The Graduate School will host K-State's annual 3MT® competition in February 2020. Preliminary competitions, or heats, will be held February 14. Top presenters from each heat will be selected by judges to move forward and compete in the final competition on February 27. From the final competition, a judging panel will select first and second place presenters, and a people's choice award winner will be selected by the audience. The first place presenter will represent K-State at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) 3MT® Competition in April.
Heats will begin in late morning or early afternoon and run through the afternoon. Exact time will be based on registration numbers.
View the full 2019 final competition
About the 3MT® Competition
PARTICIPANT INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION
- Must be enrolled in a master's or doctoral program at Kansas State University for the Spring 2020 semester.
- A student’s program of study must contain an original research project. The degree program need not formally require a thesis or dissertation. However, the 3MT® presentation topic must cover the original research project that is being conducted as part of the student's K-State graduate degree program.
- Students may NOT give a presentation on work completed as an undergraduate or work completed at another institution.
- Students are not required to have reached a particular point in their research, but those who are at least halfway through their program are likely to be more competitive.
- Graduate students must receive approval from their major professor prior to registering for the competition.
- The first place winners from previous competitions are not eligible to compete this year; the second place and people's choice award winners are eligible to participate in this year's competition.
Rules and Requirements
- Present a compelling oration of your original research topic and its significance using language appropriate to a non-specialist audience
- Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g., no poems, raps or songs)
- Time limit: 3 minutes. Competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified
- Prepare a single, static PowerPoint slide that represents the purpose and importance of your original research; no slide transitions, animations, or 'movement' of any type are allowed; the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration
- Props, sounds, and other materials may NOT be included in the presentation
- Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech
- The decision of the judging panel is final
Registration Deadline: January 31, 2020, 11:59pm CST
Slide Submission: Upon completing registration, you will be provided a link to a Slide Submission Form. You must submit your PowerPoint slide by 11:59pm on February 11, 2020. Slides WILL NOT be accepted after this deadline. If you do not submit your slide by the deadline, you will be withdrawn from the competition.
Resources for Preparing a Successful 3MT® Presentation
Below are some resources we encourage presenters to use as they prepare for their 3MT® presentation.
- Presenters are strongly encouraged to view videos of K-State's previous 3MT® winners (bottom of this page) and videos of 3MT® winners from around the world for examples of successful 3MT® presentations.
- Your Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Presentation for Presenting on What You Do as a Graduate Student and How it Matters by Brad Rickelman, Meridian Technology Center for Business Development (video presentation)
- Making the Most of Your Three Minutes by Simon Clews, University of Melbourne (PDF document)
- Communicating Science: An Introductory Communication Guide for Conveying Scientific Information to Academic and Public Audiences
- The David Attenborough Style of Scientific Presentation - This document is designed for preparing a presentation longer than three minutes, but many of the principles are applicable to a three-minute presentation.
- The Up-Goer Five Text Editor - Can you explain your thesis using only the 1,000 most commonly used words? Give it a try with this text editor. While we do not recommend that you use this text editor to prepare your entire 3MT® presentation, but it can at least help you identify terms and concepts that may not be well known outside of your field and will require some explanation if used in your presentation. This tool might be especially helpful with developing a catchy presentation title.
- Thesis Gold by Paul Geiger
- Make an appointment with the Writing Center to receive feedback on how to strengthen your three-minute oration.
Presentations will be evaluated on the following criteria:
Comprehension and 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 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?
Note that the common theme among the judging criteria is the impact of the presentation on the audience.
The following will be awarded to the top presenters in the final competition on February 27:
- 1st place - $500 scholarship, serve as K-State’s representative at the MAGS 3MT® competition
- 2nd place - $250 scholarship
- People’s choice - $125 scholarship
The presentation that receives the most votes from the audience will be selected as the people's choice award winner. The people's choice award winner may also be selected by the judges as their first or second place winner.
1st place: Chris Omni - Master's in Public Health - Black Butterflyz: Making Black Women's Health a Capital Concern
2nd place: Grace Craigie - Entomology, MS - Fantastic Pests and How to Find Them
People's Choice: Narmadha Mohankumar - Statistics, PhD - Is my advisor hiding in their office?
Watch the full 2019 final competition below.
1st place: Dave Hoffman - Counseling and Student Development, PhD - Purple Stride: Prospective Engineering Students and First-Year Retention
2nd place AND People's Choice: Tennecia Dacass - Economics, PhD - Intergenerational Effects of Mass Incarceration
Watch the full 2018 final competition below.
1st place AND People's Choice: Tuyen Nguyen - Chemistry, PhD - Tiny Superhero Fights against Cancer
2nd place: Anil Pant - Biology, PhD - Vaccinia Virus Develops New Taste
Watch the full 2017 final competition below.
First place: Ryan Schmid - Entomology, PhD - Hessian Fly Smart-Trap Design and Deployment Strategies
Second place: Bondy Kaye - Mass Communications, MS - Same Song, New Dance: Competition and Market Structure in the Digital Music Aggregation Industry
People's choice: Jere Noel - Animal Science, MS - Utilizing Electromyography to Identify Causes of Fatigue in Pigs
Watch the full 2016 final competition below.
Sponsorship: The Kansas State University Three Minute Thesis Competition is sponsored by the Graduate School and the Office of the Vice President for Research.
Questions about the Kansas State University Graduate School’s 3MT® competition may be directed to Megan Miller, Student Success Coordinator, email@example.com or 785-532-6191.