Evan Riggs
Office of the Provost

11 graduate students advance to Three Minute Thesis Competition Finals

Fri, 11/04/2022

3MT finalists, 2022.

LAWRENCE – Eleven University of Kansas graduate students from four different academic units advanced to the finals of the Three Minute Thesis Competition. The finals will take place at 2 p.m. Nov. 9 in forum C of the Burge Union.

3MT logo“KU’s first round of the 3MT captured cutting-edge research from fields of physical, natural and social sciences; engineering; education and music," said Jennifer Roberts, vice provost for academic affairs and graduate studies. “Graduate student participants demonstrated the creativity, innovation and drive that ignites their own passion for research while effectively communicating the impact of their work to the community.

“It was both humbling and invigorating to see the amazing research KU’s graduate students are producing.”

The preliminary heats Nov. 1 presented 19 graduate students with the challenge of explaining their work effectively and engagingly to nonexperts within a three-minute timeframe. Eleven graduate students are advancing to KU’s final round:

  • James Adaryukov, psychology
  • Kalin Baca, chemical engineering
  • Katie Childers, bioengineering
  • Nicole D’Souza, bioengineering
  • Denise Finnegan-Hill, music
  • Jordan Gamble, mechanical engineering
  • Madeline Isom, chemistry
  • Xinyu Mai, physics
  • Sayuri Niyangoda, chemistry
  • Sirisha Thippabhotla, computer science
  • Jiahong Wang, curriculum & instruction

KU’s competition is part of a global event that highlights graduate student research by challenging students to explain their work effectively and engagingly to nonexperts.

All members of the KU and surrounding communities are welcome to attend the finals at no cost. The finals will also be livestreamed and available to view online by going to the 3MT website and clicking the “Final Round” on the homepage.

All finalists will have the option to participate in a professional head-and-shoulder portrait session and have their research spotlighted on the Office of Graduate Studies’ social media channels.

Judges will select a first-place winner who will receive a $500 award and a second-place winner who will receive $250. A People’s Choice winner will be voted on by the audience and receive $125. The first-place presenter will serve as KU’s representative at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools 3MT Competition, which will take place March 29-31, 2023, in Chicago, with expenses paid by the Graduate Studies office.

The 3MT academic research communication competition was developed by the University of Queensland in Australia and was first held in 2008. 3MT competitions have been held at more than 900 universities in more than 85 countries worldwide.

For more information, contact the Office of Graduate Studies at

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
KU Today