Three-minute Thesis Competition

Thanks to a generous sponsorship from the National Institute of Social Sciences, we are able to offer prizes for a juried competition in which graduate students who have completed (or expect to complete) their Master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation in the 2023-24 academic year will be given a chance to summarize their project in three minutes.

This year, the grand prize ($400) went to Jessi Robbins for “Doin’ Time: Entertainment and Exploitation at Decommissioned Prison Museums in the United States.” First runner up ($200) went to Yeon-ju Bae for “Better life, better nature: The politics of ethical interaction in a Korean Buddhist return-to-the-farm village.” The second runner up ($100) went to Anita Zandstra for “Identity and alterity in a comedy series from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, during the presidency of Evo Morales.”

AAA judging criteria:

The presentation must be understandable for a general audience, as jurors will be journalists expecting an appropriate angle for a feature news story. We will be adhering to the University of Queensland rules for this competition.

Make sure to introduce yourself (name, affiliation, accessibility description … e.g. complexion, hair color, wearing black-framed glasses). This will not be part of the time limit.

Comprehension and content – To what extent:

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to 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?
  • Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?

Engagement and communication – To what extent:

  • Did the presentation make the audience want to know more?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide (restricted to a single slide) enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?

Submissions are now closed for this competition. Check back next year for more information.


Contact Jeff Martin, Director of Communications & Public Affairs.