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3MT - 3 Minute Thesis

University 3MT Winners

2023 3MT University Competition Participants

The 2023 3MT competition will be held at 11am on Thursday, March 21, 2024

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is a research presentation competition that originated at the University of Queensland in 2008. Since then, the program has spread to universities worldwide. Students participating in the 3MT competition have three minutes to give an oral presentation based on their research. The presentation should avoid discipline-specific jargon and be presented so a lay audience can understand the significance of the research. 

Competitions are held in graduate departments and at the college level to determine which graduate student will advance to the university-wide competition. The competitor who wins first place will receive $2,000, second place will receive $1,500, third place will receive $1,000, and the Presenter's choice will win $500. The remaining participants will each receive $250.

For video examples of past 3MT presentations, visit the official 3MT website.


The following are the competition rules as given directly from 3MT:

  • 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 a maximum of 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (eg. 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.

For a complete list of rules and more information on judging criteria, please visit the 3MT website.

Congratulations to the winners from our 2023 3MT Event!

Mayra Hernandez Sanchez
Life Sciences
The Effect of Potatoes on Vegetable Consumption in School-Aged Children
1st place winner

Melanie Blauer
The Effects and Reversibility of Inhaled Corticosteroids on Phonation Threshold Pressure and Phonation Threshold Flow in Ex-Vivo Rabbit Larynges
2nd place winner

Abbie Speed
Fine Arts and Communications
MMORPG Addiction
3rd place winner and Presenter's Choice

2023 3MT University Competition Winners

2023 3MT Winners

2023 3MT Videos

How do we get kids to eat their vegetables? Mayra Hernandez attempted to answer this age-old question in her research. Her research focused on finding ways to increase vegetable consumption in school meals in kids ages 7- 13 years old. Her approach was to use potatoes, either season diced potatoes or Potato Smiles and and combine them with vegetables in either the same or separate bows. The results? When kids were served vegetables in the same bowl as as Potato Smiles, overall vegetable consumption increased. Therefore we may be getting closer to helping children eat more of their vegetables and help them meet their nutritional needs so that kids may grow physically, in strength, in knowledge and in helping them prepare for a bright future ahead of them.

Even though inhaled corticosteroids (like rescue inhalers used to treat asthma) are known to cause voice disorders in otherwise vocally healthy individuals, it is unknown whether those damaging effects can be reversed by taking a break from treatment. In our study, we investigated the reversibility of these negative vocal effects by exposing 18 white New Zealand rabbits to inhaled corticosteroid treatment. We compared the aerodynamic measures of rabbit vocal folds given a recovery period to rabbits vocal folds tested directly following treatment. Excitingly, the results showed vocal improvement in the rabbit groups afforded a recovery period, thus providing preliminary evidence that the damaging vocal effects of inhaled corticosteroids are, indeed, reversible.

"Tremor affects millions of people, many of whom are not satisfied with current front-line treatment options. New suppression techniques that focus on suppressing tremor at the muscle or joint level are becoming available, but we don't currently know which muscle most contributes to someone's arm tremor. My research aims to answer this question by measuring the electrical signal in the muscles and the motion of the joints and hand in tremor patients. Using a frequency-dependent correlation between muscle activations and joint movement, we can start to get an idea of which muscles are most responsible for tremor. Initial findings point toward elbow flexors (like your biceps) and wrist extensors as being most likely to contribute to tremor. Additionally, I am using this same data to validate a mathematical model of the upper-limb. Once validated, the model can also answer the question of which muscles are most responsible for tremor and why, as well as provide insight into new suppression sites or techniques, such as physical therapy. With the knowledge gained from my research, existing suppression methods can be optimized with minimal side effects, giving tremor patients the freedom to perform daily tasks that we take for granted."

Though black boards and white boards have been a fundamental tool in the classroom for over a century, little research has been done on how to best design and present information using these boards. My study takes visual design principles and applies them to boardwork in a mathematics classroom to better organize and clarify the content. This research shows that students notice boardwork, have strong opinions on what makes boardwork good, and that the application of design principles on boards has a significant impact on students and the teacher. Students felt their cognitive load was lightened and that they were receiving higher quality instruction and the teacher felt that using the design principles during the planning stages of the lesson reduced their cognitive load while teaching. Findings from this study can inform teachers on best practices for organizing their boardwork, serve as a template for professional development workshops, and inform curriculum for pre-service teacher education programs.

Finances remain a key struggle for couples in romantic relationships. This research explored the way in which individuals were taught by parents about money and how that impacts their feelings of capability with managing money. In addition, this research looked at how people's feelings of capability with money impacts their financial communication in romantic relationships. Findings showed that knowing better helps us do better.

Are you willing to take a risk to outperform your peers? I look at the interaction of prospect theory's loss aversion effect and social comparison bias. Loss aversion tells us that individuals on average are unwilling to incur potential losses even when an equal potential gain is associated. I predict individuals will be willing to take on more risk when their performance is compared against that of their peers.

2022 3MT Videos

2021 3MT Videos