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5th Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium- March 21, 2013

New!    3-Minute Research format for 2013 Graduate Student Symposium!

Our 3-Minute Research format for the Symposium was adapted from the now renowned 3MT (3-Minute Thesis) competitions of Australia. The idea is simple: you have one slide and three minutes to present your research to an interdisciplinary audience in an engaging and accessible way. This is an innovative way to foster interdisciplinary conversations, and also develops a distinct set of communication skills that graduate students will need in their professional futures. 

Why it's valuable: 

1. As the university and knowledge-making become increasingly interdisciplinary, it is important for students to practice translating their research to scholars and researchers beyond their home disciplines. For those who will seek careers in industry or professions outside the academy, it is obvious why it is useful to be able to translate your research for an audience of non-specialists, but for those who will stay in the academy it is useful as well, as such interdisciplinary work will become increasingly valued (Walker et al. 2008). 

2. During your job search--whether academic or professional--you will be need to be able to present a succinct, clear snapshot of your research to people who may have little to no familiarity with your topic. This is sometimes called an "Elevator Pitch," and requires a unique kind of preparation and understanding of your topic different from that of a lengthier conference presentation or job talk. While disciplinary and interdisciplinary conferences are available to develop your research as a graduate student, it is less common for students to get practice summarizing and translating their research for a general academic audience in this way...until now!

What it is:

An oral presentation in which you discuss what you are researching, how you are researching it, and why it is important. The presentation is intended for and will be judged by audience members from across disciplines, from faculty to graduate students to undergraduates. 

Rules and Guidelines: Borrowed from the 3MT competition

  • A single Powerpoint slide (no transitions)
  • No additional electronic media are to be used (like sound or video files)
  • No additional props (like costumes, instruments) are permitted 
  • Presentations are absolutely limited to three minutes maximum, or contestant will be disqualified
  • Contestants must be currently enrolled in graduate studies at University of Louisville at time of symposium

How they will be judged:
Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place winners based audience ratings. Each audience member will receive one feedback form for each presenter, who they will rate according to how well they translated their research in an interesting, engaging, and complete manner  for a general academic audience without "dumbing down" their topic. Audience members who complete judging slips will be entered in a drawing for door prizes. 
How do I develop one? What makes a 3-Minute Research presentation stand out, or fail? Can I see some examples? 
We highly recommend this Prezi presentation on this topic developed by Inger Mewburn. It has great information, guidance, and examples from past Australian competitions. 

Poster Sessions

As in the past, graduate students can also submit their research as a poster session. Research posters will be categorized as either STEM-H or Humanities/Social Sciences, with one prize awarded in each category, as chosen by the faculty judges. 
Rules and Guidelines:
  • Must be in attendance to present your poster to your area's judge(s) 
  • Presentations to judges should be limited to 3-5 minutes, with 3 minutes for questions from the judge
  • Contestants must be currently enrolled in graduate studies at University of Louisville at time of symposium


Register here by February 17th March 8th at 11:59pm. Participants will be notified of their acceptance by March 10th.
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