3MT Competition

  • WMU 3MT Competition

    Fall 2016 Presenters

  • Presenting at the 3MT Competition

    Presenting at the 3MT Competition

  • Audience at the 3MT Competition

    Audience at the 3MT Competition

  • Fall 2017 Presenters

The Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®) celebrates the exciting research conducted by students around the world. Developed by the university of Queensland (UQ), the competition cultivates students' academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Presenting in a 3MT competition increases their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Competitors are allowed one PowerPoint slide, but no other resources or props.

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 600 universities and institutions across 65 countries worldwide.  

In our version of the 3MT competition at Western Michigan University, GSA invites graduate students from all disciplines to apply to present their research ideas, theses and dissertations. With this competition, the GSA is seeking to provide students the opportunity to professionally develop their research skills and presentation skills. In addition, GSA aspires to promote and showcase the research conducted by graduate students here at WMU. 


 The Spring 2020 3MT competition will occur on Wednesday, February 12th from noon to 2 pm in the Bernhard Center rooms 208-209. Applications are due by Friday, January 31st at noon. 


Before submitting an application, please review the Applicant Criteria and Judging Criteria.

After reviewing the criteria, applications can be submitted by going to the 3MT Application Form. Submissions will be reviewed by the 3MT Competition Committee and Director of Professional Development. Notification of selection to present at the 3MT Competition will vary depending on the semester, however, will typically be 1-2 weeks before the date of the event. At least 10 presenters will be selected to present at each 3MT Competition.


A panel of judges, consisting of faculty, staff, and students, will select up to 4 winners from the group of presenters, whom will be awarded a scholarship in the following amounts: $500 for first place; $300 for second place, $200 for third place, and $100 for fourth place. In addition, there will be a people's choice award given to students who receive the most votes from the audience. Finally, the student with the highest score from both the fall and spring competition will have the opportunity to compete and represent Western Michigan University at the regional contest and beyond.

Scholarships will be deposited into student accounts before they are transferred to your personal account via direct deposit or a check. This procedure is subjected to all University regulations regarding transfers.


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, Extended University Programs, and terminal or specialist degree programs may apply. However, only graduate students who are registered at WMU on site either main, East or Parkview campuses are eligible to receive the scholarships.


The 3MT Competition is open to the public (students, staff, faculty, community members, etc.). All attendees will be entered into a raffle with the chance to win surprise prizes throughout the event. In the event that seating is limited, priority will be given to graduate students presenting and their guests.


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’re a committed graduate student body member? Want to give back to your graduate student community? Desire to work closer with the GSA E-Board? 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 gsac-gtalks@wmich.edu 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 gsac-gtalks@wmich.edu.


Fall 2019 - 1st Place: Janani Shivaguru

How was India able to get FREE INTERNET?

Spring 2019- 1st Place: Claire Herhold 

In Search of an Authentic Past: Negotiating Authenticity in Living History Interpretation

Fall 2018-1st Place: David Sottile

Risky Choices in a Wheel of Fortune Game

Spring 2018-1st Place: Tanya Petrachkova

The Role of Cyclin B1 in Early Development

The Spring 2018 presentations showcase the growth of the 3MT Competition!

Fall 2017-1st Place: Shreya Naseri 

Why is Amazon the Leading Logistics Ascendant in the USA?

The Fall 2017 presentations and pictures are a great way to re-experience the 3MT Competition 

Spring 2017-1st Place: De'Lon Dixon

The Passive Effects of the Full Gateway on Vehicle Speed

Fall 2016-1st Place: George Lluberes

Political Corruption in Latin America

Spring 2016-1st Place: Sandino Vargas-Perez

A Hybrid Parallel Strategy to Compress Big Next-Generation Sequencing Datasets

Fall 2015-1st Place: Tiantian Zhang 

Genetically Engineered Tanapoxivirus Expressing Interleukin-2 Suppresses Human Melanoma Tumors