Winthrop University: 3 Minute Graduate Showcase
Contact Information
Graduate School
211 Tillman Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
800/411-7041 (toll free)
803/323-2292 (fax)

Graduate Showcase Competition


Graduate Showcase Competition




Come see our graduate students compete for cash prizes in visual and oral formats during our finals on Friday, April 21st, from 5:30-7:30pm in Carroll Hall.


Graduate Showcase Poster Session

Carrol Hall, 5:30pm - 6:00pm

What is the Graduate Showcase Poster Session?

The Graduate Showcase Poster Session was created this year as a way for groups to participate in the competition and excitement of the 3 Minute Graduate Showcase. This is a contest that challenges graduate students to summarize their group research within the confines of a 30”x40” poster for a general audience.


Cash prizes ($100) will be awarded to each member of the winning group, as chosen by audience vote.


Abstract Submissions: interested groups should e-mail their abstract submissions to Vanessa Valdez by April 7th.

Poster Deadline: April 10, 2023


3 Minute Graduate Showcase at Winthrop

Carrol Hall, Whitton Auditorium, 6:00pm - 7:30pm

What is the 3 Minute Graduate Showcase?

The Three Minute Graduate Showcase (3MGS) modifies the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition created by the University of Queensland—a contest that challenges graduate students to summarize their research within three minutes to a general audience. The University of Queensland developed the contest in 2008 to help graduate students improve their oral communication skills.


Cash prizes will be awarded to first place ($300), second place ($150), and to a “People’s Choice” winner chosen by audience members ($150).


Abstract Submissions: Submissions are now closed.

PowerPoint Slide Deadline: April 19, 2023

3MGS Practice Sessions: For those selected to present, we will hold practice sessions the week before the competition.  Details to be announced.  Contact Gabby Jacobsen ( with questions.


*This video contains some helpful tips for the presentations. However, it was produced during COVID-19, and pre-recorded presentations are no longer permitted.


Information for Participants

If you’re interested in competing in the Graduate Showcase Competition, you can find the information you need to participate below.

    • Only current graduate students in good academic standing are eligible to compete.
    • A student’s program of study must contain an original research or creative project.
    • The degree program does not require a thesis or dissertation
    • Students participating in the 3MGS cannot also participate in a group poster session.
      • Abstracts for the poster session are due by e-mail to Vanessa Valdez by April 7th.
      • Abstracts for the 3 Minute Graduate Showcase are now closed.
      • Presentations are to begin with students introducing themselves and identifying their graduate program.
      • Presentations will be recorded and may be shared on the WU Graduate School website and through other media platforms.
      • Posters may be retained by the Graduate School for use in other events.
      • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations, or movement of any description). The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
      • No additional electronic media (i.e. sound or video files) are permitted.
      • No additional props (i.e. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
      • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum; competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified automatically.
      • Presentations are to be delivered via spoken word (i.e. no poems, raps, or songs).
      • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
      • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

      Students in 100% online programs, who are not able to come to campus on April 21st, will have the opportunity to present their research live, via Zoom.  Pre-recorded presentations will not be accepted.

      Zoom participants will also have the opportunity to have a practice session the week beforehand.

      Below are some tips to keep in mind when preparing for your presentation.

      • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations, or movement of any description). The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
      • The slide and competitor must be visible throughout the presentation (rather than showing only the slide at any given point)
      • Recommend standing versus sitting
      • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment and animated backgrounds) are permitted
      • Shoot in landscape, not portrait
      • Try to angle the camera at eye level so it’s not looking up or down on you
      • Use a tripod or lean your camera against something steady
      • Make sure you are well lit
      • Do not wear clothes that will make you blend into the background
      • Avoid background noise or distractions

    The winning group of the Graduate Showcase Poster Session and the “People's Choice” winner of the 3 Minute Graduate Showcase will be decided by audience vote.  Instructions for voting will be available at the finals event.

    There will be three judges for the first and second place winners of the 3 Minute Graduate Showcase competition. Judges will evaluate competitors on these general categories:

      • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
      • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
      • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
      • Was the research topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
      • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
      • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of the presentation - or did the presenter elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?
      • 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 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?

    Please note: 3MGS Competitors *will not* be judged on video quality (if participating via Zoom). Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MGS PowerPoint slides.


Thanks to our 2022 3MGS Judges!

We greatly appreciate the time, feedback, and expertise of our 3MGS final contest judges. Click each judge’s name below to see a brief bio.

    Former Winthrop University First Lady and philanthropist

    Executive Director of the Arts Council of York County

    Professor of Biology (retired), Winthrop University


3MGS Winners

2022 Winners

First Place | Christina Melchiorre, Studio Art | [View Video]

Second Place | Grant Mahan, Studio Art | [View Video]

People's Choice | Bethany Salisbury, Studio Art | [View Video]


2021 Winners

First Place | Shea Nunn | Teaching

Second Place | Troi' Williams | Counseling and Development 

People's Choice | Devann Gardner | Studio Art 


2020 Winners

First Place | Nicole Davenport | Arts Administration  [View Video]

Second Place | Oscar Soto | Studio Art  [View Video]

People's Choice | Carson Pender | English  [View Video]


2019 Winners

First Place | Ashley Graham | Biology

Second Place | Taylor Harrison | Human Nutrition

People's Choice | Garrett Driscoll | Biology

Last Updated: 5/30/23