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Library Events: 3MT: Three Minute Thesis

The upcoming Caltech Library 3MT Competition will take place April 25, 2023.

3MT: Three Minute Thesis

Three Minute ThesisThe 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.

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 2023 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition on April 25 at the Hameetman Auditorium (and livestreamed online). 

General Rules

  • Caltech 3MT is open to all Caltech graduate students in good standing who are G2 and above.
  • 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, 2023, and must be received by midnight (Pacific) on March 22, 2023. 
  • All entries will be reviewed by a panel of Caltech administrators and librarians, and finalists will be notified by April 10, 2023. 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 25, 2023 at 5pm (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, 2023: Submissions Open
  • March 22, 2023: Submissions Due
  • April 10, 2023: Final Selection
  • April 25, 2023: 3MT Competition


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

Silver Level

Taylor and Francis

The upcoming Caltech Library 3MT Competition will take place April 25, 2023.