Yale 2023 3-Minute Thesis Competition Divisional Winners

2023 Division Winners

Yale’s 3-Minute Thesis Competition challenges Ph.D. students to describe their thesis work to a non-specialist audience – in just 3 minutes! Join us in congratulating all participants in the divisional rounds, held last week, for their fascinating and engaging presentations.  This year for the first time, a 1st prize of $750 and 2nd prize of $400 were awarded to the top presentations within each of 5 academic divisions. The following winners who will move onto the final competition on April 14:

Biological Sciences

  • 1st Place ($750): Elizabeth Woo (4th year, Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program): “Investigating the Neurons Susceptible to Degeneration: A “GLO1”-wing Hint”
  • 2nd Place ($400):  Sateja Paradkar (5th year, Pathology): “Implicating PARG in Cancer Drug Resistance”

Physical Sciences

  • 1st Place ($750): Zili Shen (4th year, Astronomy):Finding the Biggest Dwarf Galaxies in Our Cosmic Backyard”
  • 2nd Place ($400): Kaustav Mitra (5th year, Astronomy): “Weighing Galaxies to Quantify Some Fundamental Properties of the Universe”

Engineering & Applied Sciences

  • 1st Place ($750): Anna Lynn (4th year, Biomedical Engineering): “How Can We Cure Disease Before Birth?”
  • 2nd Place ($400): Alaaddin Ibrahimy (2nd year, Biomedical Engineering): “Drug Affinity in Brain: A New Approach in Early Phase Drug Development”


  • 1st Place ($750):  Trina Hyun* (7th year, English): “In the Beginning was the “Medium”: A Literary History of 17th-Century Theology and Technology”
  • 2nd Place ($400): Sophie Richardson, (7th year, English): “Reading the Surface in Early Modern English Literature”
  • Alternate for Trina Hyun in Final: Thomas Munro (4th year, Classics): “The Contexts of Classical Reception in Post-War Britain”

Social Sciences

  • 1st Place ($750): Kathryn Graves (5th year, Psychology): “Minds in Motion: How the Human Brain Gives Rise to Real-World Navigation”
  • 2nd Place ($400) Tristan Yates* (5th year, Psychology):The Secret Life of Babies: an fMRI Approach to Infant Perception and Memory”
  • Alternate for Tristan Yates in Final: Nghiem Huynh (5th year, Economics): “Bridging the Economic Divide: Lessons from Vietnam”

April 14: 2023 3-Minute Thesis Final Competition

We invite the Yale community to cheer on this year’s 10 finalists in this in-person celebration of Ph.D. research.  During the event, you will be able cast your vote for the People’s Choice awards so be sure to register now here!

Judging Panel

  • Lynn Cooley, Dean of the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • Bert Eshaghpour ’79 Ph.D., President, Wego Chemical & Mineral Corporation
  • Katherine Cohen ’97 Ph.D., CEO and Founder, IvyWise
  • Kim Boehm ’92 Ph.D., President, UC San Diego Alumni Board of Directors; Board Member: Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties, LEAD San Diego, and Reality Changers; Former Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Mills College
  • David Sanchez ’84 M.Phil., CEO, Sanchez Global LLC and Managing Director, Zanbato Securities


  • 1st Prize:  $1000
  • 2nd Prize:  $500
  • 3rd Prize:  $300
  • People’s Choice – Humanities/Social Sciences: $300
  • Peoples Choice – STEM: $300


Please contact Hyun Ja Shin, Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Career Services, or Jacob Gonzalez, Senior Associate Director, with any questions.

Yale’s 3-Minute Thesis Competition is supported by the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  It is a collaboration between the offices of the McDougal Graduate Student Center:  the Poorvu Center for Teaching & Learning, the Graduate Writing Lab, Graduate Student Life, the Office for Graduate Student Development & Diversity, and the Office of Career Strategy.

Yale’s event is modeled on the 3-Minute Thesis Competition founded by the University of Queensland.  3MT competitions are now held at over 900 universities and institutions across 85 countries around the world.

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