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SBU 3MT 2024

Captivate a general audience with your research findings, and hone your research communication skills through the SBU 3MT competition! The top talks receive cash prizes, generously sponsored by the SBU Alumni Association

Event date: Friday, March 8, 2024 | 10 am to 2 pm

Location: Charles B. Wang Center, Lecture Halls 1 & 2

What is 3MT? 

SBU 3MT 2023 Participants

Three Minute Thesis, or 3MT® for short, is a spoken word thesis competition. 3MT is an opportunity for SBU graduate students to present their dissertation research findings to a general audience in THREE MINUTES with only one PowerPoint slide. The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. The goal is for students to engage all their communication skills to make their research vivid and engaging while emphasizing its key point without jargon.  

At Stony  Brook, our students also craft their talks as part of a  cohort, undergoing coaching from research communication experts grounded in techniques from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. While there will be winners at the end, our primary goal is for all students to gain professional development and improve their skills in communicating their research. 

What is 3MT?


In 3MT, PhD candidates compete from any discipline.

Physics English Computer Science Biomedical Engineering
Psychology Art Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies History

3MT 2024 Agenda

9:30 to 10 am Sign in & Breakfast Wang Center Theater Lobby and East Hall
10 am to 10:15 am

Welcome & Ground Rules

Molly Lotz, Director, Research Training Initiatives, Graduate School

Celia Marshik, Dean of the Graduate School

Wang Center Lecture Hall 2
10:30 am to 11:30 am*

Round 1

Moderator: Meroona Gopang, PhD student, Public Health

Charles Kocher, Physics & Astronomy
Alexander Kwakye, Genetics/Ecology & Evolution
Catherine Feldman, Physics & Astronomy
Yijie Tian, Ecology & Evolution
Mohammad Fauzan, Molecular & Cell Biology
Shoumik Saha, Chemical & Molecular Engineering
Ashley Barry, Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Marija Iloska, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Wang Center Lecture Hall 1
10:30 am to 11:30 am*

Round 1

Moderator: Kurt Butler, PhD student, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Caitlin Hetherington, Chemistry
Sayantani Sikder, Chemical & Molecular Engineering
Arghya Bhattacharya, Computer Science
Laiba Bilal, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Nicolás Wiggenhauser, IDPAS
Gönenç Moğol, Physics & Astronomy
Anna Thonis, Ecology & Evolution
Gurulakshmi Subramanian, Physics & Astronomy

Wang Center Lecture Hall 2
11:30 am to 11:45 am


Wang Center East Hall
11:45 am to 12:45 pm

Finalists Announced and Round 2 Begins

Moderator: Stephanie Torres, MSW student, Social Work, Vice President, Graduate Student Organization

Wang Center Lecture Hall 2
12:45 pm to 2 pm

Awards Lunch

Neil Butterklee, J.D., President-Elect, Stony Brook Alumni Association 

Ahmed Belazi, MPH, Immediate Past President, Stony Brook Alumni Association, Executive Director, Strategic Analytics and Technologies

Wang Center East Hall


*Concurrent sessions. There will be a 10-minute break after the first four speakers present.

3MT 2024 Competitors

First Name Last Name Graduate Program Advisor
Ashley Barry Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Lisa Diedrich
Arghya Bhattacharya Computer Science Michael Bender
Laiba Bilal Electrical and Computer Engineering Anibal Boscoboinik & Mónica Bugallo
Mohammad Fauzan Molecular and Cell Biology Martin Kaczocha
Catherine Feldman Physics and Astronomy Alan Calder
Caitlin Hetherington Chemistry Benjamin Levine
Marija Iloska Electrical and Computer Engineering Mónica Bugallo
Charles Kocher Physics and Astronomy Ken Dill
Alexander Kwakye Genetics, Ecology and Evolution Krishna Veeramah
Gönenç Moğol Physics and Astronomy Thomas Weinacht
Shoumik Saha Chemical and Molecular Engineering Dilip Gersappe
Sayantani Sikder Chemical and Molecular Engineering Anibal Boscoboinik
Gurulakshmi Subramanian Physics and Astronomy Alexander Zamolodchikov
Anna Thonis Ecology and Evolution Resit Akcakaya
Yijie Tian Ecology and Evolution Krishna Veeramah
Nicolás Wiggenhauser Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences Jeroen Smaers

Speaker Information


To compete in 3MT, students must:

  • Be SBU doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy (G5 or equivalent) by the speaker sign-up deadline;
  • Be enrolled full-time in Spring 2024 and be in good standing;
  • Work in any disciplinary field, with those in the Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences particularly encouraged to participate; 
  • Have advanced in their dissertation to a stage where findings, preliminary conclusions, and broader impact can be discussed. Students may only participate in 3MT once; 
  • Affirm during speaker sign-up that their dissertation advisor supports presentation of their research; and
  • Commit to participating in all 3 coaching sessions.

Presentation guidelines

Talks will be three minutes long and may include only one PowerPoint slide. Speakers should craft a talk that distills the heart of their research for a general audience who may not be specialists, in the style of a TED-like talk (watch previous year's 3MT talks for examples). Speakers will receive individualized coaching on their presentation from research communication experts. See the official rules for more detailed information. 

All competitors will present live and on-stage during Round 1, and the top eight will advance to Round 2, which will immediately follow with a new panel of judges.

Coaching Sessions

As a 3MT competitor, you undergo research communication coaching that is grounded in techniques from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Coaching takes place in small groups where peer feedback and support is expected and encouraged while students workshop their draft presentations.

To participate as a speaker in the competition, you must commit to three mandatory coaching sessions. The first session will provide an overview of best practices for honing one's message for a general audience. In the second and third sessions, speakers will receive coaching on their individual talks in small groups. Speakers may indicate a date/time preference for their small-group sessions, and organizers will do their best to accommodate everyone's busy schedules.

Plenary (mandatory*): Wednesday, February 7, 3 - 5 pm | Graduate School Conference Room

Coaching 1(mandatory) | Graduate School Conference Room

  • Thursday, February 22, 12:30 - 3:30 pm or
  • Friday, February 23, 10 am - 1 pm

Coaching 2 (mandatory) | Wang Center Lecture Hall 2

  • Thursday, February 29, 12:30 - 3:30 pm or
  • Friday, March 1, 10 am - 1 pm 

You can indicate a preference for coaching sessions in the sign-up form. Please try to save the coaching dates on your calendar until you know you are selected.

*Students who have already taken JRN/COM 565 may opt out of the plenary session (although it's better to attend!).


The talks will be evaluated by a panel of judges from a range of backgrounds and disciplines for how well the speaker engages a general audience of non-specialists and can convey the excitement and innovation of their research without jargon or distortion. See the full judging criteria.


Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, plus a People's Choice award selected by the audience. Prizes are generously sponsored by the SBU Alumni Association.



Contact Dr. Molly Lotz, Director of Research Training Initiatives (


SBU 3MT Past Winners and Competitions



Rules and Judging Criteria