3MT at Mississippi State University

3MT at MSU Flyer

Join us for the Virtual 2020 Final 3MT Competition on November 12th at 1:00 p.m. and the announcement of the 3MT winners on November 13th at 4:30 p.m. Visit the MSU Calendar of Events for more information.  

Whether you're trying to raise capital, cold call or network, it's essential to have an elevator pitch, especially when describing your research. 3MT® is a competition that helps graduate students develop their verbal communication skills and helps all people understand the importance of research and how it positively affects our lives.

Students, you have 3 minutes to content, clarity, and cash. Ready, set, go…

What is 3MT®?

3MT® is a competition that challenges graduate students to present a compelling verbal presentation of their thesis /dissertation topic and its significance in just three minutes. 3MT® develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of graduate students' capacity to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a public audience.

3MT® is not an exercise in trivializing or ‘dumbing-down' research but forces students to consolidate their ideas and crystalize their research discoveries.

Students compete by presenting their thesis/dissertation topic in three minutes or less. Competitions are judged by a panel comprised of a diverse group of professionals (academic and non-academic) with a wide range of expertise.

The program is the seventh annual event at Mississippi State University in Fall 2020 and will be held virtually.

Why participate in 3MT®?

By competing in the 3MT® competition at Mississippi State University, graduate students have the opportunity to sharpen their communication skills, promote their field of research to the campus and the general public, and help all people understand the importance of research and how it positively impacts their lives. Winners will be provided cash prizes including:

  • Grand Champion: $1,000
  • Grand Champion Runner Up: $750
  • People's Choice Award: $750
  • Remaining Finalists: $250

What are the rules of the 2020 Virtual 3MT®?

Presentation Rules and Instructions

  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Videos must meet the following criteria:
    • Filmed on the horizontal;
    • Filmed on a plain background;
    • Filmed from a static position;
    • Filmed from one camera angle;
    • Contain a 3MT PowerPoint slide (top right corner/right side/cut to)
  • A single static slide is permitted in the presentation (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description).
    • This can be visible continuously, or ‘cut to’ (as many times as you like) for a maximum of 1 minute or submitted via email if not included in the presentation.
  • The 3-minute audio must be continuous – no sound edits or breaks.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment and animated backgrounds) are permitted within the recording.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording.
  • Videos that do not follow these rules and guidelines will be disqualified.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  • Submissions via video format (only video link provided to Event Coordinators). Files sent in other formats will not be accepted.
  • Submit video file and PowerPoint slide (if applicable) to Lilli Harris via a single folder in FileLocker. Instructions on how to share a file via FileLocker can be found here: https://servicedesk.msstate.edu/TDClient/45/Portal/KB/ArticleDet?ID=1033
  • Presenters must designate which one of the eight categories they are competing. The categories include a Master’s student level and a Doctoral student level in each of the following:
    • Arts and Humanities
    • Life and Biomedical Sciences and Engineering
    • Physical, Mathematical, Computational Sciences and Engineering
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences

Presentation Submission Information

  • Please visit filelocker.msstate.edu to submit your video and PowerPoint slide.
  • Please share one folder containing both files and name it “FirstInitialFullLastName_3MT”, ex. the name is Jane Smith, the file name would be “JSmith_3MT”.
  • Share the file with Lilli Harris (lah642@msstate.edu).

Please note: Competitors will not be judged on video/recording quality or editing capabilities (optional inclusions). Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MT PowerPoint slide.

Please note: After each competition round competitors have the option to either submit their current presentation or rerecord and submit a new presentation for entry into the next round.

Who started 3MT®?

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) http://www.uq.edu.au/grad-school/three-minute-thesis is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia http://www.uq.edu.au/ for research students.

When and Where do I Compete?

The 2020 3MT® competition at Mississippi State University will be held virtually.

September 1

Applications open

October 30

Applications close and all video submissions are due

November 3-5

Judging of preliminary rounds

November 6

Eight finalists announced

November 10

Optional new video due from finalists (if not submitting a new video, please let us know)

November 12, 1:00 p.m.

Virtual 3MT Event with presentations of the eight finalists with voting link for the People’s Choice Award

November 13, 3:00 p.m.

People’s Choice Award voting closes

November 13, 4:30 p.m.

Live announcement with Grand champion, Runner up and People’s Choice winners


How do I Get Started Now?

Start planning and register for the Fall 2020 3MT® Competition by visiting: https://goto.msstate.edu/register/3minutethesis


What resources can I take advantage of?

The Mitchell Memorial Library will be offering workshops to help you prepare and practice your presentation. To learn more about the workshops and to register please visit this link.

The Library AV studio is available to you to record your presentation. Please visit http://lib.msstate.edu/dmc/av-studio/ to learn more or make a studio reservation.

If you need recording equipment, Mitchell Memorial Library offers items available for check out. Please visit https://msstate.libcal.com/reserve/equipment/dmc for more information.

Please contact Stephanie Agnew for any questions regarding the workshops at SAgnew@library.msstate.edu.