2023 3-Minute Thesis Competition Details & Deadlines

Do you have difficulty explaining your research projects to friends and family? Do you wish you could describe your work more clearly in seminars and interviews? Improve your ability to distill your main ideas, demonstrate the relevance of your research and creatively engage your audience. You will have 3 minutes and 1 slide to describe your research project to a broad audience.

Who is Eligible?

All current, matriculated Ph.D. students in years 2+ of their program are welcome to apply and compete. Non-degree students are not eligible to participate in Yale’s 3MT Competition (Exchange Scholars, Visiting Assistants in Research (VAR) and Visiting Students).

How Do I Participate?

Eligible Yale PhD students are welcome to participate in the Preliminary Round and must apply by Sunday, February 5th (click here to apply). Students will compete within 5 divisional preliminary rounds: Humanities, Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Engineering/Applied Sciences. The 1st and 2nd place winners from each divisional group will proceed to the Final Round on April 14th. Both the preliminary round and final round will be held in-person.

An information session about this year’s competition was held on Friday, January 20th, 12-1pm ET. Click here to see the Zoom recording and slide deck for the information session. Previous finalists will share their advice and insight on how to leverage the 3MT experiential process.

Individuals interested in participating must pay careful attention to the dates and deadlines outlined below. Details on the 2023 3MT judging format, criteria and presentation rules can be found here.

Competition Timeline & Prizes

2023 3-Minute Thesis Application Form

Application Deadline Extended to February 5th

APPLY HERE

To be eligible to participate in the Preliminary Round, currently matriculated Ph.D. students must apply on Yale Connect. The new deadline to submit your application is Sunday, February 5 at 11:59pm ET. You will receive a date and time for your preliminary round presentation after you submit your application.

*IMPORTANT* Preliminary round champions will be required to give a live version of their talk at the Final Round on Friday, April 14, 5-6:45pm ET.

Preliminary Timeline & Prizes

Preliminary Round will be held in-person from February 20 – March 3 (refer to the full schedule below). Students will be assigned a 5 minute time slot (between 4-6pm) to compete within 5 divisional preliminary round: Humanities, Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Engineering/Applied Sciences.

Two preliminary round champions from each divisional group will be selected to move onto the Final Round and will be announced on Friday, March 3.

Preliminary Round Prizes

  • 1st Prize: $750 & advances to the Final Round (1 per division, total of 5)
  • 2nd Prize: $400 & advances to the Final Round (1 per division, total of 5)
  • All other participants: $25 gift cards raffled off (10 per division, total of 50)

Final Round Timeline & Prizes

Friday, April 14, 5-6:45pm ET

Sudler Hall and live-streamed on Zoom

Preliminary round champions will have the opportunity to record their talks in March with the Yale Broadcast Studio. At the Final Round, each of our 10 champions will give a live version of their talk and judging will take place at this event. The event will also feature a Q&A session with the presenters, live entertainment with the Yale Citations (A Capella), and the audience will vote for their People’s Choice awards.

Final Round Prizes

  • 1st Prize: $1,000 & represents Yale at the 2023 Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS) 3MT regional competition
  • 2nd Prize: $500
  • 3rd Prize: $300
  • Audience Choice (Humanities/Social Sciences): $300
  • Audience Choice (STEM): $300

Judging Criteria

Details on the 2023 3MT judging format, criteria and presentation rules can be found here.

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?
  • Did the presentation recording appear clear and free of distracting elements (unnecessary noise, background clutter, etc.)?

Resources to Enhance Your 3MT Presentation

Review our list of resources as you begin to prepare your 3MT presentation (click here). Below is a short list to consider to get you started over the winter break!

The Poorvu CTL Certificate for Public Communication

3MT participants who take advantage of GWL, OCS, and Poorvu CTL professional development resources and compete in the Preliminary Round are eligible to earn Poorvu’s CTL Certificate for Public Communication. The Certificate aims to recognize the commitment and key skills developed by students who continue through the preliminary rounds and actively leverage the resources available to them in the areas of professional oral and written communication, peer-to-peer collaboration, and interdisciplinary networking.

Requirements for Earning the Certificate

  1. Use at least 2 resources in each of the three thematic categories: “Designing Your Content”, “Receiving Feedback”, and “Polishing Your Presentation”
  2. Use the GWL PitchVantage Public Speaking Studio to polish your speech before the preliminary competition
  3. Participate in the 3MT Preliminary Round in February 2023
  4. Complete a brief self-reflection form after the competition is finished

Spring 2023 Certificate Workshop Dates

3MT Clinics

  • Session 1 (2/8, 12-1pm, online): “Crafting Your Engaging Hook.”
  • Session 2 (2/14, 12-1pm, online): “Designing Your 1 Slide with Best Visual Design Practices.”
  • Session 3 (2/22, 12-1pm, online): “Building Up Your Public Speaking Confidence.”

Administrators Available for 3MT One-on-One Consultations

  • Hyun Ja Shin, Director of Grad Career Services (3MT office hours)
  • Jacob Gonzalez, Sn. Assoc. Director of Grad Career Services (3MT office hours)
  • Ryan Wepler, Director of GWL (by appointment, please email ryan.wepler@yale.edu)
  • Julia Istomina, Associate Director of GWL (by appointment, please email julia.istomina@yale.edu)
  • Jennifer Mendelson, Director of GSL (by appointment, please email jennifer.mendelson@yale.edu)
  • Patricia Trainor, Writing Specialist at the GWL (by appointment, please email patricia.trainor@yale.edu
  • Gina Hurley, Associate Director of Grad & Postdoc Teaching (by appointment, please email gina.hurley@yale.edu)
  • Stephanie Ranks, Instructional Specialist at Grad & Postdoc Teaching (by appointment, please email stephanie.ranks@yale.edu)
  • Brian Pauze, Associate Director, Educational Technology and Media (by appointment, please email brianpauze@yale.edu)

For questions about the Certificate program, please email Julia Istomina, Associate Director of The Graduate Writing Lab, at julia.istomina@yale.edu.

Questions

Please contact Jacob Gonzalez, Senior Associate Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Career Services, or Serrae Reed, Career Strategy Fellow.

By Jacob Gonzalez
Jacob Gonzalez Senior Associate Director, Graduate and Postdoctoral Career Services