Graduate Student Organization (GSO)

 Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (GWISE)


Congratulations to the 2017 GRS 3 Minute Thesis Winners!

1st PlaceJade Wu
Runner Up: William Shain
People’s ChoiceChristine Harvey


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the exercise cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills.

The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

Prizes will be awarded to the First Place presenter, Second Place presenter, and a People’s Choice presenter.


The first 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 students competing. in 2009 and 2010 the 3MT competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities and enthusiasm for the concept grew. Due to its adoption in numerous universities, a multi-national event was developed, and the Inaugural Trans-Tasman 3MT competition was held at UQ in 2010.

Since 2011 the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT competitions are now held in over 170 universities across more than 18 countries worldwide. Please see the official 3 Minute Thesis website for more information and to see winning presentations from around the globe.

In November 2013, the first Universities 21 (U21) 3MT competition was held with several universities from around the world competing in a virtual competition.

In March 2016 Boston University held its first 3MT. This was a hugely popular event with 21 participants from 13 different departments showcasing their amazing research.



Active PhD candidates in GRS who have passed their qualifying examinations by the time of the competition are eligible to participate. Graduates are not eligible.



  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed. The slide 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.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


Judging Criteria

At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below. Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.

Comprehension & Contact

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation – or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?

Engagement & Communication

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?

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Information Services & Technology Information

We can just about guarantee you’ll make extensive use of Boston’s rapid transit system (the MBTA, or simply, “the T”) while you are a student at BU.

Boston University is located at several stops along the Boston College branch (B Line) of the Green Line.

Schedules and fares

The MBTA’s Student Semester Pass allows students to pre-pay for their  monthly “T” passes and thereby save approximately 11% off the regular monthly “T” pass price.

All entering Boston University students have pre-matriculation health requirements that must be completed prior to your first term at Boston University. Please visit the BU Student Health Services website for important information regarding required medical forms and immunizations.

Campus map

— Information about Boston University and the city of Boston

— The Educational Resource Center provides students with the services and resources for developing personal and academic skills

— Information regarding campus safety can be found at the BU Police Department’s website

— The Dept. of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (PERD) offers programs and facilities for numerous forms of physical activity

— If you plan on driving a car to classes, you should take a look at the Office of Parking Services’ website

— Boston University houses a number of libraries on campus and you’ll make use of at least one of them during your time here

Information Services & Technology provides general-access computing and communications facilities for the entire University community

— The Geddes Language Center provides a wide range of instructional media services for students

Student Health Services offers a number of health-related services including counseling to the University community

— The Graduate Student Organization (GSO) is a student-run advocacy group for Graduate School of Arts and Sciences students

— Finally, information regarding Boston’s rapid transit system, the MBTA, or simply, the T, can be found on the MBTA website.