Doctoral students invited to pitch perfect in 3-Minute Thesis competition

A photo of Lynn Cooley, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and doctoral student Lindsey Stavola.
Lindsey Stavola, right, won first place for her presentation on cystic kidney disease in last year’s competition. Lynn Cooley, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, led the judging. (Photo by John Curtis)

The McDougal Graduate Student Center is sponsoring a 3-Minute Thesis competition for Ph.D. students to clearly and compellingly describe their theses to a broad audience.

The 3-Minute Thesis is an internationally recognized competition founded by the University of Queensland in 2008. Today competitions are held in more than 600 universities and organizations in 63 countries worldwide.

Presenting in the competition increases students’ capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Competitors are allowed one PowerPoint slide, but no other resources or props. By preparing a successful presentation, students will develop a key professional asset that is just as critical for academic conferences and job talks as it is for a job search outside of the academy.

All Yale Ph.D. students from every discipline may participate. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Feb. 27 at noon. Accepted applicants will be invited to sign up for one of several preliminary rounds that will take place by April 6. Ten finalists will be selected for the final championship round, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 20. 

A first prize of $1,000 will be awarded to the winner. Other prizes include an Apple Watch and a $100 gift card to the Yale Bookstore. Prizes will also be given according to a live vote by the audience. All finalists will receive a professionally produced video of their championship round presentation.

For more information, visit the competition website.