Three Minute Thesis (3MT ®) Competition

Three Minute Thesis (3MT ®) is a research communication competition originally developed by The University of Queensland in 2008, and now has been widely adopted at universities around the world. The exercise challenges master’s and doctoral students to present a compelling talk on their thesis/dissertation topic and its significance. Many theses and dissertations can be over 80,000 words and take hours to present, but students in this competition have just three minutes and one slide to convey their often highly-technical research to a lay audience.   Judging criteria is centered on three core competencies:

Communication Style: was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience

Comprehension: did the presentation help the audience understand the research?

Engagement: did the oration make the audience want to know more? Three Minute Thesis (3MT ®) is a research communication competition originally developed For more information and sample videos, visit the 3MT ® website at the University of Queensland.

Award Monetary awards ($500, $300, and $200) will go to the top three speakers from the final round. The Graduate School will also sponsor the first place winner to compete in the Council of Southern Graduate Schools’ 3MT ® competition at the 2020 CSGS Annual Conference.

The 4th Annual VCU 3MT ® Competition was held on October 18-19, 2018.  Stay tuned for information on the 5th annual VCU 3MT ® Competition to be held in 2019.

View VCU 3MT® Competition participants' presentations on VCU Scholars Compass.


2018 VCU 3MT ® Competition Winners

First Place: 

Dana Lapato, Human Genetics – Ph.D.
Characterizing the Relationship Between DNA Methylation and Postpartum Depression

Second Place:

Julia Meade, Pharmacology & Toxicology - Ph.D.
Molecular and Behavioural Mechanisms Mediating Paclitaxel-Induced Changes

Third Place - Tie:

Amy Northrop, Human Genetics - Ph.D.
Therapeutically Targeting DD12 for More Effective Therapy to Kill Cancer Cells

Ria Fyffe-Freil,  Physiology & Biophysics -Ph.D.
Improving Liver Trasplantation

2018 3MT Competition Winners 

Pictured L-R: Dr. F. D. Boudinot, Dean, Dana Lapato, Julia Meade, Ria Fyffe-Freil, Amy Northrop, and Dr. Mark Schaefermeyer, Associate Dean. 

Previous Winners