Three Minute Thesis (3MT®)

3MT: Three Minute Thesis, Founded by the University of Queensland

3MT Live Finals – February 18

The Villanova University Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition will take place on Friday, February 18 in the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. The main event will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. and a reception will follow from 5 to 6 p.m.


Tickets are free, but you must reserve them online before the event. Please note, you will be asked to create an account in order to reserve the tickets.

Live Stream

If you are unable to make the event in person, you can watch 3MT live online! You will also be able to vote for the Audience Choice online.


Jane Frances Anyango – FCON – PhD in Nursing

Mackenzie Bowden – COE – MS in Sustainable Engineering

Gabrielle Coker – CLAS – MA in Mathematics

Zoe Darazsdi – CLAS – MS in Counseling

Akeeka Davis – FCON – PhD in Nursing

Carol Devlin – FCON – PhD in Nursing

Nick Langan – CLAS – MS in Software Engineering

Menglong Lei – COE­ ­– PhD in Engineering

Christopher Quintana – CLAS ­– PhD in Philosophy

Peter Rokowski – COE – PhD in Engineering

Marissa Rossi – CLAS – MS in Environmental Science

Samuel Sinemus – CLAS – MS in Psychology


University Leadership

  • Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, President
  • Amanda M. Grannas, PhD, Vice Provost for Research, Chief Research Officer
  • Michael T. Westrate, PhD, Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Research

College Leadership

  • Peter Kaufmann, PhD, FABMR, FSBM, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
  • Alfonso Ortega, PhD, Director of the Villanova NSF Center for Energy Smart Electronic Systems and Director of the Laboratory for Advanced Thermal and Fluid Systems, College of Engineering
  • Barry Selinsky, PhD, Associate Dean for Research, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

What is a 3MT competition?

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is a competition for master’s and doctoral students to develop and showcase their research communication skills. Developed by The University of Queensland, 3MT cultivates students’ academic, professional, presentation and research communication skills. To be successful, competitors must effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

A panel of judges will select a first-place winner ($1,000 award), a second-place winner ($500 award), and audience members in attendance will select an audience choice winner ($250 award). In addition, the first place winner of Villanova’s 3MT® competition will be entered into the regional 3MT competition for the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools.

How do I enter the competition?

All students will first submit a self-recorded video of their presentation according to the timeline listed below. All video submissions will be reviewed and all finalists who are invited to present live at the final competition on February 18 will be notified by February 4. See below for specific submission details and submission form button.

3MT Information Session

CLAS Graduate Studies Dean Emory Woodard, PhD, will host a 3MT virtual information session at 1 p.m. on January 14, 2022. Please register here for the info session.

What are the 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. For the initial video submission, the PowerPoint slide can be attached as a file along with the video recording 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 three minutes maximum and competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • 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.

What are the judging criteria?

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 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 trivialize or generalize 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?

Who is eligible?

All graduate students who have engaged a research project at Villanova University are eligible to enter this contest. Whether you are a master’s or doctoral student, writing a thesis or dissertation, or just working on a research paper for a course, you are eligible to apply for this exciting competition!

What is the schedule for Spring 2022?

Date Time Happening
Friday, January 14 1:00 p.m. Virtual Information Session

Monday, January 31

11:59 p.m. Online Video Submissions Due
Friday, February 4 5:00 p.m. Notification of Finalists
Friday, February 18 3:00 p.m. Villanova’s 3MT Competition
Thursday, April 28 2:00 p.m. Virtual Regional 3MT Competition

Online Video Submissions

Students will be required to enter a video submission by Monday, January 31, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Entries should be submitted through the form using the button below. Please share the URL link to your three-minute video stored on OneDrive or Google Drive, or you may share a link to a video uploaded to YouTube. There will be a file upload button to submit your single PowerPoint slide along with a link to the video of your three-minute oration.

You are welcome to record your video on your own using whatever device you choose. If you would like to record your video on campus or require any assistance, reach out to the CLAS Office of Graduate Studies.


Notification of Finalists

Finalists will be notified if they are invited to present at the February 18 competition by Friday, February 4, 2022.

Villanova’s 3MT Competition

The 3MT campus competition will take place on Friday, February 18, 2022, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Topper Theatre of the John and Joan Mullen Performing Arts Center. The competition will be judged by a panel of judges from university leadership. The panel of judges will award prizes to first and second place. The audience will select the winner of the audience choice award.

Presentation Resources

Villanova’s Center for Speaking and Presentation (CSP) is an excellent resource as you prepare for your video submission as well as the final competition on February 18, 2022. CSP recommends scheduling several sessions with them as you prepare and perfect your presentation. Schedule your initial consultation.

See the videos from the Spring 2021 competition. See the videos from the Spring 2020 competition.

Check out the videos of winning presentations from some of our peer institutions:

Finally, here are some online resources to promote your success:

3MT is a professional and highly engaging international research communication competition

To learn more about the competition history, rules, and to gain valuable preparation tips, visit the 3MT website.

Villanova 3MT Winner 2021

Alec Tare video thumb: "Training Warehouse Managers to Decrease Turnover."

Alec Tare, a student in Villanova's online Human Resource Development master's program took first place in the University's 2021 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition for his presentation, "Training Warehouse Managers to Decrease Turnover." 

Villanova 3MT Winner 2020

Philosophy PhD student Katherine Kurtz qualified for nationals and took second place at the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools 3MT Research Presentation Competition for her work, "Deviant Bodies: Toward an Aesthetics of Feminine Monstrosity."