UNC-Chapel Hill doctoral students are invited to participate in a judged competition in which they will have just three minutes to present their research – on a stage, with one slide and using no props other than the slide.
Three Minute Thesis (3MT®), developed by the University of Queensland, provides students with an opportunity to hone their communication skills while distilling their dissertation to the most important features, said Steve Matson, dean of The Graduate School.
“Students, during their academic training, learn how to communicate with an academic audience,” he added. “However, they do not frequently have a chance to share their work with a general audience in a way that captures the importance of their work and its relevance to the world today.”
Doctoral students from any discipline are eligible to participate and must pre-register no later than Oct. 14. The preliminary rounds of the 3MT will be held from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 23 and 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Frank Porter Graham Student Union. The final round of 10 campus finalists will be held from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.
The panel of judges will be made up of community, business and university leaders. Judges will assess the participants’ ability to clearly explain the significance of their research, and their engagement with the audience, among other criteria. The public is invited to attend the preliminary and final rounds.
“Effective communication skills is the number one transferable skill employers seek in job candidates,” said Brian Rybarczyk, director of Academic and Professional Development within The Graduate School. “3MT is a professional development opportunity for graduate students to develop verbal communication skills. Students have to translate their research for a non-expert audience, make it accessible, highlight its importance and connect their work to the world outside an academic setting.”
The winner of the campus competition will receive $1,000; the runner-up and People’s Choice awardee (determined by the audience) will each receive $500. The campus finalist advances to the regional competition at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools in February 2016 in Charlotte.
This is the first 3MT competition for UNC-Chapel Hill; the event is now held in more than 200 universities in 18-plus countries worldwide.
General information, including students’ frequently asked questions, is available at the Three Minute Thesis website.