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Three Minute Thesis at Nevada

Journalism Student Presenter

A Graduate Student Competition

Relieve some of your graduation-related stress and put a fun spin on your defense by participating in our Three Minute Thesis at Nevada competition.

You’ll have three minutes to present your abstract using one presentation slide to our panel of judges.

Preliminary Competition Rounds

Register based on your discipline. The top three contestants from groups A1, B1, A2, B2, and the top six contestants from group C will be awarded $300 and move to the final round.

Liberal Arts/Education/Business

  • Group A1: Doctoral Dissertation Students
  • Group B1: Master's Thesis Students

Monday, Mar 2, 2015 at 6 p.m. in the Graduate Student Lounge, JCSU 301

Sciences/Engineering/Mathematics/Health Sciences

  • Group A2: Doctoral Dissertation Students
  • Group B2: Master's Thesis Students

Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015 at 6 p.m. in the Graduate Student Lounge, JCSU 301

Professional Project (Business/EdD/Journalism/MSN/DNP, etc.)

  • Group C: Professional Project Students

Wednesday, Mar 4, 2015 at 6 p.m. in the Graduate Student Lounge, JCSU 301

Final Competition Rounds

In the final round you'll compete against the six finalists at your degree level:

  • Group A — Doctoral Students
  • Group B — Master's Students
  • Group C — Professional Projects Students

Thursday, Apr 23, 2015 at 7 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Auditorium (MIKC)

Winners from each group of the final round will be awarded as follows:
First Place: $600
Second Place: $400
Third Place: $300

Entries are limited to 40 participants per competition and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, so don’t delay in signing up.


  1. A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted.
  2. Include your presentation title and your full name on the slide.
  3. No slide transitions, animations or on-screen movement of any description are allowed.
  4. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  5. No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  6. No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  7. Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum; competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified.
  8. Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  9. Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  10. Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  11. The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


  1. Abstracts are limited to 250 words.


  1. Students must be graduate students to enter the competition.
  2. While advancement to candidacy is not required, students must have made significant progress towards completion of their dissertation, thesis, or professional project in order to enter the competition.
  3. Winners will be announced approximately one week after the competition.
  4. You will be asked to sign a photo-video release at the event to allow the University of Nevada, Reno to use your likeness in photos/videos of the competition.
  5. The deadline for competition registration is Thursday, Feb 26, 11:59 p.m.

Comprehension & Content

  • 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?

Spring 2014 Winners

Liberal Arts/Education/Business/Journalism:

First Place: Amy Ghilieri, History
Early modern witchcraft publishing: a bibliographic and cultural analysis of Ulrich Molitor's De lamiis et pythonicis mulieribus

Sciences/Mathematics/Engineering/Health Sciences:

First Place: Angela Hornsby, Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology
How do species adapt and react to climate?

Second Place: Tara Madden-Dent, Educational Leadership
A phenomenological study of cultural transition and adjustment of Asian undergraduate international students using different cross-cultural treatments

Second Place: Scott Barnett, Molecular Biosciences
The amazing and confusing uterus

Third Place: Jonathan Cummins, History
The biggest little trailer park: place, waste and manufactured housing in Sun Valley, Nevada, 1950-2000

Third Place: Jackson Crews, Hydrologic Sciences
Earthquakes can generate gas bubbles in groundwater

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