2020 MAGS Three Minute Thesis Competition

What is a three-minute thesis (3-MT®)? Oral communication of a student’s research to an educated layperson is often lacking in graduate programs. The University of Queensland developed the 3-Minute Thesis® where students summarize their research in 3 minutes using pre-determined guidelines. The format is one where students make a presentation in less than 3 minutes and a panel of judges scores each student to determine a winner.

MAGS is sponsoring a 3-MT® competition at the 2020 Annual Meeting April 1-3 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  One student from each member institution is eligible to compete.

Institutional Guidelines:

  • Only MAGS member institutions in good standing are eligible to compete.
  • The institution must hold its own 3-MT® competition. Institutions may not nominate a student who did not compete in a local competition.
  • The institution must register their competition with the University of Queensland.
  • Students enrolled in either Master’s and Ph.D. programs may compete. A student’s program of study must contain an original research project.  The degree program need not formally require a thesis or dissertation, however the presentation topic must cover the original research project.
  • One nominee per institution is allowed.
  • Participants must be an enrolled student at some point during the academic year, including the previous summer, in which the MAGS competition is held.

Nomination of a Student Competitor:

  • Only the official who supervises graduate education (e.g. graduate dean) may nominate a student for competition.
  • Nominations of a student may be accomplished in one of two ways:
    1. Submit the MAGS 3-MT® Nomination Form by 2 March 2020.  Send to 3mt@mags-net.org with the subject “Re: 3MT Nomination.” Attach a copy of the student’s PowerPoint slide.
  • OR
    1. Complete the MAGS 3MT® Place Holder Form by 2 March 2020.  Send to 3mt@mags-net.org with Re: 3MT Placeholder. Then submit the MAGS 3-MT® Nomination Form by 12 March 2020, 5:00 pm CST.  Send to 3mt@mags-net.org with the subject “Re: 3MT Nomination.”  Attach a copy of the student’s PowerPoint slide.
  • Institutions are urged to submit the complete nomination form as early as possible.

General Information:

  • MAGS will waive conference registration fees for competitors.  Follow this link to register as a 3MT contestant free of charge: (MAGS 2020 3MT Registration).  You will be asked to create a login, with a username and password. After you do so, please enter your personal details and select 3MT Contestant.  Please indicate whether or not you will attend the breakfast Friday morning at the conference and then submit your registration.
  • The nominating institution is responsible for all transportation, lodging and meals. Please review the conference program to determine which meals are included with registration.
  • Students are encouraged, but not required, to arrive Thursday, a nd attend the Thursday evening reception, prior to the Friday morning competition.
  • Students will receive a letter detailing important information after all nominating materials have been received.
  • Students should check-in for the 3MT competition between 9 – 9:30 a.m. Friday morning.
  • Upon registration at the conference, students should inquire as to when and where the organizational meeting will be held on Friday morning.

Competition Rules:

  • One single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. Slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description of the slide content is not allowed.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. notecards, scripts, pointers, costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3:00 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3:00 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter begins through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.

Judging Criteria:

  • Competitors will be evaluated and ranked by a judging panel guided by the Judging Matrix.
  • Feedback regarding the competitor’s performance will not be provided.

Questions? Contact: 3mt@mags-net.org

MAGS 2019 3MT Competition, March 22, 2019, St. Louis

Left to right: 2nd Place – Monica Arul, University of Notre Dame; 1st Place – Chris Omni, Kansas State University; People’s Choice – Teng Keng Vang, Miami University; MAGS 3MT Committee Chair, Nicole Lounsbery, South Dakota State University