CEHD Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition

What is 3MT?

Think of 3MT as a way to prepare your elevator speech--a method to narrow down tens of thousands of words of research to a three-minute presentation, while effectively explaining your research project in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Presenting in a 3MT competition will enhance your ability to communicate the "bottom-line-why"-- why your research matters and why it makes a difference. You may win some money along the way, too.

Purpose of 3MT

  • Celebrate the exciting research conducted by PhD students in CEHD
  • Cultivate students' academic, presentation, and research communication skills
  • Develop students' online professional presence via filmed presentations that will be shared on YouTube and can be added to their portfolio


  • 1st Place - $1,000
  • Runner-up - $500
  • People’s Choice - $500

Preliminary rounds of 3MT

The preliminary rounds of 3MT will be held on Tuesday, February 20 and Wednesday, February 21, 2024 at 3PM in 325 EdSci. You can sign up here.

Final round of 3MT

The final round of 3MT will be held on Thursday, March 21, 2024 at 10AM in the Heritage Room at McNamara Hall, as part of CEHD Research Day.

For more information, please e-mail Michael DallaValle, Assistant Director of Graduate Education, at mdallava@umn.edu.


  • Single static PowerPoint slide. No slide transitions, animations, or “movement” of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from beginning of oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, lab equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum, and participants exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps, or songs).
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts her presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.