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


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 Early Start Poster Symposium will see its return to the 6th Floor of the Trent Semans Center on July 27th, 2023 at 10:30am with the addition of student groups, and leadership from multiple centers, and institutes across campus in our first-ever 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 poster session will be followed by our inaugural 3-Minute-Thesis Competition (more information below) and later in the afternoon we will see the return of BioCoRE 2 and Dept. of Biochemistry alumna, Dr. Nicole Orench Rivera who will deliver this year's alumni keynote in The Learning Hall.

For poster presenters:

  1. Please plan to arrive on the 6th floor of Trent ~30 minutes prior to the start of the symposium (i.e. 9:30am) for help with setup.
  2. If you cannot get into Trent Semans or have trouble finding the 6th floor 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.
A list of events happening at the symposium
Title page to 2023 BioCoRE symposium digital abstract book.
Please click the title page above to view the 2023 abstracts.
3mt competitors and titles

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.

Email biocore@duke.edu with any questions. 

This is the first 3MT for Duke BioCoRE. 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 will host its inaugural 3MT competition on July 27th, 2023 at 11:30am in The Learning Hall in Trent Semans – (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 the eight finalists will be judged by faculty members and honored at the Equity Advancement Symposium Reception on the same day. 

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.