Texas Tech University

Graduate School Set To Host Fourth Annual Three-Minute Thesis Competition

Randy Rosetta

October 17, 2018

Master’s and doctoral students will compete using only one PowerPoint slide to deliver a summary of their research to a non-specialist audience.

The Texas Tech University Graduate School will celebrate the research of its students with the fourth annual Three-Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition Wednesday (Oct. 24).

The competition is designed to cultivate graduate students' academic, presentation and research communication skills by allowing them to explain their thesis or dissertation to a non-specialist audience in three minutes or less and using only one, static PowerPoint slide.


“The 3MT® competition is a fast-paced and fun event that allows our students to share their research with a variety of people, both in academia and the community at large,” said Cari Carter, 3MT® coordinator. “This event helps students refine public speaking skills, and how to be concise and get their point across in just three minutes.”

Six heats will be held in the morning with check-in at 9:30 a.m. The top two students from each heat will compete in the afternoon final, which will be held in the Mesa Room of the Student Union Building starting at 1 p.m.

The final presentations, which are free and open to the public, will feature a judging panel including Fox 34 anchorman Jeff Klotzman, KAMC-TV meteorologist Ron Roberts – each in their fourth year – Landon Willess from Vista Bank (second year) and Lubbock County Justice of the Peace Ann-Marie Carruth.

All currently enrolled master's thesis and doctoral dissertation students are eligible to participate in the competition. Participants are evaluated on their ability to provide judges with a clear understanding of their research topic and its background, significance and outcomes as well as the engagement and enthusiasm of their presentation.

The winner will be announced on the afternoon of the competition and will receive a $300 prize, a $200 prize awarded to second place and $100 each awarded to third place and the People's Choice Award winner.

Last year doctoral student Inosha Wijewardene from the Department of Biological Sciences won the competition for her thesis “Co-overexpression of AVP1 and RCA to increase drought, salt and heat tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana.”

“My sincere thanks goes out to the dean and staff of the Texas Tech Graduate School as well as the panel of judges for making this event a success,” Wijewardene said. “I'm also grateful for the encouragement extended to me by my adviser, Dr. Hong Zhang, my colleagues in the lab and my family. I felt that it was tough competition and there were really good speakers. Moreover, adhering to three minutes and being confident up there presenting your work honestly put a lot of pressure on me.”

Demi Gary, a graduate student in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources' Department of Natural Resources Management, took second place for presenting “Examining the southern Great Plains for hotspots of at-risk species.”

Judy Rose, a doctoral student in the College of EducationCurriculum and Instruction program, took third place for presenting “African American Representation in Social Studies Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).”

Patricia Ryan, doctoral candidate in the College of Education Educational Psychology and Leadership program won the People's Choice Award for presenting “Women leaders in higher education: Career pathway factors, leadership styles, institutional fit and attaining legitimacy for female university presidents.”

For students in the competition, there will be a workshop offered through the Communication Training Center from 12:30-1:50 p.m. on Tuesday (Oct. 23).
More information is available at the 3MT® website.