UW Graduate School

UW Three Minute Thesis 2018


Eligibility Criteria | Timeline | Prizes | Proposal Submission Guidelines | Proposal Selection Criteria | 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 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 2018 competition is Interdisciplinary Research. “Interdisciplinary thinking is rapidly becoming an integral feature of research as a result of four powerful ‘drivers’: the inherent complexity of nature and society, the desire to explore problems and questions that are not confined to a single discipline, the need to solve societal problems, and the power of new technologies” (National Academies, 2005).

We will prioritize 3MT applicants with clear “integration of information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from two or more disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research practice” (National Academies, 2004).

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). Open to all three campuses.
  • You have a defense or graduation date set.
  • You have a full draft of your final project.
  • 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
Information Webinar
or enter code 686 363 949 at Zoom
Feb. 12, 3–4 p.m.
Submission Deadline Deadline extended to March 23 by midnight
Finalist Notifications March 27
Formative Practice Sessions (required) April 8 to 14, Seattle Campus
Final Rehearsals
April 16, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Seattle Campus
3MT Competition
April 19, 4–5:30 p.m., HUB 145, Seattle Campus
Foundation Board Competition Practice Session (required for select 3MT finalists) April 26, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Seattle Campus
Foundation Board Competition (only for select 3MT finalists) April 27, 8:30–11 a.m., 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.

At the UW Foundation Board Competition, select 3MT finalists will compete in front of board members. Board members will serve as the audience and make a People’s Choice selection for the top winner.

Cash prizes will be awarded at both events, totaling $5,000!

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 is interdisciplinary, and a brief video presentation.

The submission deadline has been extended to Friday, March 23, 2018 at midnight.

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

Interdisciplinary Research

We are featuring Interdisciplinary Research as the theme for this year’s 3MT competition. In 300 words or less, please describe how your capstone or research project is interdisciplinary.

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?
– What is one outcome or finding that your interdisciplinary approach made possible?

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?

Interdisciplinary Research 

– Does the proposal include how the capstone or research project is interdisciplinary in 300 words or less?

Video Presentation

– Does the student address why they are enthusiastic or passionate about their project?
– Does the student share an outcome or finding that their interdisciplinary project made possible?
– Does the student avoid disciplinary jargon?

Up to 15  applicants will be chosen to compete in the 3MT Competition, and select 3MT finalists will compete in the UW Foundation Board Competition.

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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). Open to all three campuses.
  • You have a defense or graduation date set.
  • You have a full draft of your final project.
  • 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, April 19, 2018, 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.

What happens on UW Foundation Board Competition Day?

UW Foundation Board Competition
Friday, April 27, 2018, 8:30-11 a.m. @ UW Seattle

Select 3MT finalists will compete on this day. The UW Foundation Board will serve as the audience and make a People’s Choice award selection for the top winner.

Why are there two competition days?

This year, we have an opportunity to showcase our exceptional graduate students with the UW Foundation Board, which is a group of 200 community leaders and philanthropists dedicated to supporting the work of UW. Thanks to a generous donation, we have an opportunity to expand our pool of prizes and enhance the competition with an additional day. Only select 3MT finalists will participate in the Foundation Board Competition.

Both competition days are important for getting your work in front of a diverse group of influential people, and highlighting the strengths of our interdisciplinary research opportunities at UW.

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.

Contact

Send questions or comments to uw3mt@uw.edu.

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