The LSU Graduate School Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition 

3MT logo, founded by the University of Queensland


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.

3MT® is a competition that challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects to a general audience in just three minutes.


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), 3MT® cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Currently 3MT® is held in over 900 universities across more than 80 countries worldwide.


Active PhD and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone (including candidates whose thesis is under submission) by the date of their first presentation are eligible to participate in 3MT® competitions at all levels, including the Asia-Pacific 3MT® competition. Graduates are not eligible.


3MT® Presentation Rounds

Preliminary Round 

Date: November 16, 2023

Time: 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Place: 225 Peabody Hall

Final Round

Date: November 30, 2023

Time: 6:00 pm 

Place: Digital Media Center Theater; 340 East Parker Blvd.  


Congratulations Fall 2023 Winners!

First Place

Shashank Muley - Department of Construction Management
"Decoding Near-Misses: Navigating the Hidden Iceberg of Construction Safety"

Second Place

Udyogi Conthagamage - Department of Chemistry
"Nano Shittles to Transport Ions Across the Bilayers"

People's Choice

Rajat Pruthi - School of Plant, Environment and Soil Sciences
"Don't Judge the Code by Its Output: An Automated Grading Approach"


  • 1st Place: $1,000 research travel award and funding to travel to the Southern Regional 3MT® Competition 
  • 2nd Place: $750 research travel award
  • People’s Choice: $500 research travel award

Competition Rules and Guidelines


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description, 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. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes 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 starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Judging Criteria:

At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below. Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience. 

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?

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

People's Choice: 

An important aspect of the competition is the People’s Choice prize. Following all presentations, the audience is asked to vote on who they thought gave the most convincing 3MT® presentation (based on their understanding of the criteria outline above. The audience will be provided with finalist details via PowerPoint, and using the voting paper, they will be asked to select the number which corresponds to their favorite presenter. A finalist can be the winner or runner-up and still receive the People’s Choice award.


Previous LSU-3MT® Recent Winners

Ricardo Hungria, Winner of the 2022 Competition, "Breaking a Stigma:  Bacterial Self-Healing Concrete”

Salar Saadatian, 2nd Place Winner of the 2022 Competition, "Modeling of Flat Heat Pipes" 

Sajila Riman Tanha, People's Choice of the 2022 Competition, “Alkyne Metathesis Catalysts:  Next Generation”

Andrew Luke Hargroder, Winner of the 2019 Competition, "Under the Banner: Freedom, Slavery, and the US Army Before the Civil War"

Xiaodong Zhao, Second Place Winner of the 2019 Competition, "Real-time tracking of patient position & dose based on VMAT-CT"   

Margaret Furtner, People's Choice of the 2019 Competition, "Comparing the Accuracy of Close-Range Photogrammetry to microCT Scanning via Surface Deviation Analysis of 3D Digital Models of Hominin Molars"


Presentation Examples and Resources

3MT® Competitor Guide

3MT® Website

3MT® Previous Winners

How to Talk About Your Thesis in Three Minutes


(*Note: This Prezi was prepared for a different university’s 3MT® competition. You also can watch other competitors' presentation on the vimeo website.