UW Graduate School

UW Three Minute Thesis 2019


Eligibility Criteria | Timeline | Prizes | Proposal Submission Guidelines | Proposal Selection Criteria | Past Winners | FAQs | Contact

About

UW 3MT® is a professional development competition that celebrates the exciting capstone and research experiences of master’s and doctoral students at the University of Washington from all three campuses. The competition supports graduate students’ capacity to effectively explain their research or capstone project in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a public audience. This event is a partnership between Core Programs—Office of Graduate Student Affairs in The Graduate School and the UW Libraries Research Commons.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition originally developed by the University of Queensland, Australia.

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Theme

The theme for the UW 3MT 2019 competition is Impact. We know that UW graduate and professional students are contributing to significant innovations within their respective fields and disciplines, within their communities, and across local and international levels. Whether you have developed a new way of approaching a problem, unearthed an important part of history that needs to be told, or created a solution or technology to address a pressing contemporary issue—we want to hear in your proposal how your capstone or research project has potential or demonstrated impact!

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to submit a proposal for UW 3MT, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You are a University of Washington master’s or doctoral student (capstone, thesis or research-based graduate degree) from all three campuses.
  • You have a defense or graduation date set.
  • You have a full draft of your final project.
  • Only one member of a capstone project team may submit a proposal. If the proposal is selected, the same student who submitted the proposal must be the presenter.
  • You are nearing completion with your findings and conclusions.
  • You have a coherent way to tell the story of your project, findings and implications.

3MT competitions are intended for graduate students who are ready to present their capstone, thesis, or dissertation work, rather than for works-in-progress. If you are at an earlier stage with your research, we encourage you to seek out our Scholars’ Studio to present your work.

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Timeline

Competition Process Date, Time & Location
Submission Deadline Deadline Extended to April 11 by 11:59 p.m.
Finalist Notifications No later than April 19
Practice Sessions (required) April 29 to May 3, Seattle Campus
Final Rehearsals
May 6, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Seattle Campus
3MT Competition
May 9, 4–5:30 p.m., HUB 145, Seattle Campus


Prizes

At the 3MT Competition, a panel of external judges will select one winner for First Place and a Runner Up. A People’s Choice winner will be voted on by the audience.

Cash prizes will be awarded, totaling $2,500!

All awards are courtesy of the UW Graduate School.

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Proposal Submission Guidelines

The proposal submission includes three components: a capstone/research project summary, a description of how your work has potential or demonstrated impact, and a brief video presentation.

The submission deadline has been extended to Thursday, April 11, 2019 by 11:59 p.m.

Capstone or Research Project Summary

In 300 words or less, please describe your capstone or research project for a general reader (without discipline-specific jargon or technical language).

Your summary:
– Must be concise and coherent
– Does not include a lot of disciplinary jargon
– Is understandable to a general, public audience

Impact

We are featuring Impact as the theme for this year’s 3MT competition. In 300 words or less, please describe how your capstone or research project has potential or demonstrated impact.

Video Presentation

Record a brief video presentation of yourself (just you talking, no need for additional images). Video presentations should not exceed 3 minutes. Upload your video on a video sharing website like Youtube or Vimeo. If you only want your video accessible to proposal reviewers, we recommend setting your online video to private, but shareable via a password-protected link.

In your video, please respond to each of these prompts as if you were speaking to a general audience (not from your discipline):

– Why are you enthusiastic or passionate about your capstone or research project?
– Tell us about the potential or demonstrated impact of your work or research (see Theme section).

Submitting Your Proposal

Submit your completed proposal responses and the link to your video presentation below:

Submit A Proposal Today

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Proposal Selection Criteria

Successful proposals for UW 3MT are based on the following criteria:

Capstone or Research Project Summary

– Is the capstone or research project summary concise and 300 words or less?
– Does the summary include a lot of disciplinary jargon?
– Is the summary understandable to a general, public audience?

Impact

– Does the proposal include how the capstone or research project has potential or demonstrated impact in 300 words or less?

Video Presentation

– Does the student address why they are enthusiastic or passionate about their project?
– Does the student describe how their capstone or research project has potential or demonstrated impact?
– Does the student avoid disciplinary jargon?

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Past Winners

2019

  • First Place
    Barbara Rodriguez Droguett, doctoral student in Built Environment
  • Runner Up
    Junyue Cao, doctoral in Molecular & Cellular Biology
  • People’s Choice
    Junyue Cao, doctoral student in Molecular & Cellular Biology

2018

  • First Place
    Amey Khanolkar, doctoral student in Mechanical Engineering
  • Runner Up
    Evan Schuster, master’s student in Mechanical Engineering
  • People’s Choice
    Amey Khanolkar, doctoral student in Mechanical Engineering

2017

  • First Place
    Molly Grear, doctoral student in Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Runner Up
    Gabby Barsh, doctoral student in Molecular & Cellular Biology
  • People’s Choice
    Zheng Li, doctoral student in Bioengineering

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to submit a proposal for UW 3MT?

To be eligible to submit a proposal, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You are a University of Washington master’s or doctoral student (capstone, thesis, or research-based graduate degree) at all three campuses.
  • You have a defense or graduation date set.
  • You have a full draft of your final project.
  • Only one member of a capstone project team may submit a proposal. If the proposal is selected, the same student who submitted the proposal must be the presenter.
  • You are nearing completion with your findings and conclusions.
  • You have a coherent way to tell the story of your project, findings, and implications.

3MT competitions are intended for graduate students who are ready to present their capstone, thesis, or dissertation work, rather than for works-in-progress. If you are at an earlier stage with your research, we encourage you to submit proposals to Scholars’ Studio to present your work.

What is allowed on my 3MT slide?

One single static PowerPoint slide is permitted.

In preparing the slide, remember that ‘less is more.’ It does not have to include text. Visual cues are very effective in assisting the presenter’s explanation of their research. (No slide transitions, animations, sound or ‘movement’ is permitted).

Can I use sound or video?

No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) is permitted during the competitions.

Is there a dress code?

Business casual is suggested, but not required. Costumes are not allowed.

Can I have props (a pointer, a soccer ball, a model of the respiratory system, etc.)?

No.

What happens on 3MT Competition Day?

UW 3MT Competition
Thursday, May 9, 2019, 4– 5:30 p.m. @ HUB 145, UW Seattle

In front of a general audience and a panel of judges, up to 15 applicants will each compete by doing a three-minute presentation for First Place, Runner Up, and People’s Choice.

Can I win in more than one category?

Yes, it is possible to win a place (First and Runner Up) and win the People’s Choice Award.

Who will be in the audience?

The audience is often a mix of graduate students, faculty, staff, and University leadership. We also have several supporters of graduate education who attend, in addition to community members and presenters’ family members.

Contact

Send questions or comments to uw3mt@uw.edu.

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