PhD Students Prep for Mason’s Three-Minute Thesis Competition

Volgenau School of Engineering entrants will begin prepping next week for the inaugural Mason Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) competition sponsored by the provost’s office.

Students participating in this event will have a three-minute window to explain their research in terms appropriate to a general audience. Registration for this event has filled to capacity, with 40 Mason students slated to participate, and a robust waitlist. Students from five Volgenau School of Engineering departments (SEOR, CEIE, ECE, and BENG) and the PhD IT are represented with a grand total of 25 hopeful winners.

“The competition should be exciting. But the biggest value for our students may be the preparation for the competition," said Senior Associate Dean Stephen Nash. “If our students can learn to describe their research briefly and with enthusiasm, that will give them a powerful tool to use at conferences, in job interviews, and in many other settings.”

With that in mind, mentoring sessions for PhD students will begin on Monday, January 30. The students will divide into groups and work in cross-disciplinary teams to provide guidance and feedback to each other. On February 21, they will meet again for a “dress rehearsal” prior to the University’s preliminary rounds on March 3.

“We’re excited that so many of our PhD students are participating in this event and hope to leverage the presentations to promote the school’s research,” said Nash.

For detailed information about our 3MT™ competition, including guidelines and judging criteria, see

Editor's note: On January 26, we were notified that The Provost's Office has increased the total number of 3MT entrants to 50.