Three Minute Thesis

3 Minute Thesis


Friday, November 8, 2019

Event: 9:00 – 11:00 am, Reception: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
H.F. DeLuca Forum, Discovery Building

Three Minute Thesis® is an international competition in which PhD students explain their thesis research to a general audience. Graduate students in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) are eligible to compete. Cash prizes are awarded to the top 3 contestants. The event and reception are free and open to the public. No registration is needed for spectators.

Three Minute Thesis® is presented by The Madison Chapter of Graduate Women in Science (GWIS), the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, and the Graduate School Office of Professional Development, with prizes and reception sponsored by Gilson, the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy, and Science is Fun in the Lab of Shakhashiri, and additional prizes sponsored by Promega.

Competitors must submit presentation titles and maintain active contact with organizers.

They must submit their slides to by November 1, 2019.

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified. (A visible timer will be provided).
  • 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 starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below. Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.

Comprehension and Content
  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a nonspecialist audience?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation – or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?
Engagement and Communication
  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialise or generalise their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?

Watch videos of the winning presentations from the 2019 competition:

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

First Place: Anne Jamison, "Costly conflict? Political violence and Foreign Direct Investment"

Second Place: Allison Ludwig, "Toward enhancing organization and defining synaptic connectivity of human stem cell-derived photoreceptors"

Third Place: Mario Cribari, "Putting Enzymes to Work: Using Chemical Biology to Combat Plastic Waste"

People's Choice: Kaivalya Molugu, "Identifying Stem Cells without killing them"