UK GradResearch Live!


About UK GradResearch Live!

Sponsored by The Graduate School and The Graduate Student Congress

Communicating research succinctly and engagingly, especially to general audiences, is a critical but rare skill that can give you a boost in the competitive job market inside and outside academia. An effective way to develop this skill is participation in the Three-Minute Thesis, or 3MT, which is very different than other academic exercises in research distillation, such as pitches and lightening talks. Developed in 2008 by the University of Queensland in Australia and now practiced at universities around the globe, the 3MT challenges researchers to tell an appealing story to a non-specialist audience in three minutes or less.  Accompanying the narration is a single static graphic to enhance the audience’s understanding. 


  • 3MT Workshops:
    • Overview of GRL!: Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at 4:00 p.m. EST (via Zoom)
    • Telling and Showing Your Research Story: Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. (Young Library B-108C)
  • Deadline for submission of videos for preliminary rounds: Wednesday, October 27, 2021
  • Finals: Thursday, November 11, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. EST (Worsham Cinema, Gatton Student Center)

Tracks & Prizes

  • Early-Research or pre-3MT (master’s and doctoral; students in proposal stage or with preliminary findings)
    • 1st place: $500
    • 2nd place: $250
    • 3rd place: $150
    • People’s Choice: $150
  • Late-Research or Standard 3MT (master’s and doctoral; students with results/conclusions)
    • 1st place: $750 (and advancement to regional competition)
    • 2nd place: $500 (and advancement to regional competition)
    • 3rd place: $250
    • People’s Choice: $250
  • Postdoctoral 3MT (must be classified at UK as a postdoctoral fellow/scholar) 
    • 1st place: $500
    • 2nd place: $250
    • 3rd place: $150
    • People’s Choice: $150

Rules & Submission

Below are the official rules of the competition. Please read and follow all rules before submitting your video.

  • 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, unedited, three-minute video is allowed. The full screen background should consist of a single static presentation slide (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any kind are allowed; the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration), and the foreground or thumbnail should consist of webcam video of the presenter. Click here for instructions on two different options of how to easily record yourself presenting a PowerPoint slide in Zoom.
  • No additional sound or video is permitted in the presentation.
  • 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 from the start of the video.
  • The decision of the judges is final.

The DEADLINE to submit your video for the preliminaries is midnight on Wednesday, October 27th, 2021. Click here to submit your slide and video.

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!

Congratulations to our 2020 Winners

3MT Track (late-stage research)

First Place: Jonghee Lee-Caldararo (PhD program in Geography, College of Arts and Sciences)

Second Place: Kristen Witt (PhD program in Education Sciences/STEM, College of Education)

Third Place: Kanthi Nuti (PhD Program in Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences)

People’s Choice: Kristen Witt (PhD program in Education Sciences/STEM, College of Education)

Pre-3MT Track (early-stage research)

First Place: Sara Green (PhD program in Education Sciences/Leadership, College of Education)

Second Place: Carrie Bohmer (Master’s program in Educational & Counseling Psychology, College of Education)

Third Place: Christina S. Walker (PhD program in Communication, College of Communication and Information)

People’s Choice: Fahmida Rahman (PhD program in Civil Engineering, College of Engineering)

Postdoc Track

First Place: Steven McBride (Plant and Soil Science, College of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment)

Second Place: Al Fadhl Al Khaled (Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, College of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment)

People’s Choice: Al Fadhl Al Khaled (Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, College of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment)


Click the thumbnail below to watch a compilation video of all of our winners!

Click here to view a playlist of all participants' videos.

Additional Resources

Below are some different resources related to UK GradResearch Live! and Three Minute Thesis. For specific questions, please contact Morris Grubbs.