Graduate Programs

Three Minute Thesis/Dissertation Competition

photo of a student presenting at the three minute thesis competition

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2023 Winners

First Place Winner

  • William Cvammen, Ph.D. student, Biomedical Sciences, College of Science and Mathematics, advisor Dr. Michael G. Kemp

Second Place Winners (2)

  • Shikshita Singh, Master student, Pharmacology + Toxicology, Boonshoft School of Medicine, advisor Dr. Jeffrey B. Travers
  • Cassidy Alspaugh, Master student, Biological Sciences, Science and Mathematics, advisor Dr. Shulin Ju

Third Place Winners (3)

  • Ryanne Cimatu, Master student, Biological Sciences, Science and Mathematics, advisor Dr. Silvia E. Newell
  • Mia Williams Burnett, Ph.D. student, Environmental Sciences, Science and Mathematics, advisors Drs. Saber Hussain and Courtney Sulentic
  • Peter Swartz, Ph.D. student, Electrical Engineering, Engineering and Computer Science, advisor Dr. Saiyu Ren

People's Choice Award

  • Vamshi Beemanapalli, Master student, Pharmacology + Toxicology, Boonshoft School of Medicine, advisor Dr. Courtney Sulentic


About the Event

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

If you are working on a thesis or dissertation, you may be wondering how to explain your research ideas easily and engage your audience. The College of Graduate Programs & Honors Studies will host our inaugural Three Minute Thesis/Dissertation Competition on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. By participating in this competition, you will develop the best “elevator speech” for effective research communication. You will become confident at job interviews and talking to an intelligent, broad audience.


  • Friday, January 27, 2023: Deadline for submissions. View application submission requirements.
  • Friday, February 10, 2023: The reviewing committee will select a group of contenders to compete at the final, in-person event.
  • Tuesday, February 21, 2023, 5 to 7 p.m.: Final, in-person competition at the Student Union Endeavour Room.


  • Participating students must be enrolled in either master's or doctoral programs in Spring 2023.
  • A student’s program of study must contain an original research project.
  • If the degree program does not formally require a thesis or dissertation, the research topic must be an original research project.
  • Students must compete as an individual. No team competition is allowed.

Application Submission

  • One-page Research Statement is required (max 400 words). The Research Statement should include the originality of the research, the research question(s), the research methodology, data analysis, findings, and (expected) impact.
  • Application closes on January 27, 2023.

Warning message

Submissions for this form are closed.

Rules for Final, In-person Competition

  • The final contenders must attend a coaching session before the final competition.
  • The final competition will allow one single PDF slide. No animations or transitions are allowed.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g., sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g., notecards, scripts, pointers, costumes, musical instruments, or laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Each presentation is limited to 3 minutes maximum talking on stage. Competitors exceeding 3 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 begins through movement or speech.

Evaluation and Winners

  • A panel of reviewers will use the rubric (PDF) for evaluation and select participants to compete in the final presentation.
  • At the final competition, a panel of judges will rate and select the following winners:
    • First Place Winner wins a $400 award. The winner will also compete in Chicago in March 2023 at the MAGS conference. The college will cover the travel expenses (more details are below).
    • Second Place Winners win a $300 award each.
    • Third Place Winners win a $200 award each.
    • People’s Choice Winner wins a $150 award. The audience at the event (in-person) will be able to vote for their People’s Choice winner.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.
  • The award will be processed through WrightBuy after the event. The award is subject to income tax.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What type of degree program must I be enrolled in to be eligible?

    You are eligible to compete if you are enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program in Spring 2023. Your degree program must involve a thesis, dissertation, or original research, such as a master’s research project.

  • How far along in my research do I have to be for me to be eligible?

    It is up to each competitor to determine whether they have enough context and results to present their research in a compelling 3MT. If your research does not have results yet, you may focus on what you hope to achieve or the expected outcomes. Please seek your supervisor’s advice on how to best present your research.

  • What happens if my presentation is longer than 3 minutes?

    A countdown timer will be visible to the speaker at the 3MT competition. Presenters who go over 3 minutes will become disqualified. However, we will not interrupt; if you go over, keep talking and finish your presentation.

  • Will there be just a speech, or can we have a PPT presentation too?

    For the final in-person competition, one PDF slide is allowed. No animations or transitions are allowed. The final contenders will receive more information on preparing for the final competition.

  • Will the 3MT open to the public?

    Yes. All Wright State students will receive the invitation to the final competition to be held on February 21. The audience present will be able to vote for a People’s Choice Award. Final contenders are encouraged to invite their fellow students and supporters to the event.

  • Is there a dress code?

    For the final competition, please dress business casual or business. You will be giving a public presentation and will be evaluated by a panel of judges. The dress code should be similar to attending a conference presentation.

  • Can I use palm cards or notes during my presentation?

    Notecards and/or scripts are NOT allowed during the presentation.

  • Can I present my 3MT online/remotely, i.e., on Webex?

    No remotion option is allowed. All final contenders will compete in person and be evaluated by a panel of judges in person.

  • Will I receive feedback from the judges on my 3MT presentation?

    Judges will provide scores on the grading sheets. Judges may provide a brief written comment, if any, on the grading sheets. We will share the brief written feedback with the final contenders after the competition. The scores will not be shared.

  • Will the ranking/score be shared with participants?

    No, the judges’ scores are confidential. We will announce the winners but will not share the actual scores.

3-Minute Thesis® Competition at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Conference 2023

MAGS will host the 2023 CGS-affiliate midwestern region competition in March 2023 in Chicago, IL. Wright State University will send our first-place winner to compete at the MAGS Annual Conference. Participants will compete on the final day of the meeting on March 31, 2023. Awardees will be selected and announced at that time. More details can be found on the Competition website.

To take it to another level, the winner of the MAGS competition (midwestern region) will enter the national competition at the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS)’s national conference in Washington, D.C., in December 2023.