The LSU Graduate School Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition 

3MT logo, founded by the University of Queensland

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.

3MT is a competition that challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects to a general audience in just three minutes.

Congratulations to the 3MT® Competition Fall 2022 Winners!

1st Place: Ricardo Hungria
LSU Department of Construction Management
“Breaking a Stigma:  Bacterial Self-Healing Concrete”

2nd Place: Salar Saadatian
LSU Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
“Modeling of Flat Heat Pipes”

People's Choice: Sajila Riman Tanha
LSU Department of Chemistry
“Alkyne Metathesis Catalysts:  Next Generation”


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by Doctor of Philosophy (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. Currently 3MT is held in over 900 universities across more than 80 countries worldwide.


Active PhD and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates who have successfully passed their confirmation milestone (including candidates whose thesis is under submission) by the date of their first presentation are eligible to participate in 3MT competitions at all levels, including the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition. Graduates are not eligible.

How to Enter

Academic Colleges will select two students as representatives to compete. The College’s representatives must be available to present in the preliminary round. Eight participants with the highest scores will be invited to compete in the final round. Please submit your registration form and your presentation to by November 14, 2022.

Preliminary Round - (CANCELLED)

Date: November 17, 2022

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Place: College of the Coast & Environment Auditorium 

Final Round and Reception

Date: November 30, 2022

Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Place: The Digital Media Center Theater


  • 1st Place: $1,000 research travel award and funding to travel to the Southern Regional 3MT Competition 
  • 2nd Place: $750 research travel award
  • People’s Choice: $500 research travel award

Competition Rules and Guidelines


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Judging Criteria:

At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below. Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience. 

Comprehension and Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed, while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation – or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?

Engagement and Communication

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise

People's Choice: 

An important aspect of the competition is the People’s Choice prize. Following all presentations, the audience is asked to vote on who they thought gave the most convincing 3MT presentation (based on their understanding of the criteria outline above. The audience will be provided with finalist details via PowerPoint, and using the voting paper, they will be asked to select the number which corresponds to their favorite presenter. A finalist can be the winner or runner-up and still receive the People’s Choice award.

LSU Three Minute Thesis Competition - Fall 2022 Finalists

Finalist Dissertation Title Department
Zachary Bordas Paradise in Shambles: Planetary Pollution and Kashmiri Literature  Department of English

Caroline Copeland

Imitation is the Highest Form of Biosensing:
Mimicking disease pathways to accurately detect a versatile biomarker

Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering 
Ricardo Hungria Breaking a Stigma: Bacterial Self-Healing Concrete Department of Construction Management
Salar Saadatian Modeling of Flat Heat Pipes Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
Sajila Riman Tanha Alkyne Metathesis Catalysts : Next Generation  Department of Chemistry
Sirazum Tisha Don’t Judge the Code by Its Output: An Automated Grading Approach

Division of Computer Science and Engineering

Previous LSU-3MT Winners

Andrew Luke Hargroder, Winner of the 2019 3MT Competition with the title of "Under the Banner: Freedom, Slavery, and the US Army Before the Civil War"

Xiaodong Zhao, Second Place of the 2019 3MT Competition with the title of "Real-time tracking of patient position & dose based on VMAT-CT"   

Margaret Furtner, People's Choice of the 2019 3MT Competition with the title of "Comparing the Accuracy of Close-Range Photogrammetry to microCT Scanning via Surface Deviation Analysis of 3D Digital Models of Hominin Molars"

Julie Butler, Winner of the 2017 3MT Competition with the title  of "Fish Tale."

Presentation Examples and Resources

3MT Competitor Guide

3MT Website

3MT Previous Winners

How to Talk About Your Thesis in Three Minutes


(*Note: This Prezi was prepared for a different university’s 3MT competition. You also can watch other competitors' presentation on the vimeo website.