Research Day

3-Minute Thesis Overview

The 3-Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition that challenges PhD or MS students to communicate the significance of their projects without the use of props or industry jargon, in just three minutes. 3MT develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students’ capacity to quickly explain their research in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience leaving them wanting to know more.

If you are interested in participating in the 3 Minute Thesis Competition please email


  • First place – $500, opportunity to compete in University wide 3MT competition
  • Second place – $250
  • People’s Choice – $150

3MT Competition Rules

  • Single static PowerPoint slide. No slide transitions, animations, or “movement” of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from beginning of oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, lab equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum, and participants exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps, or songs).
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts her presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  • Graduation in spring, 2024
    Students may participate in the SPH 3-MT competition
    If 1st place winner, student will not be able to advance to the UMN competition fall, 2024

View more information on 3MT competitions.

Prepare with the Graduate Schools 3MT e-course.

Our 2024 competition has ended. Visit this page for details on how to sign up for the 2025 competition. View a list of this year’s winners.

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