Graduate students to present thesis in three minutes or less

Rachel Telljohn

Colorado State University graduate students will present their master’s thesis in under three minutes as part of the Vice President for Research Fellows Three-Minute Challenge.

“The format of the Challenge allows graduate students to present their work in a fast, fun, and competitive manner, with an eye toward helping students learn the skills necessary to explain what they do to a general audience,” wrote Ellen Fisher, senior faculty adviser for the VPR, in an email to the Collegian.


The Challenge will run from 12-5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13 in the Long’s Peak room of the Lory Student Center. Students will present to a panel of judges. The challenge helps select finalists for the VPR Graduate Fellowship program.

Judges consist of six individuals from diverse backgrounds, with historically strong support for graduate programs, according to Fisher. Presentations will be scored on content, comprehension, engagement and communication skills.

Those that are presenting are students representing seven out of eight of the university’s colleges, including two cross-college interdisciplinary graduate programs. There will be 39 students presenting.

All students in attendance get a chance to see what is currently happening at CSU in terms of academics. Undergraduates in attendance at the event have the opportunity to look at the best of what CSU has to offer in terms of research and scholarship, according to Fisher.

“It is truly an inspiring experience and we hope that it will inspire students at all levels to find their passion and continue their education,” Fisher wrote.

Fisher wrote that the event maintains a fast-paced agenda, which will keep those in attendance on their toes.

“(The audience will be) potentially holding its collective breath as the clock counts down visibly during each three minute presentation,” Fisher wrote.

Collegian reporter Rachel Telljohn can be reached at or on Twitter @racheltelljohn.