3 Minute Grad Project

Information expanding section

Three Minute Grad Project is a unique event during which UWL graduate students concisely present their graduate project to a non-academic audience.  Competitors are judged on project innovation and their ability to present the work to the general public with strict adherence to the three minute time limit.

Rules expanding section
  • Any UWL graduate student may compete, whether they are in an on-campus, blended, or online graduate program.
  • Students must be physically present on campus to compete. 
  • Students may present any graduate research paper, project, or thesis, even if the project is not completed at time of competition (this will be communicated to judges).
  • 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) is permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum. Exceeding the three minute maximum will result in disqualification.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations must be made from indicated area at the front of the room.
  • Timing will start when presenter begins speaking or makes a movement to indicate presentation has begun.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.
Judging criteria expanding section

Each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below.  Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience engagement.

Comprehension and Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance of the topic being addressed?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results or findings of the project, including conclusions and/or possible outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Did the speaker avoid 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 some parts seem either drawn out or too rushed?

Engagement and Communication

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their topic?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their project?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain audience 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 visually engaging, clear, legible, and concise?
Prizes expanding section

Winner: $500

1st Runner Up: $300

2nd Runner Up: $200

People's Choice: $300

People's Choice: Following the presentations, the audience will be asked to vote on the most convincing presentation (based on their understanding of the criteria outlined above).   The People's Choice award may be given to any presenter (including participants receiving awards from the official judges panel).

2019 Awardees

Winner - Theresa Simpson - Biology
1st Runner Up - Logan Keding - Biology
2nd Runner Up - Katelyn De Starkey - Physical Therapy
People's Choice - Theresa Simpson - Biology

Support the 3 Minute Grad Project award fund expanding section

Graduate students are often living on very limited funding while in school. This is a unique opportunity for a student to earn extra money while providing the public with a glimpse of the exciting work being done on our campus. Join us in supporting this opportunity for UWL graduate students!

  • Follow this link or click the "Give now" button to connect with the UWL Foundation form.
  • Select "Graduate Studies".
  • Use the Notes field to indicate that you are making a donation to the "3 Minute Thesis Grad Project award fund".
  • *UWL employees can make a single direct contribution (or monthly donations) from their paychecks.