Winners of the Fifth Annual Three Minute Thesis Competition at JMU, are as follows:

First Place

Jaclyn Tochin, Biology, M.S.
Does the Song of a Vocal Mimic Reflect Changes in Avian Acoutsic Communities Across an Urban Gradient?

Advisor: Dana Moseley

Second Place

Lara Leggio, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Au.D.
Counselling in Clinical Practice for Pediatric Cochlear Implant Audiologists.

Advisor: Yingjiu Nie

Third Place

Arta Sejdiu, Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, M.A.
Positive and Negative Transfers of Rhetorical Awareness that Students Bring from High School to College: A case study at James Madison University.

Advisor: Kurt Schick

People's Choice 

Telena Turner, Communication and Advocacy, M.A.
Performance of Work and Community by Women Employed in Rural, Predominately White, Small-town Schools.

Advisor: Kathryn Hobson

see the competitors' videos

3 Minute Thesis

The Three Minute Thesis competition, originally developed by The University of Queensland, gives students the opportunity to develop and present their research in a compelling and concise narrative aimed at engaging a general audience. Students are challenged to synthesize the core concepts of their projects and make meaningful connections to real-world issues. The competition celebrates the creativity and scholarship of our graduate students while helping them develop vital academic and communication skills.

1st Place 2nd Place 3rd place
$750 $500 $250

Additionally, the first place winner is sponsored by The Graduate School to attend the regional competition at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools. (February 17-19, 2022; Raleigh, NC)

General Information

JMU’s Fifth Annual Three Minute Thesis competition was held Friday, January 21, 2022. The competition was held in person, on campus. 

JMU graduate students enrolled at the time of the competition, or who graduate in December 2021, from any discipline, were eligible to participate in the competition. Work presented must be from a current thesis or dissertation project, or other culminating creative or research project required by their program. The project must be far enough along to identify its practical impact and draw conclusions from the data. 

3MT Rules

Official Rules

  • Presentations must not be longer than 3 minutes. Any presentation that exceeds the 3 minute time limit will be disqualified. The timer is started when the presenter begins by speaking or moving.
  • One static PowerPoint slide is the only visual aid allowed (no slide transitions, animations, or movement of graphics in the slide).
  • Additional electronic media may NOT be used (e.g., sound and video files).
  • Additional props are NOT allowed (e.g., costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment).
  • Presentations must be memorized and recited without the help of notes or cue cards.
  • Presentations must be spoken-word (no raps, poems, or singing presentations).

Judging Criteria

Presentations must meet the official rules and participant eligibility requirements to be included in the competition. Each presentation will be evaluated based on the equally weighted criteria listed below.


  • Did the presenter describe the thesis topic, significance, and key findings in language appropriate for a general audience?
  • Did the presentation flow at a comfortable pace without rushing or long pauses?
  • Did the speaker demonstrate good stage presence by making eye contact, using vocal inflection, and integrating natural gestures?


  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Did the speaker define key terms and provide sufficient background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter adequately develop each main point of the presentation?


  • Did the presentation help the audience understand the research question and its practical significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the methodology and significant findings of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or over-generalize their research?


  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm and make the audience want to know more?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain the audience's attention?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation as a relevant and appealing visual aid?
How to Prepare

We want to help you do your best. Plan now to attend a Three Minute Thesis Preparation workshop to learn more and get started creating your presentation. The Graduate School will host workshops this fall. 

The workshop will…

  • Offer an overview of the Three Minute Thesis competition
  • Provide help creating your spoken and visual presentation
  • Provide you with tips on how to cover the key points of your project in only 3 minutes
  • Review important guidelines to ensure your presentation meets the official rules

Registration for a workshop will help our facilitator to prepare and plan.  We recommend registering and attending a workshop to get ready for the competition. 

Preparation workshops were scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, November 9, 3:00-4:30 pm
  • Wednesday, November 17, 5:30-7:00 pm
  • Friday, November 19, 1:30-3:00 pm
  • Friday, December 3, 10:30 am - Noon

Winning presentations by: Megan Pozzi, Joseph Donahue, Rob Duguid

Past 3MTs

In these links you can find information about our past 3 Minute Thesis competitions:

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