3-Minute Thesis: How Do I Prepare?

How Do I Prepare?

Support & Resources

Student participants have had access to a series of workshops and programs offered jointly by the Office of Career Strategy and the Graduate Writing Lab in the Poorvu Center for Teaching & Learning. The recorded sessions are available via the links below:

One-on-One Consultations

The Office of Career Strategy offers extensive appointment availability for all students interested in participating in the 3-Minute Thesis Competition.  All participants are encouraged to schedule at least one advising appointment with either Hyun Ja Shin from the Office of Career Strategy.  Available appointments can be seen and scheduled via Yale Career Link.  Participants can also schedule writing consultations with the Graduate Writing Lab.

PitchVantage Public Speaking Studio at the Graduate Writing Lab

PitchVantage is a program designed to help improve public speaking skills in a variety of different sectors of life.  Easily navigating the space between boardroom and lecture hall, this program focuses on different aspects of public presentation, from pacing to pitch, and evaluates performance in real time.  For more information and to book time in the studio please email the PitchVantage coordinator, Amelia Kennedy, at amelia.kennedy@yale.edu to receive registration and evaluation instructions.

Video Formatting  & Production Requirements for the 2021 Competition

Students must submit video presentations using the Panopto platform.  For examples, see the 2020 finalist videos.

Formatting requirements for all 3MT submissions (please review carefully):

Production requirements for all 3MT submissions:

  • While there are no specific requirements for the color of your background/wall/etc., we do recommend aiming for a simple, clear background for your video that will not distract from your presentation.
  • Set your camera so that you are looking straight ahead and not from above or below.
  • Regarding body positioning, stay far enough away from your camera so that you appear in the shot from roughly the bottom of your rib cage, much like a newscaster would on television.  Appropriate usage of hand movements or gestures is allowed.
  • Presentations must be no more than 3 minutes in length.  Since you can record multiple takes, breaking this rule will result in disqualification.
  • Ensure your recorded presentations are properly lit so you can be clearly seen and that your voice is loud enough to be clearly heard.

For more tips, see this tutorial: Strategize Your Staging & Lighting in Online Presentations:  A Toolkit with Yale Broadcast Studio


Please contact Hyun Ja Shin, Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Career Services.

3-Minute Thesis Competition Examples

  • Videos of past finalists from Yale’s live 3-Minute Thesis competition can be found via our YouTube channel.  You can also watch all of our virtual 2020 finalists’ videos via this playlist.
  • View videos of 3MT winners from around the world here.

Additional Resources & Tips