Ball State’s graduate school will host the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition in celebration of its 50th anniversary and Ball State’s Centennial. 

3MT is a competition for graduate students where they will try to condense their graduate thesis into a three-minute presentation. They are only allowed one PowerPoint slide. 

Adam Beach, dean of the graduate school, said it chose to celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary with the 3MT competition because it’s fun and will feature research graduate students have worked on.

“It will highlight the excellent work that our graduate students are doing in terms of their own research and the research mission of the university and our graduate programs,” Beach said. “We are really excited to showcase a wide diversity of research experiences that our students are having here.” 

Competitors will compete in one preliminary round, either Jan. 31 or Feb. 5, and finalists will compete Feb. 21 at the Ball Brothers Foundation Hospitality Suite in Emens Auditorium. The final competition will be free admission for spectators. 

Geography professor Nathan Hitchens, who is coordinating much of the event, said this competition will be a good way to showcase what graduate students' research looks like in an understandable way. 

“The ability to sit down and get a quick snapshot of what they’re doing, why it’s significant, you know, why it’s interesting — it’s a really cool way to get this nice perspective of all the research that’s happening across this university,” Hitchens said. 

Participants will be scored by a panel of three judges. The three judges for the preliminary rounds are different than the three judges in the final round. 

The first place winner will represent Ball State at the 3MT challenge held at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools March 20-22, in St. Louis. 

The top three contestants will receive cash prizes: first place will receive $1,000 and all their expenses for the meeting of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools will be paid for, second place will receive $700 and third place will receive $500, according to the graduate school’s website

Additionally, the audience will vote for their favorite participant, and that competitor will receive $1,000. 

The registration deadline has passed. Forty-two students have registered to compete, and 10-13 will advance to the final competition, Beach said.

Contact Hannah Gunnell with comments or on Twitter @hagunnellNEWS.