations to the 2019 Finalists!

  • Alejandro Fernandez (Geology)
  • Emilie Richard (Geology)
  • Caro Shull (Water Resources Science)
  • Daniel Zoltek (Chemistry)

Thank you to our 2019 judges.

  • Scott Lanyon, Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education
  • John Dowling, Director, Sea Grant College Program
  • David Gore, Associate Professor & Department Head, Department of Communication
  • Jennifer Liang, Associate Professor, Department of Biology & Director of Graduate Studies, Integrated Biosciences Program



Master’s and doctoral students active in UMD and University-wide programs are eligible to participate in UMD’s 3MT® competition. UMD winners will have opportunities to advance to the UMN Systemwide competition and/or to bring their presentation to the UMN Board of Regents.

Questions? Contact the UMD Graduate School Office at