Research

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) at USF

The Office of Graduate Studies and the Graduate and Professional Student Council are proud to present USF's 3 Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®)!

2021 3MT Winners

2021 USF 3MT® Winners (left to right): 
Aditya Chakraborty (First Place), Jing Chen (Runner-Up), Minglu Sun (People's Choice Award)

About 3MT®

The 3MT® is a skills development activity which challenges higher degree students to explain their dissertation or thesis research project to a non-specialist audience. The competition cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The idea is for students to orally present the significance of their dissertation or thesis using a single static slide in just three minutes.

Judges will rate the student's ability to effectively present their research to a multidisciplinary audience in accessible and engaging non-technical language. Developed by The University of Queensland in 2008, enthusiasm for the concept and its adoption in numerous universities has also led to the development of an international competition. Now, 3MT® is held in over 900 universities across more than 80 countries worldwide.

Why Participate?

Skills Development

Participating in 3MT® develops academic, presentation and research communication skills, while developing research candidates’ ability to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

Culture of Research

3MT® provides a valuable opportunity for researchers to come together (live or virtually), get to know one another and talk about their research. It also provides a supportive environment in which schools, institutes and universities can provide presentation skills training.

Networking Opportunities

3MT® winners may go on to represent their university at national and international 3MT® competitions which provides an excellent networking and professional development opportunity. Previous 3MT® finalists have benefited from invitations to a variety of other networking events following their participation in the competition.

Rules

  1. A single static 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).

  2. No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.

  3. No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.

  4. Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.

  5. Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).

  6. Presentations are to commence from the stage.

  7. Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.

  8. The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

JUDGING CRITERIA

Comprehension & Content

  • Presentation provided clear background and significance to the research question.

  • Presentation clearly described the research strategy/design and the results/findings of the research.

  • Presentation clearly described the conclusions, outcomes, and impact of the research.

Engagement & Communication

  • The oration was delivered clearly, and the language was appropriate for a non-specialist audience.

  • The PowerPoint slide was well-defined and enhanced the presentation.

  • The presenter conveyed enthusiasm for their research and captured and maintained the audience’s attention.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE

An important aspect of the competition is the People’s Choice prize. Following all presentations, the audience is asked to vote on who they thought gave the most convincing 3MT® presentation (based on their understanding of the criteria outline above). A finalist can be the winner or runner-up and still receive the People’s Choice award.

ELIGIBILITY

Active Ph.D. and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone (including candidates whose thesis is under submission) by the date of their first presentation are eligible to participate in 3MT® competitions at all levels. Graduates are not eligible.

RESOURCES

Prizes

USF holds a series of heats during the fall semester. Winners of the heats go on to compete in the USF 3MT® Finals, which typically take place in early November. 

  • First Place: $300
  • Second Place: $200
  • People's Choice: $100

The First Place Winner moves forward to represent USF at the regional 3MT® competition the following spring.

Past USF 3MT® Winners

2021

First Place: Aditya Chakraborty
Title: A Data-Driven Analytical Process to Monitor Pancreatic Cancer Survival Time
College: College of Arts and Sciences
Program: Mathematics and Statistics

Runner-up: Jing Chen
Title: Membrane Proteins: Starting From a Binary Switch
College: College of Arts and Sciences
Program: Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology

People's Choice: Minglu Sun
Title: The Effect of the Drug Abuse Prevention Programs on Domestic Violence
College: College of Arts and Sciences
Program: Economics

2020

First Place: Tiffany Miller
Title: Sniffing out COVID-19 with a Gas Sensor Array
College: College of Engineering
Program: Electrical Engineering

Runner-up: Celine Atkinson
Title: Climate Change, Gut Microbes, and You
College: College of Arts and Sciences
Program: Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology

People's Choice: Poonan Lathiya
Title: Biotelemetry
College: College of Engineering
Program: Electrical Engineering

2019 

First Place: Aya Elmarsafawi
Title: Long Live Memory Cells
College: Morsani College of Medicine
Program: Molecular Medicine (Immunology)

Runner-up: Zeinab Motawe
Title: Having a Stroke? Take a Chill Pill!
College: Morsani College of Medicine
Program: Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology

People's Choice: Sandra Hornung
Title: Respiratory Syncytial Virus Accessorizes Human Proteins
College: Morsani College of Medicine
Program: Integrated Biomedical Sciences

2018

First Place: Christian Brown
Title: Salamanders in the Sky and How They Try to Fly
College: College of Arts and Sciences
Program: Integrative Biology

Runner-up: Abhijeet Iyer
Title: Air Pollution – Think Inside the Box
College: College of Engineering
Program: Chemical Engineering

People's Choice: Wainella Isaacs
Title: The Social and Technical Life of Drinking Water Tanks
College: College of Engineering
Program: Civil and Environmental Engineering

2017

First Place: Karena Nguyen
Title: Parasites, People and the Changing Climate
College: College of Arts and Sciences
Program: Integrative Biology

Second Place: Earnest Hansley
Title: Identification of Individuals from Ears
College: College of Engineering
Program: Computer Science and Engineering

People's Choice: Saurav Chakraborty
Title: El Niño Neutral Condition and its Influence on the Development of Hurricanes
College: College of Arts and Sciences
Program: Geography

2016

First Place: Kevin Orner
Title: Nutrient Removal and Energy Recovery from Digester Effluent
College: College of Engineering
Program: Environmental Engineering

Second Place: Karena Nguyen
Title: A Mechanistic Framework for Temperature-Dependent Disease Dynamics: A Novel Approach with Dynamic Energy Budget Theory
College: College of Arts and Sciences
Program: Integrative Biology

People's Choice: Dagmara Monfort
Title: Self-Assembling Nanoparticles for Treatment of Genetic Diseases
College: College of Engineering
Program: Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

2015

First Place: Simon Bello
Title: Development of an Implantable Pressure Regulating Pump for Glaucoma Studies
College: College of Engineering
Program: Electrical Engineering

Second Place: Elan Pavlinich
Title: Counterfeit Feminism in Disney's Maleficent
College: College of Arts and Sciences
Program: English

People's Choice: Parveen Bazard
Title: Plasmonic Stimulation of Electrically Excitable Biological Cells
College: College of Engineering
Program: Chemical Engineering