Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition 2019

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! Graduate Division is proud to announce its  Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition on Saturday, April 27, 2019. We hope you can join us for this exciting event.


When: Saturday, April 27, 2019

  • 1:30 PM Event check-in

  • 2:00 PM Welcome and Overview

  • 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM Concurrent preliminary rounds

  • 3:15 PM – 3:45 PM Pupus and conversation with finalists & participants

  • 3:45 PM – 5:15 PM Final round

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

Who: Eligibility to Compete requirements (below) for more details on who can participate.

Register by April 5, 2019 at 11:59 PM :


  • First Place Winner:  $2,000 UH Scholarship

  • Runner-Up Winner:  $1,000 UH Scholarship

  • People’s Choice Winner:  $1,000 UH Scholarship


  • Contestants must register by April 5 by 11:59 PM.

  • All UHM master’s and doctoral students in good academic standing.

  • Must be able to report on thesis or dissertation results or findings.


  • 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 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 & 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. 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 received 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 final 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 22, 2019.

Three Minute Thesis Competition 2019 flyer