Three Minute Thesis at Nevada

A Graduate Student Competition

Journalism Student Presenter

One scholar.

One slide.

One panel of judges.

And three minutes to give it all they've got.

The submissions are in! Join us for the prelimary round of our Three Minute Thesis competition. The first round begins Monday, Mar 26, 2018, at 7 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Auditorium (MIKC). We can't wait to see what innovative research presentations are in store for us this year.

To register, click on the appropriate group for your competition division.

The top four contestants from groups A1, B1, A2, B2 will be awarded $300 and will compete in the final round. Submit your presentation using the appropriate Group description link below.

Liberal Arts/Education/Business

Monday, Mar 26, 2018, at 7 p.m. in the  Wells Fargo Auditorium (MIKC).

Sciences/Engineering/Mathematics/Health Sciences

Tuesday, Mar 27, 2018, at 7 p.m. in the  Wells Fargo Auditorium (MIKC).

Please note, the Professional category has been eliminated. Any presentations that were submitted as Professional are now considered B1.

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

  • Group A — Doctoral Students (Four students from A1 and four students from A2)
  • Group B — Master's Students (Four students from B1 and four students from B2)

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018, at 7 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Auditorium (MIKC). Reception starts at 6:30 p.m.

Winners from each group of the final round will be awarded as follows:
First Place: $1,000
Second Place: $600
Third Place: $400


  1. A single, static PowerPoint slide in 16x9 format is required (pdfs not allowed).
  2. Include your presentation title, full name, and graduate program on the slide.
  3. First-place winners from the last year's 3MT competition are ineligible to compete, however last year's second- and third-place winners are eligible to compete.
  4. No slide transitions, animations or on-screen movement of any description are allowed.
  5. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  6. No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  7. No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  8. Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum; competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified.
  9. Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  10. Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  11. Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  12. The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  13. All monetary awards for both preliminary and final rounds are pre-tax amounts.


  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 Friday, March 16, 2018 at 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?

Congratulations to our 2017 Winners!

Thank you to all of our participants in the 2017 competition and to everyone who attended the presentations. We are so proud of our graduate students and the research impacts they are making for the world.

Group A Doctoral Dissertation Category

First Place: Tian Yu

Graduate Program: Cell and Molecular Biology

Advisor: Wei Yan

Title: "Drop-seq: single cell expression analysis"

Tian Yu will be representing the University of Nevada, Reno at the Western Association of Graduate Schools annual competition on March 21, 2018. Good luck, Tian!

Second Place: Phillip Street

Graduate Program: Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology

Advisor: James Sedinger

Title: "Late summer habitat as a limiting factor of fitness for Greater Sage-grouse"

Third Place: Jonathan Villalobos

Graduate Program: English

Advisor: Cheryl Glotfelty

Title: "Blood on bougainvillea: environmental horror in late twentieth century southern literature"

Group B Master's Thesis Category

First Place: Gabrielle Bachand

Graduate Program: Materials Science and Engineering

Advisor: Dev Chidambaram

Title: "Improving silicon anode performance using copper nanoparticle additive"

Second Place: Jessica Reimche

Graduate Program: Biology

Advisor: Chris Feldman

Title: "Expresssss yourself: understanding how genetics scale up to traits"

Third Place: Scott Forer

Graduate Program: Mechanical Engineering

Advisor: Logan Yliniemi

Title: "Monopolies can exist in unmanned airspace"

Group C Professional Project Category

First Place: Jonathon Haley

Graduate Program: Social Work

Advisor: Mary Hylton

Title: "OUTnumbered: assessing the LGBTQ campus climate at the University of Nevada, Reno"

Second Place: Robert Forrest

Graduate Program: Public Health

Advisor: Nora Constantino

Title: "Barriers to access of coordinated care: a case-study for quality improvement"

Third Place: Erin Collier

Graduate Program: Journalism

Advisor: Mignon Fogarty

Title: "The conscious consumer"

See the winners' videos from previous years.