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Library Events: 3MT: Three Minute Thesis

The upcoming Caltech Library 3MT Competition will take place April 18, 2024.

3MT: Three Minute Thesis


The Three Minute Thesis competition challenges Caltech graduate students to explain their research in an engaging and clear three-minute talk intended for a non-specialist audience. Given Caltech’s prominence in science and engineering communities, we feel it's important to give Caltech graduate students the opportunity to practice communicating their science in ways that will resonate and inspire.

Join us to crown the winner on April 18, 2024 at 5:00 pm in the Chen 100 Lecture Hall or via livestream. The YouTube link will be posted to this page before the event begins on April 18. A reception will follow for in-person attendees.

Competition Information


There will be four prizes awarded:

  • $3,000 for first place
  • $2,000 for second place
  • $1,000 for third place
  • $500 for the audience favorite as chosen by attendees

The Caltech Library invites you to make a contribution of any amount to sponsor the People's Choice Award for the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition on April 18 at the Chen Auditorium (and livestreamed online). 

2024 Finalists

  •   Alexander Viloria Winnett,  Biology [2nd Place Winner]
  •   Arjuna Subramanian,  Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
  •   Elena Priesen Reis,  Materials Science
  •   Elena-Sorina Lupu,  Aeronautics
  •   Elliott Mueller,  Geobiology [3rd Place Winner]
  •   John Pederson,  Aeronautics [1st Place Winner]
  •   Laura Luebbert,  Biology
  •   Ryan Rubenzahl,  Astrophysics [People's Choice Winner]
  •   Ryoto Sekine,  Electrical Engineering
  •   Sahangi Dassanayake,  Space Engineering
  •   Viraj Karambelkar,  Astrophysics
  •   Yameng Zhang,  Neurobiology

General Rules

  • Caltech 3MT is open to all Caltech graduate students in good standing who are G2 and above, except for the first place winner of a previous competition who is thus ineligible to participate.
  • 3MT presentations must communicate original research to a non-specialist audience in a clear and engaging way.
  • Presentations should be spoken work (e.g., no poems, raps, or songs) with no additional props or additional electronic media (e.g., sound and video files) other than the prepared static background slide.
  • The winner cannot have won first place in a previous 3MT competition.

Submission & Selection Process

  • 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.
  • Submission entries will be accepted starting March 1, 2024, and must be received by midnight (Pacific) on March 20, 2024. 
  • All entries will be reviewed by a panel of Caltech administrators and librarians, and finalists will be notified by April 3, 2024. At that time we will also ask finalists to send us a copy of their final static presentation slide to be added to the slide-deck for the final event.
  • The final event on April 18, 2024 at 5 p.m. (Pacific) will be hybrid with presentations given to a pre-registered in-person audience and streamed live on YouTube.

Please Note: Submissions will not be judged on video recording quality or editing capabilities. Finalist selection will focus on the presentation and the ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience. Final presentations will be judged on the presentation and the ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience.

Final Presentation Rules

  • Final presentations should include one slide as a background. Presenters may refer to this background during their presentation, but the background slide must remain static during the presentation.
  • Final presentations are limited to three minutes.
a woman presents to an audience
The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.

Key Dates

  • March 1, 2024: Submissions Open
  • March 20, 2024: Submissions Due
  • April 3, 2024: Final Selection
  • April 18, 2024: 3MT Competition


The entries will be screened by a panel of librarians and campus communicators and the final competition judges are:

  • Darrell Peterson (Associate Dean of Graduate Studies)
  • Gil Rafael (PMA)
  • Martijn Oei (Caltech Postdoctoral Association)
  • Susanne Hall (HSS, Hixon, and CTLO)
  • Kristin Briney (Caltech Library)


We are pleased to partner with Caltech Theater and Public Programming for the event. We also thank the following generous sponsors for making the competition possible.

Diamond Level

EBSCO Information Services



Gold Level

IOP: Institute of Physics

Royal Society of Chemistry

Silver Level

AIP Publishing

Annual Review

Cambridge University Press



Springer Nature


The upcoming Caltech Library 3MT Competition will take place April 18, 2024.