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. 


GradResearch Live! is held toward the end of every fall semester so that the first and second place winners of the 3MT Track (see Tracks & Prizes below) can go on to compete in regional 3MT competitions in the spring semesters. Participants are required to submit a video for the preliminaries, and we will select the top submissions to compete in our live event.


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
    • 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

Click here for tips and tricks on how to begin planning your GradResearch Live! presentation:

Participants are required to submit a video recording for the preliminary round, and we will select the top submissions to compete in-person during our live event.

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

  • The competition is limited to currently enrolled masters and doctoral students, or postdocs, at the University of Kentucky who have not previously won a campus-wide 3MT competition. (Postdocs are only eligible to compete in the postdoc track.)
  • Finalists must present live and in person at the final event, without the aid of notecards or cheat-sheets
  • 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. (A timer will be displayed at the finals.)
  • Presentations are to be spoken-word prose (e.g. no poetry, raps, or songs).
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the judges is final.


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 2023 Winners



(From Left to Right: Khine Zin Aung, Postdoctoral Winner, Ray Celeste Tanner, Pre-3MT Winner, and Jovita Ogechi Daraezinwa, 3MT Winner)




First Place & People's Choice Award Winner: Ray Celeste Tanner, Communication, "Beyond the Org Chart: Informal Communication Networks and Organizational Culture"

Second Place: Hannah Blevins, Entomology, "Complexities of Cockroach Control"

Third Place: Devin Dunigan, Public Policy & Administration, "Inefficient Broadband Hinders Academic Performance and Economic Development"


First Place & People's Choice Award Winner: Jovita Ogechi Daraezinwa, Chemistry, "The Million-Dollar Question; How Close are We to a Cure?"

Second Place: Great Umenweke, Chemistry, "The Future Energy Is Trash"

Third Place: Mary Wallace, Entomology, "Silencing Beetle Senses: Protecting our Forests Using Gene Silencing"

Postdoctoral Track

First Place & People's Choice Award Winner: Khine Zin Aung, Public Health, "Alzheimer’s Disease: A Polygenic Risk Score Analysis"

Second Place: Ajoy Aloysius, Biology, "Local Heroes of Tissue Regeneration"


(Back Row Left to Right: Alec Tewsley-Booth, Courtney Martin, Kathryn Mattingly-Flynn, Gertrude Arthur, Jordan Parker, Meet Patel, and Emily Naser-Hall)
(Front Row Left to Right: Feitong Lei, Joshua Nowacki, Abdullah Al Masud, Kasey Vigil, and Erica Jacquay)


First Place: Courtney Martin, Kinesiology and Health Promotion, "Exploring Tobacco, and Empowering Youth Through the Lens"

Second Place: Kasey Vigil, Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology, "Analyzing (Pluri)Sexual Satisfaction"

Third Place & People's Choice Award Winner: Jordan Parker, Veterinary Science, "Antibiotics and Horse Bacteria: The Good, The Bad, and the Poopy"


First Place: Feitong Lei, Public Health, "What is Unknown About Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)?"

Second Place: Kathryn Mattingly-Flynn, Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, "My Career, My Choice?"

Third Place: Erica Jacquay, Veterinary Science, "Why Did The Horse Cross The Road?"

People's Choice Award Winner: Emily Naser-Hall, English, "Conceive and Control"

Postdoctoral Track

First Place & People's Choice Award Winner: Abdullah Al Masud, Pharmaceutical Sciences, "Nano-targeting Keeps Hope When Drug Kills More, Than Cure"

Second Place: Alec Tewsley-Booth, Physics, "Why is there stuff instead of no stuff?"



First Place: Amanda Slone, Communication, "A Communicable Vaccine for Misinformation"

Second Place:  Rayven Peterson, Educational, School, & Counseling Psychology, "Examining Mistrust: An Analysis of Cultural Mistrust Among Black Americans in Therapy Settings"

Third Place: Anita Silwal, Communication, "Masculinity and Mental Health: Changing Behavior through Health Messages"

People's Choice Award Winner: Kelly Ferguson, Hispanic Studies, "Horror Revealed: Using the Horror Genre as a Modality for Understanding Histories of State Sanctioned Violence"


First Place: Robert Anderson, Nutrition & Food Systems, "Maximal Strength Training Can Increase Metabolism in Adults Classified as Obese"

Second Place: Sung-Yuan Cheng, Accounting, "Do Stock Investors Incorporate Climate Risk Information into their Investment Decisions?"

Third Place: Priya Karna, Chemistry, "Let's Rub Sunscreen All Over Our Chemistry!"

People's Choice Award Winner: Robert Anderson



Note: Competition moved online due to COVID-19.


First Place: Sara Green, Education Sciences/Leadership, "The Students Left Behind: A Push for More Graduate Student Support Services"

Second Place: Carrie Bohmer, Educational & Counseling Psychology, "A Cliterature Review"

Third Place: Christina S. Walker, Communication, "Gatekeeping the Jury: Is Justice Possible Amid Unchecked Prosecutorial Discretion?"

People’s Choice Award Winner: Fahmida Rahman, Civil Engineering, "Effect of Speed on the Crashes of Rural Two-Lane Highways"


First Place: Jonghee Lee-Caldararo, Geography, "Sleepless in Seoul"

Second Place: Kristen Witt, Education Sciences/STEM, "Kids NEED Daily Science Instruction: A STEM Specialist Can Make That Happen"

Third Place & People's Choice Award Winner: Kanthi Nuti, Chemistry, "Understanding the Therapeutic Design in Treatment of Various Diseases"

Postdoc Track

First Place: Steven McBride, Plant & Soil Science, "Harnessing Gasses to Increase Agricultural Production"

Second Place & People's Choice Award Winner: Alfadhl Alkhaled, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, "Non-Destructive Methods of Codling Moth-Infested Apples"



First Place: Kameron White McDaniel, Educational Psychology, "Relationship Between Racial Identity Beliefs and Self-Efficacy in Black Girls Within the Education Context"

Second Place: Zakary Clements, Counseling Psychology, "Positive Transgender Identity"


First Place & People's Choice Award Winner: Natalie Malone, Educational, School, & Counseling Psychology, "Can a Meditation Help Heal Racial Trauma?"

Second Place: Carli Loss, Orthodontics, "Suzie's Smile"

Third Place: Julia Schulz, Pharmaceutical Sciences, "The Terminator in the Brain"


First Place: Sathya Velmurugan, Pharmacology & Nutritional Sciences, "Diabetes, Heart, and a Tale of Two Ions"

Second Place: Oliver Voecking, Biology, "Eye Am Legend"


Graduate Research Showcase

First Place: Marcus T. Epps, Educational, School, & Counseling Psychology, "Unlikely Motivators in Education: Equipping Black Males to Succeed in Formal Education"

Second Place: Chi Peng, Clinical & Translational Science, "Are Anti-HIV Drugs Affecting Platelet Function?"


First Place: Anna Bedsole, English, "Gothic Heroines and #MeToo"

Second Place: Daniel Chavez, Business Administration, "Hypothetical Bias: Do Real Questions Give Real Answers?"

Third Place & People's Choice Award Winner: Melissa Cantor, Animal & Food Sciences, "The Sick Calf Detector"

Postdoc Research Showcase

First Place: Jong Hyun Kim, Chemistry, "Looking for Potent Anticancer Drug"

Second Place: Kathryn Everson, Biology, "Systematics and Species Discovery in Madagascar's Tenrecs"


First Place: Shayan Mohammadmoradi, Nutritional Sciences, "Small in Size but Big in Function: How a Molecule Called TSR4 may Affect Abdominal Aortic Aneurism"

Second Place: Kai Zhang, Pharmacology & Nutritional Sciences, "Designing a Drug for Alcoholic Brain Disease"

Third Place: Soroosh Torabi, Mechanical Engineering, "3D Micro-Scale Chip: A Game Changing Strategy to Fight Cancer"

People's Choice Award Winner:


First Place & People's Choice Award Winner: Carleigh Fedorka, Veterinary Science, "The Dirty Broodmare... Cleaned Up"

Second Place: Andrew Welleford, Anatomy & Neurobiology, "Nerve Support Cells: The Key to Stopping Parkinson's Disease?"

Third Place: Jessica Richard, Agricultural Economics, "Dairy Margin Protection Program"


First Place: Sydney Crawley, Entomology, "Think Like a Bed Bug: Elucidating Behavior to Enhance Control"

Second Place: Katie McKenna, Microbiology, "Role of Spleen in B-Cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)"

Third Place & People's Choice Award Winner: Shayan Mohammadmoradi, Pharmacology & Nutritional Sciences, "Your Gut Bacteria Can Make You Obese"

Spring 2014

First Place & People's Choice Winner: Olufunmilola Akinola, Nutritional Sciences

Second Place (TIE): Gary Gregg, Plant & Soil Sciences AND Kayla Johnson, Educational Policy Studies & Evaluation

Fall 2014

Master's Students

First Place & People's Choice Award WinnerShayan Mohammadmoradi, Pharmacology & Nutritional Sciences, "Cholesterol Lowering Effects of Probiotics"

Second Place: Gary Gregg, Plant & Soil Sciences

Third Place: Laura Higley, Classics

Doctoral Students

First Place & People's Choice Award Winner: Jianing Li, Pharmacology & Nutritional Sciences, "Peanut Allergy, Not Just Peanuts"

Second Place: Carolyn Crowdus Meyer, Anatomy & Neurobiology

Third Place: Victoria Pook, Entomology, "Drilling for Biofuel: Uncovering the Potential of Wasp Venom for the Production of Renewable Energy"

Fall 2013

First Place: Danielle Lyons, Physiology

Second Place: Stephanie Richman, Psychology

Third Place: Oreoluwa Adedoyin, Pharmaceutical Sciences

People's Choice Award: Jennifer Tullmann, Musicology

Spring 2013 

Three finalists, unranked, were selected to present at a Graduate Student Congress dinner with President Eli Capilouto:

Alejandra Catalina Velez-Ortega, Physiology 

Heather Yonutas, Anatomy and Neurobiology 

Ann Niren, Music Performance  

Additional Resources

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