UK GradResearch Live!

A Public Research Showcase for Graduate Students and Postdocs
with 3-Minute Thesis Competition

Application deadline is midnight on Sunday, Oct. 14.  Preliminaries are Thursday, Oct. 18.  The final event is Tuesday, Oct. 30.  See below for complete details.   

NOTE: Applicants should review the international 3MT COMPETITOR GUIDE found here on the University of Queensland (Australia) site.


Final: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.
Worsham Cinema in Gatton Student Center
Reception to follow at 6:30 p.m.

Over $3,000 in prizes!


Brought to you by:

The Graduate School, Graduate Student Congress, and Society of Postdoctoral Scholars

Please read all of the information below, and then click here to apply. Application deadline is Sunday, October 14, at midnight.

You have spent countless hours and many more sleepless nights at the lab, in the archives, in statistics and data sets, and at your computer screen. Now comes the next step—engaging a general and diverse audience in your research. Challenging enough, right? But can you gain the rapt attention of an audience in three minutes or less?

UK GradResearch Live! provides you an opportunity to rise to that challenge while joining the campus and local community in a celebration of the vibrant graduate student and postdoc research occurring at UK.

The first track of UK GradResearch Live! follows traditional 3-Minute Thesis rules — 3 minutes or less and one slide — with the top two winners of the final competition moving on to compete in regional 3MT competitions. Click here to learn more about 3MT internationally.

Don’t feel quite ready to take on a presentation with traditional 3MT rules, but still want a chance to practice your research presentation skills? We have you covered! The second track of UK GradResearch Live! is a Public Research Showcase for graduate students. In this track, if you are early in your research, you can practice for your future participation in a traditional 3MT format, or just use it as an opportunity to let the campus and community know about your important research! You still must challenge yourself to keep your presentation to 3 minutes or less! A slide is optional, and you may use one 3"x5" note card for reference.

The third track is for postdoctoral scholars and fellows who want to show their impactful research and practice presenting it to a public audience following 3MT rules.

So if you are a UK graduate student or postdoc, it’s time to take your research live!

About 3MT

3MT Logo

UK GradResearch Live! was born out of the The University of Queensland’s 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, a research presentation initiative that challenges graduate students to effectively communicate their research to a general audience, with a single slide, in three minutes or less. Click here to learn more about the history of 3MT.

The Graduate School and Graduate Student Congress have hosted 3MT competitions at The University of Kentucky since 2013, and our participants have found them an excellent way to practice their communication and presentation skills while sharing their research with their peers.

This year we’re rebranding and expanding the competition to reach a larger audience across campus and throughout the local community with a public showcase, numerous prizes, and a reception. Keep reading to learn more about UK GradResearch Live!


Preparatory Workshops

Crafting the Narrative of Your Research
Tuesday, October 2 at 5:30 p.m.
W.T. Young Library, Room B-108C
Previous 3MT winners will share their experience and offer tips on turning your research into a compelling narrative.
Click here to register. Video of workshop will be posted here soon.  

Graphically Representing Your Research
Thursday, October 4 at 5:30 p.m.
W.T. Young Library, Room B-108C
Learn visual tips and tricks that will help you condense your research onto a single, consolidated and informative slide.
Click here to register. Video of workshop will be posted here soon.  


Preliminary Round

Thursday, October 18 at 5:30 p.m.

The preliminary round will be divided loosely by academic discipline, and each division will compete concurrently in its own location. The top three graduate showcase presenters and the top three 3MT presenters from each division will advance to the finals. Up to six postdoc presenters across all divisions will advance to the finals.


Arts & Humanities: Taylor Education Building Auditorium
Social Sciences: Taylor Education Building Auditorium
Health Sciences: W.T. Young Library, Athletics Auditorium
STEM: Seay Auditorium (Ag Science North)

Click here to view a full list of programs and their divisions.


Rules and Judging Criteria

The 3MT portion of UK GradResearch Live! will follow the traditional 3MT rules below, while the Showcase will follow the same basic rules with exceptions stated below.

Click here for a printable rubric with rules and judging criteria.

3MT & Postdoctoral Showcase Rules​

  • The competition is limited to students currently pursuing a master's or doctoral degree at the University of Kentucky and who have not previously won a campus-wide 3MT competition.
  • A single static presentation slide is allowed (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any kind 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, etc.) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum; competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken-word prose (e.g. no poetry, raps, or songs).
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts the presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the judges is final.

Graduate Showcase Rules

The Showcase will follow the same basic 3MT rules with the following exceptions:

  • Presentations can be anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes, but still must not exceed 3 minutes.
  • Slides are not required, but a single static presentation slide is still allowed (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any kind are allowed).
  • A single 3”x5” note card is allowed.



Over $3,000 in Prizes!

Graduate Student Research Showcase
People's Choice, First Place*: $500
People's Choice, Second Place*: $250

3MT Competition
Judges will score the presentations based on the rubric criteria above.
First Place: $750 plus paid travel to the 3MT Regional Competition of choice
Second Place: $500 plus paid travel to a different 3MT Regional Competition
Third Place: $250
People's Choice*: $250

Postdoc Research Showcase
People's Choice, First Place*: $500
People's Choice, Second Place*: $250

Audience members will have a chance to vote on their favorite presentations at the end of the showcase, so make sure you bring as many friends and family members as you can!


Our application deadline is midnight on Sunday, October 14, 2018.

Click here to apply to UK GradResearch Live!


Below are some different resources to help you plan and prepare your presentation. For specific questions, please contact Morris Grubbs.