A thesis or dissertation takes years of painstaking research, thought and writing. But could you distill it down to three minutes?
That was the challenge of the Three Minute Thesis competition, recently hosted by UChicagoGRAD. Thirteen master’s and Ph.D. students had just a few minutes, and the use of only one static slide, to share their scholarship in a concise, compelling and impactful presentation.
“The less amount of time, the more you have to focus on what you think is most important about what you do,” said Michael O’Toole, senior assistant director for GRADTalk, a public speaking program for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers through UChicagoGRAD. “Students have plenty of opportunities to speak to other specialists, but they also need to be able to communicate their research to the general public in a way that’s accessible, and that a family member or friend could understand.”
The competition is one of many resources, programs and services that UChicagoGRAD provides to support graduate students in their academic pursuits and future careers. The 3MT format originated at the University of Queensland and has been replicated at universities around the world, including UChicago, which held its first 3MT competition in 2018. The best presenters can go on to compete in regional competitions.