• Three-Minute Thesis Challenge

  • The Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Challenge is an academic research competition that helps graduate students build effective presentation and communication skills. Participants are allowed just three minutes and one static slide to explain the breadth and significance of their thesis research project to a non-specialized audience.

    The challenge was developed by The University of Queensland, Australia, in 2008, and is now held at more than 600 universities in 65 countries around the world. The New School for Social Research (NSSR) is excited to hold our first-ever 3MT Challenge in spring 2019. Read on for more information.

    Eligibility

    All MA students graduating in spring or summer 2019 and all PhD students at NSSR are eligible to enter. All are welcome and encouraged to serve as audience members at the 3MT Challenge itself.

    Prizes

    First place: $1,000
    Second place: $750
    Third place: $300

    In addition, the audience will select a 3MT participant for an audience choice award of $500. All other finalists will receive a participation prize.

    Timeline

    Applications must be submitted by Friday, February 15.

    The ten finalists will be notified by Friday, March 8.

    Finalists are required to attend two special workshops, at which they will hone their presentation and speaking skills. Both workshops will be taught by Jennifer MacDonald, director of the Center for Graduate Career and Professional Development.

    Thursday, April 4, 1:30–3:30 p.m.
    Topic: How to Present Data

    Tuesday, April 9
    , 2:30–4:00 p.m.
    Topic: How to Give an Engaging Presentation

    The Three-Minute Thesis Challenge will take place Monday, April 29, 6:00–7:30 p.m., in the Wolff Conference Room, 6 East 16th Street, room. All are welcome and encouraged to attend,

    How to Enter

    To enter the 3MT Challenge, please fill out the application and submit a short video of no more than one minute that answers the following questions:

    • Who are you? (What is your name, department, and program?)
    • What is the subject of your research?
    • What motivates you to study this topic?
    • Why do you want to participate in the Three-Minute Thesis Challenge?

    At this stage, you do not need to have a polished presentation ready. We are looking for enthusiasm and passion for your research topic.

    If you need help or equipment to record a video, please email NSSR Academic Affairs or stop by the Academic Affairs Office at 6 East 16th Street.

    Apply here.

    3MT Challenge Rules

    Finalists will be able to work on their presentations with workshop guidance from

    • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations, or movements of any kind are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
    • No additional electronic media (e.g., sound or video files) are permitted.
    • No additional props (e.g., books, costumes, musical instruments) are permitted.
    • Presentations are limited to three minutes. Competitors whose presentations exceed three minutes will be disqualified.
    • Presentations are to be spoken (no singing is allowed).
    • A presentation is considered to have begun with the presenter’s first word or movement.
    • The decision of the judging panel is final.

    Judging Criteria

    Comprehensiveness and content

    • Did the presenter clearly describe the background and significance of 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?
    • Were the thesis topic, research significance, results and impact, and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
    • Did the presenter spend enough time on each element of his or her presentation? Did he or she spend too much time on one aspect of the subject? Was the presentation rushed?

    Engagement and communication

    • Did the presentation make the audience want to know more?
    • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize from his or her research?
    • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for his or her research?
    • Did the presenter capture and maintain the audience's attention?
    • Did the speaker have stage presence and a confident stance, maintain a steady pace and eye contact, and employ his or her vocal range effectively?
    • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation? Was it clear, legible, and concise?
  • FAQ

  • Contact Us

    If you need help or equipment to record a video, please email NSSR Academic Affairs or stop by the Academic Affairs Office at 6 East 16th Street.

  • Take The Next Step

Submit your application

Undergraduates

To apply to any of our undergraduate programs (except the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs) complete and submit the Common App online.

Undergraduate Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.

Graduates

To apply to any of our Master's, Doctoral, Professional Studies Diploma, and Graduate Certificate programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.

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