Ivy 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition @ United Nations

Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the United Nation are excited to host the inaugural Ivy 3MT* competition on April 25, 2019. Winners of 3MT competitions from Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University will compete to present their PhD research in 3 minutes using only one slide. We look forward to celebrating diverse and impactful scholarly achievements of PhD students across the Ivy League community. *This event was modeled after the University of Queensland 3MT®.

Event Details

Thursday, April 25, 2019 1:15 - 3:00PM

Note: All contestants must arrive at the UN by 12:30PM

12:30 PM - Contestants & Audience Arrival at the UN
12:40 – 1:00 Contestants Orientation
1:20 PM  - Welcome & Keynotes
1:30 PM - Competition & Judging
2:30 PM - Announcement of Winners

2:45 PM - Closing of Competition & Photo Op for Contestants and Judges

*Food and drinks are not allowed in the conference room.

Eligibility and Rules


Two finalists from each participating institution will be eligible to compete. Finalists will be chosen by individual school competitions.


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations, or “movement” of any kind are allowed. The slide is to be displayed from the beginning of the presentation.
  • 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 three minutes maximum. Competitors who exceed three minutes will be disqualified.
  • Your presentation slide must include a presentation title. Do not include school name on the slide.
  • A laser pointer will be provided should you choose to use it during the presentation.
  • 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 his or her presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
Directions to the UN & Your ID

All attendees for the event must submit their contact information to their designated school representatives to receive pre-clearance for speedy entrance to the building. Report to the southwest corner of 45th Street and First Avenue and look for staff members holding Ivy3MT badges. You MUST bring a government-issued photo ID.

How to Prepare for 3MT
Judging Criteria

Comprehension and Content:

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance of the research question being addressed, while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Were the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact, and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of the presentation? Did the presenter elaborate for too long on one aspect? Was the presentation rushed?

Engagement and Communication

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize the research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for the research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain the audience’s 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 clear, legible, and concise?