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Competition invites graduate students to present big ideas in just 3 minutes

Friday, October 18, 2019

The entry to Strong Hall at the Univerity of KansasLAWRENCE — In less time than it takes to listen to a favorite pop song, University of Kansas graduate students will explain their cutting-edge research in a unique competition called the Three Minute Thesis, or 3MT.

Nearly 50 graduate students will participate in the multiround competition, which begins Thursday, Oct. 24. KU’s competition is part of a global event that highlights graduate student research by challenging students to explain their work effectively and engagingly to non-experts.

“The research KU graduate students conduct is impressive, and we are excited to give them a chance to showcase it,” said Audrey Lamb, interim dean of Graduate Studies. “The competition is remarkable, because our graduate students will present their research in three minutes using one slide. The competitors, from the humanities, social and natural sciences, music, journalism, engineering, architecture, education and pharmacy, are explaining to each other, to a diverse audience and to judges from the local community.”

Students who advance from the initial heats Oct. 24 will compete in finals Nov. 5. All members of the KU and Lawrence communities are welcome to watch these free events. Judges will select a first-place winner who will receive $500; a second-place winner who will receive $250; and a People’s Choice winner who will receive $125. The first place presenter will represent KU at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools 3MT competition April 1-3, 2020, in Milwaukee, with travel, lodging and other expenses paid for by the Office of Graduate Studies.

The top presenters at KU’s heats whose research is in the social sciences, natural sciences or engineering will also receive free membership in Sigma Xi, the international scientific research honor society. Graduate Studies and Sigma Xi are sponsors of the KU 3MT.

The 3MT academic research communication competition was developed by the University of Queensland in Australia and was first held in 2008. 3MT competitions have been held at more than 600 universities and in 65 countries.

For more information, contact Amanda Ostreko, assistant dean of Graduate Studies, at 785-864-8040, or amandao@ku.edu.


6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24
Kansas Union, Alderson, Centennial and Kansas rooms


6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5
Kansas Union, Kansas Room.