CEHD Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition

What's your elevator speech?

CEHD PhD students have three minutes to concisely and effectively explain their research project in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

  • Celebrate the exciting research conducted by PhD students in CEHD
  • Cultivate students' academic, presentation, and research communication skills
  • Develop students' online professional presence via filmed presentations that will be shared on YouTube


  • $500 first prize
  • $250 runner-up
  • $250 people's choic

2017 CEHD 3MT Mentoring Workshop: Thursday February 23, 2017, 4-5:30pm, in 325 Education Sciences Building. Please RSVP here to reserve a seat!

Preliminary rounds will be held Monday March 6, 2:30-4:00pm, and Thursday March 9, 2:30-4:00pm, 2017, in 325 Education Sciences Building. Please let us know if you want to participate by signing up here.

CEHD faculty will serve as preliminary round judges to determine who will proceed to the final round. The judges' rubric is posted as a PDF below.

Final round during CEHD Research Day: March 28, 2017, 10-11am, McNamara Alumni Center: Johnson Room.

Final round judges: Karen Kaler, University Associate; Mary Tjosvold, local entrepreneur, author, and humanitarian; and Professor John Wright, PhD, faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota.

For more information, contact Bri Keeney, PhD, Director of Graduate Education Initiatives, CEHD (keen0113@umn.edu, 612-626-9145)

  • Active PhD student during Spring 2017 semester
  • Previous CEHD 3MT winners (first prize, runner-up, and people's choice) are not eligible to compete a second time


  • Single static PowerPoint slide. No slide transitions, animations, or “movement” of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from beginning of oration.

  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.

  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, lab equipment) are permitted.

  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum, and participants exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.

  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.

  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps, or songs).

  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts her presentation through either movement or speech.

  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


2016 CEHD 3MT Final Round Competition on CEHD's YouTube channel

UMN Graduate School PowerPoint presentation "The Elevator Speech" by Noro Andriamanalina, PhD

Winning 3MT presentations from around the globe (including the University of Minnesota!)

Simon Clews of the University of Melbourne prepared a helpful guideline to Making the Most of Your Three Minutes (PDF)

Inger Mewburn of RMIT developed a presentation on How to Talk About Your Research in Three Minutes

Dr. LaVoi from CEHD's School of Kinesiology provides practical tips on "How to Give a Good PreZENtation"

Brianne Keeney,
Feb 16, 2016, 8:54 AM