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3 Minute Thesis Competition

VPGE will host Stanford’s inaugural 3-minute thesis competition! The final round of the competition will be held on April 17, 2025.

3 Minute Thesis

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3 Minute Thesis Competition

The 3 Minute Thesis competition celebrates graduate student scholarship, cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports students’ capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a lay audience.

Join us for the final 3MT competition on Thursday, April 17, 2025 in the Hauck Auditorium at Traitel from 4-6pm. Reception and award ceremony to follow. 

Why Compete?

  • Connect with scholars across disciplines: the final competitors will be chosen from across the schools.
  • Professional development: students will receive personalized support for communicating their scholarship.
  • Show off your scholarship: in addition to the in-person audience students will receive a professionally-cut video of their talk for personal use.

Who is Eligible?

  • Current Stanford graduate students who have successfully advanced to candidacy by Tuesday, December 17, the date of the first video submission deadline.
  • Presentations must be based on original dissertation research, showcase new knowledge, and provide research results. 


  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (no poems, raps, or songs).
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech.
  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement’) and is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g., sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g., costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Prize Money

  • Winner: $5,000
  • 2nd place: $3,000
  • 3rd place: $1,000
  • People’s Choice: $500

Submission Process / Dates 

  1. Application opens on Sunday, December 15
  2. To enter the competition, graduate students must submit a three-minute (maximum) video file of their presentation. You may use a single static slide or some kind of poster in the background to illustrate your talk, but you must be visible and speaking to the camera during the whole presentation. Please note: Submissions will not be judged on the video recording quality or editing capabilities. 
  3. Video submissions are due Sunday, January 19
  4. 10 finalists will be selected by Monday, February 17.
  5. Finalists must be available to present in the final competition on April 17, 2025, from 4-6pm.

Learn More


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