Three-minute thesis returns


Sophie Hillmeyer

NMU’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition will return for its second annual event, featuring research from graduate students as well as NMU undergraduate McNair scholars.

The competition opened up to McNair Scholars this year as a way to help showcase all the undergraduate research on campus. There are 18 slots available for presenters from different disciplines around campus, and students who have already signed up to compete come from fields including exercise science, business, Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center (UMBTC) and education, Principal Secretary of graduate education and research Janelle Taylor said.

“The whole concept of this competition is that it’s supposed to be for a broad audience so you’re not speaking to your professors and trying to impress them with certain things,” Taylor said.
“Instead, you’re speaking about how excited you are about your research, how it impacts people and that’s going to be really helpful for grant applications and taking [it] to the public.”

Each participant is allowed to have one PowerPoint slide to accompany their three-minute research presentation, Taylor said, adding, it’s a good way for presenters to summarize research in a way that engages a wide range of listeners. Participation in this event is also beneficial for a resume, she said. Around 200 universities in the world participate, and other higher-level institutions are familiar with the event. It can also be a good networking opportunity, she added.

“I am most excited about the broad range of projects we have and it’s going to be really cool to see all the different stuff that people get involved in here,” Taylor said. “From the Brain Tumor Center to creative writing, those two are very different disciplines, but to bring all that together is really cool.”

The 3MT competition originated at the University of Queensland, Australia, and has now made its way to the Midwest, Taylor said. NMU’s 3MT competition judges will include interested members of the community and they will choose first and second place winners. There will also be a “people’s choice” category, allowing the audience to vote for their favorite presentation. The first place graduate student will be awarded $500 and the opportunity to attend the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools conference to compete against other 3MT winners from the region.

The deadline to sign-up for the competition is Feb. 1. For more information or to register, email the Office of Graduate Education and Research at
[email protected]