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SBU Three Minute Thesis
Competition 2023

Stony Brook celebrates our students' exciting PhD research this year with a return to
an in-person Three Minute Thesis competition!

See this year's talks


1st Place: Katherine Kling, IDPAS,
Paradise Lost in Madagascar?

2nd Place : Kaushik Londhe, Civil Engineering,
Can Radiation Solve Our Drinking Water Problem?

3rd Place & People's Choice: Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen, Integrative Neuroscience,
How the Aging Brain Processes Loneliness

Photos of Katherine Kling who won 1st place in 3MT in 2023, with the Dean and Alumni Assoc President.Photos of Kaushik Londhe who won 2nd place in 3MT in 2023, with the Dean and Alumni Assoc President.Photos of Samantha Chen who won 3rd place and People's Choice in 3MT in 2023, with the Dean and Alumni Assoc President.

3MT 2023 Award Ceremony with SBU Alumni Association President Ahmed Belazi and Interim Graduate Dean Celia Marshik honoring
1st Place Katherine Kling (left), 2nd Place Kaushik Londhe (middle), and 3rd Place and People's Choice Samantha Chen (right)

Estefania Vergara from Economics presentsLocation:  Wang Center Lecture Halls 1 & 2

Date:   Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Time: 10:00 am—2:00 pm

This is event is free and open to the public.

Sponsors:  SBU Alumni Association, Grad and Postdoc Professional Development, Graduate Student Organization, and the Graduate School
3MT is a model developed by the University of Queensland.

Three Minute Thesis, or 3MT® for short, is a spoken word thesis competition. 3MT is an opportunity for SBU graduate students to present their dissertation research findings to a general audience in THREE MINUTES with only one PowerPoint slide. 2019 FinalistsThe goal is for students to engage all their communication skills to make their research vivid and engaging while emphasizing its key point without technical terminology or field-specific jargon.

Graduate students who compete will receive specialized coaching. While 3MT is a competition, SBU emphasizes the professional development derived from participating in small-group research communication coaching.  Coaching uses a cohort approach that encourages peer feedback and support.

Prizes will be awarded. Thet best talks will be recognized with cash prizes sponsored by the SBU Alumni Association.

SBU 3MT 2023 AGENDA:  

10:00am-10:15am Welcome and Ground Rules Lecture Hall 2
  Welcoming Remarks: 
Kathleen Flint Ehm, Assistant Dean, Graduate & Postdoctoral Initiatives, Graduate School
Celia Marshik, Interim Dean of the Graduate School
10:30am-11:30am Round 1  
  Moderator: Avery Morris, Graduate Student, Music
Haley Akemi Briggles, Music
Mae Saslaw, Geosciences
Brianna Gonzalez, Integrative Neuroscience
Anand Aiyer, Computer Science
Katherine Kling, IDPAS
Danilo Segovia, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Zongxing Xie, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Lecture Hall 1
  Moderator: Ashley Barry, Graduate Student, Women's Gender & Sexuality Studies
Kaushik Londhe, Civil Engineering
Jacob Feder, IDPAS
Yunting Yin, Computer Science
Jacob Crosser, Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen, Integrative Neuroscience
Joanne Saldanha, Genetics
Tanzir Pial, Computer Science
Lecture Hall 2
11:30am-11:50am Break                  Theater Lobby
11:50am-12:50pm Round 2 Competitors Announced and Round 2 Begins
Moderator: D. David O'Donoghue, Graduate Student, History, and Secretary, Graduate Student Organization
Lecture Hall 2
1:00pm-2:00pm Reception and Winners Announced
Ahmed Belazi, President of the Board, Alumni Association
Theater Lobby

Agenda subject to change.


First Name Last Name Graduate Program Advisor Title
Anand Aiyer Computer Science I.V. Ramakrishnan Taming ‘Entangled’ Accessibility Forums
Haley Akemi Briggles Music Stephen D. Smith Silencing the Stereotypes, not Asian Americans
Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen Integrative Neuroscience Turhan Canli How the Aging Brain Processes Loneliness
Jacob Crosser Applied Mathematics and Statistics Braden Brinkman Much Ado About Brain Models
Jacob Feder Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences Amy Lu Why Monkey Families Break Up
Brianna Gonzalez Integrative Neuroscience Turhan Canli
Katherine Kling Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences Patricia Wright & Catherine Markham Paradise Lost in Madagascar?
Kaushik Londhe Civil Engineering Arjun Venkatesan Can Radiation Solve Our Drinking Water Problem?
Tanzir Pial Computer Science Steven Skiena From 4 letter DNA to Natural Language Alignments
Joanne Saldanha Genetics Hyungjin Kim A Fork in the Road to Cancer Therapy
Mae Saslaw Geosciences Gregory Henkes Water in the Desert
Danilo Segovia Molecular and Cellular Biology Adrian Krainer
Zongxing Xie Electrical and Computer Engineering Fan Ye Wireless Sensing for In-home Health Monitoring
Yunting Yin Computer Science Steven Skiena



Eligibility: To compete in 3MT, students must:

  • Be SBU doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy (G5 or equivalent) by the speaker sign up deadline;
  • Be enrolled full-time in Spring 2023 and be in good standing;
  • Work in any disciplinary field, with those in the Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences particularly encouraged to participate
  • Have advanced in their dissertation to a stage where findings, preliminary conclusions, and broader impact can be discussed. Students may only participate in 3MT once; 
  • Affirm during speaker sign up that their dissertation advisor supports presentation of their research; and
  • Commit to participating in all 3 training sessions.*

Presentation Guidelines: Talks will be three minutes long and may include only one PowerPoint slide. Speakers should craft a talk that distills the heart of their research for a general audience who may not be specialists, in the style of a TED-like talk (watch previous year's 3MT talks for examples). Speakers will receive individualized coaching on their presentation from research communication experts. See the official rules for more detailed information. 

3MT 2023 returns to an in-person venue once again! All competitors will present live and on-stage during Round 1, and the top eight will advance to Round 2, which will immediately follow with a new panel of judges. 

Training Sessions: The first session will provide an overview of best practices for honing one's message for a general audience. In the second and third sessions, speakers will receive coaching on their individual talks in small groups. Speakers may indicate a date/time preference for their small-group sessions, and organizers will do their best to accommodate everyone's busy schedules. Speakers are expected to attend all three sessions. See training dates and times below. Coaching takes place in small groups where peer feedback and support is expected and encouraged while students workshop their draft presentations.

Speaker Sign Up Deadline:  Friday, February 17, 2023

Speaker Training Dates:(Speakers are expected to commit to all three sessions*)

  • Session 1: Wed, Feb 22, 10am-12pm* Plenary Training: Your introduction to research communication for a general audience.
  • Session 2: Coaching 1: Individualized coaching on your draft 3MT talk. You will be assigned to one of four times:
    • Tues, Mar 7, 10am-12pm
    • Tues, Mar 7, 12:30pm-2:30pm
    • Wed, Mar 8, 10am-12pm
    • Wed, Mar 8, 12:30pm-2:30pm
  • Session 3: Coaching 2: Individualized coaching on your almost-final 3MT talk. You will be assigned to one of four times:
    • Tues, Mar 21, 10am-12pm
    • Tues, Mar 21, 12:00pm-2:00pm
    • Wed, Mar 22, 10am-12pm
    • Wed, Mar 22, 12:00pm-2:00pm

You can indicate a preference for coaching sessions in the sign up form below. Please try to save the coaching dates on your calendar until you know you are selected.

*Students who have already taken JRN/COM 501  may opt out of Session 1 (altho it's better to attend!).


3MT 2019 CompetitorsSpeaker sign-up deadline: Friday, February 17, 2023

  1. Go to the Sign Up form and enter your contact info.
  2. Affirm that your graduate advisor supports you presenting your work in the 3MT competition.
  3. Agree to participate in three training sessions to be held on Feb 22* AND Mar 7OR8 AND Mar 21OR22. You can indicate a preference of two small-group coaching times for Sessions 2 & 3 (see times above).
  4. After submission, you will receive confirmation on whether you have been selected to compete. At that time, we will request a title from selected speakers.

Competitor Selection: Organizers aim to accommodate as many eligible students as want to compete, but competitor slots nevertheless are limited. Competitor selection, if necessary, will take into account coaching date availability, disciplinary and demographic balance.


Judging: The talks will be evaluated by a panel of judges from a range of backgrounds and disciplines for how well the speaker engages a general audience of non-specialists and can convey the excitement and innovation of their research without jargon or distortion. See the full judging criteria.

Prizes: Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, plus a People's Choice award selected by the audience. Prizes are generously sponsored by the SBU Alumni Association.

1st: $1000
2nd: $700
3rd: $500
People's Choice: $300


Contact Dr. Kathleen Flint Ehm, Assistant Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Initiatives (kathleen.ehm at