Three Minute Thesis (3MT)


A 100-page dissertation could take hours to present. Can you do it in 3 minutes? 

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition celebrates the existing research conducted by PhD students. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), 3MT cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.


The first 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates competing. In 2009 and 2010, the 3MT competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities and enthusiasm for the concept grew. Due to its adoption in numerous universities, a multinational event was developed, and the Inaugural Trans-Tasman 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2010.

Since 2011, the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT competitions are now held in over 600 universities across more than 65 countries worldwide.

The first GW 3MT competition was held in 2019 and was only available to CCAS PhD students. Afterwards, the 2022 and 2023 competitions were expanded to include both CCAS and SEAS PhD students. As of 2024, the event is now a university-wide competition!

2024 3MT Competition

The 2024 3MT competition was sponsored by GW's Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs (OGPA) and was held on Thursday, February 22, 2024. Please visit the OGPA Three Minute Thesis page for more details.

2023 3MT Winners

First Place

Ryan Welch

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, SEAS

Linking the Process, Structure, and Performance of 3D
Printed Thermoelectric Materials

Second Place

Jacob Medina

Cancer Biology, CCAS

Photothermal Therapy of SM1 Melanoma Utilizing
Anti-CD137 Coated Prussian Blue Nanoparticles

Third Place

Nate Harris

Economics, CCAS

Do Building Height Restrictions Increase or Decrease
Welfare in a City?

People's Choice

Anastasia Sarmakeeva

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, SEAS

Landslide Simulations to Save Lives

Watch the Full 2023 3MT Competition

2022 3MT Winners

First Place

Dustin Abele


Sustainable Materials for High Energy Density Lithium-ion Batters

Second Place

Ruoyu Chen


Evaluating the Effects of Carbon Trading on Power Sector Emissions in China: A View From Space

Third Place

Anthony Hennig

Systems Engineering

The Complexities of Measuring Complexity

People's Choice

Ferhan Güloglu


Natural Mothers in the Making



2021 Virtual 3MT Winners

Event Details

On Thursday, February 24, nine Ph.D. students from across CCAS doctoral programs in the humanities, sciences and social sciences faced off in friendly competition in the third annual CCAS Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Dissertation Competition. The competition challenges students to effectively communicate their research to a non-specialist audience in three minutes. 

In this year’s virtual competition students submitted pre-recorded videos of their 3MT presentations and the winners were announced at Thursday’s live event. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners were selected by a judging panel of CCAS faculty members; Professor Heidi Bardot, (Art Therapy) Professor Shelley Brundage, (Speech and Hearing Sciences) Professor Harald Grassheimmer (Physics) and CCAS Dean, Paul Wahlbeck (Political Science). A People’s Choice winner was selected by the audience. 

In total, student’s 3MT videos garnered almost 500 views within one week with the People’s Choice winner receiving over 170 individual views. It was a job well done by all of the doctoral students taking part in this year’s virtual Three Minute Thesis competition! 

First Place

Katherine Hinnant


Can You Fight Fires with Shampoos?


Second Place

Turni Chakrabarti


Disruptive Widowhood in the Bengali and British Novel

Third Place

Stephanie Gomez

Microbiology & Immunology

How Can the Immune System Be Activated to Treat Ovarian Cancer?

People's Choice

Djordje Modrakovic

Clinical Psychology

Better Safe Sex: HIV Preventative Interventions & Psychosexual Health Among Men Who Have Sex with Men


2020 3MT Winners

First Place

Kimberly Foecke

Human Paleobiology

Nitrogen, Neanderthals, and Seeing Diet in the Past.

Second Place

Abhilasha Sahay


The Silenced Women: Can Public Activism Stimulate Disclosure of Violence Against Women.

Third Place & People's Choice

Michelle Kramer

Cognitive Neuroscience

Context Matters: How Previous Events Influence Airport Baggage Screening Success.


2019 3MT Winners

First Place

Elizabeth Pertner

Political Science

Watching the Watchdog

Second Place

Matthew Lefler


Making Carbon Nanotubes from Thin Air

Third Place

Chelsea Ullman

Public Policy and Administration

How Can Policy be Used to Get Justice for Campus Sexual Assault Survivors?

People's Choice

Jiaqi J. O'Reilly

Biomedical Sciences: Neuroscience

The Placenta: The Most Important Organ That Everyone Loses