GSA Presenter during a 3MT presentation

3MT Competition

The Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®) celebrates the exciting research conducted by students around the world.

It’s History: 

  • Developed by the University of Queensland (UQ) 
  • The first 3MT® competition was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 higher degree research students competing.  
  • Since 2011 the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT® competitions are now held in over 900 universities across more than 85 countries worldwide.                                                                                   

                                                    3MT® Logo

In Western Michigan University's version of the 3MT® Competition, GSA invites graduate students from all disciplines to apply to present their research ideas, theses and dissertations. 

With this competition, GSA seeks to serve as a platform for graduate students to: 

  • Professionally develop their research 
  • Develop presentation skills.  
  • Promote and showcase the research conducted by WMU graduate students. 
  • Increase students' capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes 
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Spring 2023 Competition

Hybrid 3MT® Finalists - 2022

  1. A Two-Day Act Intervention with Healthcare Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    Tabitha DiBacco
  2. Highly Luminescent Gold Nanoclusters
    Shivi Saxema
  3. Only if You're Loud Enough: Youth Voice in Social Action Program  People's Choice Award Winner
    Cesar Briones Mendieta
  4. Magic Mushrooms
    Tadasha Kar
  5. Role of Shigella Flexneri DGS' in Pathogenesis
    Ruchi Ojha
  6. Energy Harvesting
    Duo He

People's Choice Award Winner

Event Information

  Time: Wednesday, February 8, 2023
  Time: 2 - 4 p.m.
  Location: Bernhard Center, Rooms 208-209


Participate in the Competition

Application Process

Before submitting an application, please review the Virtual 3MT® Handbook as well as the following:

  • Applicant Criteria
    1. Stage of research
      1. I have defended my thesis/dissertation (Highest Priority)
      2. I have analyzed data and I am ready to report results
      3. I have collected data and I am ready to analyze data
      4. I have an approved research proposal
      5. I have a research idea
    2. Date of graduation
      • Closest graduation date to 3MT competition
    3. Diversity of academic departments and programs
      • All academic departments and programs are welcome to apply and present
      • Medical school students are not eligible to receive scholarship incentives
    4. Previous presentations at 3MT competition event
    5. Quality and effectiveness of single static PowerPoint slide


    • Late applications will be subject to review, as the committee deems necessary.
    • Presentations not selected require reapplication and submission in future events.
    • Presentation selections are subject to the application criteria above, in addition to any internal criteria set forth by the Director of Professional Development and its subcommittee.


  • Judging Criteria

    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 non-specialist 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?


  • Competition Rules
    • 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.
    • 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.


If you are interested, please email and complete the 3MT® Application Form. The applications deadline for Spring 2023 is January 31, 2023.

  • January 31 2023, applications Deadline

Who Can Participate?

All WMU registered graduate students (full- or part-time), professional students in Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, Merze Tate College, and terminal or specialist degree programs may apply. However, only graduate students who are registered on-site at WMU main, East or Parkview campuses are eligible to receive the scholarships.


Scholarship Prizes

  • $1000 first place

  • $500 second place

  • $300 third place

  • $150 People's Choice

  • +merch Participants & Audience

Upon selection from the judges, the Graduate Student Association (GSA) will provide scholarships in the amounts listed above, directly to the student's university account. People's Choice Award   winners will be selected by collective votes from the audience; scholarship amount varies by semester. In addition, the student with the highest score from the fall and spring WMU 3MT® competitions will represent WMU at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools regional contest and will compete for the chance to participate in the US finals. The winner of the US finals will participate in the International competition.


3MT Competition Committee

Wonder what goes on behind the scenes to make 3MT® happen? Thinking about applying to become a GSA E-board member and want to show GSA that you are a committed graduate student body member? Want to give back to your graduate student community? Perfect! We need assistance with reviewing applications, preparing for the event and ensuring that it runs smoothly. Please send an email to the Director of Professional Development at to express your interest. We look forward to hearing from you!



For further information regarding the 3MT® Competition, times/dates, location, or general questions, please email the Director of Professional Development at


3MT Winners Archive