Early Start Poster Symposium and 3-Minute Thesis Competition

3MT Competition Winners:

Inaugural 3 minute thesis winners during their presentations.

Poster Award Winners:

2023 poster presentation award winners



Three Minute Thesis (3MT®)


Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a competition for doctoral students to develop and showcase their research communication skills.

Could you present your 80,000-word thesis or dissertation in three minutes? Do you want the excitement of competing with other graduate students for a first, second, or 3rd place prize?
3MT is an annual competition sponsored by the Duke BioCoRE Program. All enrolled doctoral students at the research stage (with at least some results to share) are eligible.

Questions can be submitted here.

This competition has been registered with the University of Queensland and has permission to use the brand and all resources as long as the same rules, judging criteria, and branding guidelines prescribed by The University of Queensland are followed.

Enthusiasm for the 3MT concept grew and its adoption by numerous universities led to the development of an international competition in 2010. Today students from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Hong Kong take part in their own regional and national events.

BioCoRE, in collaboration with the Duke Pratt School of Engineering will host its inaugural 3MT competition on August 5th, 2024 at 3:30pm in Fitzpatrick (CIEMAS) Schiciano Auditorium – (recordings can be made available).  3MT challenges research degree students to present a compelling story on their dissertation or thesis and its significance in just three minutes, in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. This year's 3MT cohort has been selected (more information to come). 

First, second, and third place winners from finalists will be judged by a panel and honored at the Equity Advancement Symposium Reception on the same day. 

Competitors Only:

Upload your Preliminary Round Slides Here

3MT Resources


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any kind; the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • No notes, of any kind, are permitted.
  • Zoom backgrounds are considered props. Please ensure your background is a blank screen or wall.
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum and competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (i.e. no poems, raps, or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when presenters start their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


Please ensure your submissions are aligned with Duke's Accessibility standards. More information can be found here and here. 

david flyer
abstract book
Abstract book coming soon!

About the Symposium

The Early Start Poster Symposium (ESPS)  will be back and better than ever this year. As an integral part of the Equity Advancement Symposium hosted by The IDEALS Office and the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, students from across the Duke University School of Medicine and The Graduate School will showcase their science and campus involvement in various ways. 

The 2024 ESPS will be held in the Duke Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine, and Applied Sciences (CIEMAS) with the return resource fair for students. The goal of the symposium & 3MT is to immerse incoming students participating in Early Start into the science at Duke and allow them to begin networking, discovering resources across campus, and finding potential rotations.

Posters will be judged and winners will be announced during the reception at the end of the symposium day.

The 2023 poster symposium will be preceeded by the annual BioCoRE alumni keynote address and will be followed by the annual 3-Minute-Thesis competition on the afternoon of August 5th, 2024.

Key information

  1. Please plan to arrive at Fitzpatrick/CIEMAS ~30 minutes prior to the start of the symposium (i.e. 12:30pm) for help with setup.
  2. If you cannot get into Fitzpatrick or have trouble finding the group please call/text 919-537-9610.
  3. Your poster dimensions should be no greater than 36" H x 48" W.
  4. Presenters are expected to set up posters based on the abstract number assigned in the booklet below. 
  5. Unfortunately, BioCoRE cannot cover the cost of printing your poster. Please see these printing resources from Duke if you need help. You can also visit the Duke Copy Center site.