Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition at Translational Science 2024

Let the competition begin! Back by popular demand, we're bringing the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) to Translational Science 2024. The 3MT is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia that cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. We are honored to bring this prestigious competition to our Translational Science meeting.

This friendly competition for trainees and scholars will consist of three categories:

  • Predoctoral Trainee
  • Postdoctoral Trainee
  • Early Career Faculty Scholar

Nominations are now open! Please nominate one primary and one alternate trainee or scholar for each category to participate in the 3MT competition.  

Put your heads together with your fellow clinical researchers and translational scientists to select your teams to compete to see who can effectively explain their research to an audience of scientists and non-scientists in three minutes. Each CTSA Hub can submit their category representative submissions are due Wednesday, January 3. Please note, trainees and scholars are not required to have support from the TL1 or KL2 program to participate.

Submit Now

We recommend submiting the form via the Microsoft Edge or Firefox Internet browser.

We are also looking for volunteers to serve as a judge during the competition! Each participating CTSA Hub submitting a representative to compete must also submit a judge representative. Please fill out the 3MT® Panel Judge Application. Judges must be available for all rounds of the competition in early February (date TBD), and on April 3 and April 4. Judges do not need to be principal investigators and we would encourage to you consider nominating non-scientists to be a judge. We ask that judges not be trainees or scholars. 

Why Should You Participate?

Over the last 15 years, the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition has grown from an idea from Alan Lawson, Dean of the Graduate School, Emeritus Professor at The University of Queensland in Australia to a competition reaching over 1,000 universities across more than 85 countries worldwide.

By participating in the 3MT held during Translational Science 2024, you have the opportunity to take part in a highly respected, globally recognized competition to demonstrate your mastery of research communication skills, an essential skill required in all areas of the field. Win or lose, participating in this competition in an incredible learning opportunity to boost your presentation confidence, meet a supportive group of like-minded peers, and a great resume boosting activity.

Hear from past 3MT winner, Dr. Megan Rossi share how the 3MT competition helped her career. You can also watch 3MT presentations from researchers around the world.

Promoting yourself with 3MT from Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) on Vimeo.


The 3MT contest will consist of two parts — the qualifying semi-finalist competition conducted virtually and the semi-final and final competition held in person at Translational Science 2024 in Las Vegas, NV

  • Round One – Qualifying: The first round of presentations will occur live virtually in Early February TBD where predoctoral trainees, postdoctoral trainees, and early career faculty scholar representatives will present their three-minute presentation to a panel of judges. Ten of the top presenters for each of the three categories will advance to the second round.
  • Round Two – Semi-Final:  The second round of the competition will take place in Las Vegas, NV  during Translational Science 2024. Category representatives are required to appear in person to present your three-minute presentation on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. PST. The top presenters from each category will proceed to the final round.
  • Round Three – Final: The third round of the competition will occur on Thursday, April 4, 2024 from 5:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. PST where the 3MT finalists from each category will each present their three-minute presentation. One winner from each category — predoctoral trainee, postdoctoral trainee, and early career faulty scholar — will be selected.

ACTS and the Translational Science 2024 Planning Committee are thrilled to be able to highlight our award-worthy trainees and scholars at the meeting this year. Thank you to the Scholar Special Interest Group and TL1 Directors Group for helping design this program.  

Competition Rules

  • 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.

Learn more about the competition rules.

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 and content

  • Presentation provided clear background and significance to the research question
  • Presentation clearly described the research strategy/design and the results/findings of the research
  • Presentation clearly described the conclusions, outcomes and impact of the research

Engagement and communication

  • The oration was delivered clearly, and the language was appropriate for a non-specialist audience
  • The PowerPoint slide was well-defined and enhanced the presentation
  • The presenter conveyed enthusiasm for their research and captured and maintained the audience’s attention

Learn more about the judging criteria.



Predoctoral Award: The PhRMA Foundation will provide a travel award to the predoctoral winner to attend ACTS Translational Science 2025. The award will include:

  • Registration to ACTS Translational Science 2025 
  • Up to four nights in the conference hotel 
  • Roundtrip transportation, coach class 
  • $400.00 cash to assist with meals and incidentals
  • Requirement to attend TS25 Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting of your choice

Postdoctoral and Junior Faculty Awards: The PhRMA Foundation will reimburse the postdoctoral and junior faculty winners up to $2,500 in publication fees for first-authored publications. Award is valid until December 31, 2025. Acceptance of publication must be received by the PhRMA Foundation before December 31, 2025.  

Either the award recipient or university can pay the publication fee and submit a receipt to the PhRMA Foundation for reimbursement, or contact Joanne Westphal at the PhRMA Foundation for payment to be made directly to the publication.

3MT awards are generously sponsored by PhRMA Foundation.

Brought to you by:

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®)

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.

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