Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition 2018

In three minutes you can listen to a song, watch a TedTalk, or over-analyze a text message, but can you effectively communicate your thesis or dissertation in an engaging way to a non-specialist audience? We think you can! The Office of Graduate Education is proud to announce its Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition on Saturday, April 28, 2018. We hope you can join us for this exciting event.


When: Saturday, April 28, 2018
Check-in: 1:30 PM at registration tables outside room Business Administration Bldg A101 and A102
Concurrent preliminary round: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Final round: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Celebration and conversation with winners and participants: Immediately following final round

Where: Business Administration Bldg. (2404 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI 96822) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM). Check-in at the registration tables located outside of A101 and A102.

Who: Must be a current graduate student to compete, see below for more details.

Register by March 23, 2018 11:59PM


  • Must be a Master’s Plan A or Doctoral candidate who is:
    • In good academic standing, and
    • Can report on results/findings from the candidate's thesis or dissertation
  • Spaces are limited to the first 80 people who register.


  • A single static MS 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.
  • 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 speech.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.


A panel of faculty members or business and community leaders will judge globally on the following categories:
Comprehension & 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 & 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?

Want to see winning 3MT presentations around the world? Visit the 3MT Showcase.


Two rounds will be held: Concurrent preliminary rounds and a final round.  In the preliminary rounds, participants will compete against other contestants assigned to the same room location.  Those in the same room location will be either all master's or all doctoral students.  All participants in each room will be scored and ranked based on assessment of the above criteria.  The participant with the highest mean score, as determined by the judges present in their room, will advance to the final round.  In the event that two or more participants earn the same mean score, the tie will be broken by considering the judges' rankings of participants.  Two participants who do not win their preliminary round, but receive the highest score of the total remaining preliminary round participants, will also advance to the final round.  A new set of judges will be present for the final round and will use the same judging criteria to determine the winners.

Additionally, in the finals round, the audience will vote on who they thought gave the most convincing 3MT presentation (based on their understanding of the criteria outlined above). This is called the People’s Choice award.

We will contact you prior to the event for your MS PowerPoint slide. Please have it ready by April 23, 2018.


  • First Place Winner:  $2000 UH Scholarship
  • Runner-Up winner:  $1000 UH Scholarship
  • People’s Choice winner:  $1000 UH Scholarship

Three Minute Thesis Competition 2018 flyer