UW Graduate School

UW Three Minute Thesis 2020

Eligibility Criteria | Theme | 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.

This year’s prize awards total $5,000! Many thanks to Bruce and Joanne Montgomery for their generous sponsorship.

Send questions to uw3mt@uw.edu

Submit A Proposal Today

Theme

Equity is the theme for this year’s UW Three Minute Thesis. We define equity as a process that includes practices, frameworks, policies, models, and innovations that ensure that everyone has access to resources and opportunities in order to thrive and be included in society. We know that graduate and professional students are making significant contributions to the work of equity within their fields and disciplines, their communities, and across national and international levels.

Have you unearthed a critical aspect of history related to equity that needs to be told? Developed a new strategy or technology to address a community’s lack of access to resources? Are you engaged in health disparities or survivorship research? These are just a few examples. As long as your project relates to the theme of equity, we want to see your proposal!

Eligibility Criteria

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

  • You are a University of Washington master’s or doctoral student from any UW campus.
  • You have a full draft of your final project (e.g. capstone, thesis, or dissertation), including findings and conclusions.
  • 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.
  • Your degree will be granted to you no earlier than Spring 2020.

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 a proposal to Scholars’ Studio to present your work.

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Timeline

Competition Process Date, Time & Location
Submission Deadline March 20 by 11:59 p.m.
Finalist Notifications No earlier than March 25
Practice Sessions (required) April 6 to April 10, Seattle campus
Final Rehearsals April 20, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Seattle campus
3MT Competition April 22, 4:30–6 p.m., HUB 250, 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 $5,000! Many thanks to Bruce and Joanne Montgomery for their generous sponsorship.

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Proposal Submission Guidelines

The proposal submission includes three components: a capstone/research project summary, a description of how the project is invested in the work of equity, and a brief video presentation.

The submission deadline is March 20 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

Equity

We are featuring Equity as the theme for this year’s 3MT competition. In 300 words or less, please describe how your capstone or research project is invested in the work of equity.

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 how your project is invested in the work of equity (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?

Equity

– Does the proposal include how the capstone or research project is invested in the work of equity 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 is invested in the work of equity?
– 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 student 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

What happens on 3MT Competition Day?

UW 3MT Competition
April 22, 2020, 4:30-6 p.m. @ HUB 250, Seattle campus

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

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

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

  • You are a University of Washington master’s or doctoral student from any UW campus.
  • You have a full draft of your final project (e.g. capstone, thesis, or dissertation), including findings and conclusions.
  • 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.
  • Your degree will be granted to you no earlier than Spring 2020.

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 competition.

Is there a dress code?

Business formal or casual is suggested. Costumes are not allowed.

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

No.

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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