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SBU Three Minute Thesis
Competition 2023

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

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, 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:  

9:30am-10:00am Sign In Theater Lobby
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: TBA
Lecture Hall 1
  Moderator: TBA
Lecture Hall 2
11:30am-11:50am Break                  Theater Lobby
11:50am-12:50pm Round 2 Competitors Announced and Round 2 Begins
Moderator: TBA
Lecture Hall 2
1:00pm-2:00pm Reception and Winners Announced
Theater Lobby

Agenda subject to change.


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