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USD Graduate School to Host Fifth Annual Three Minute Thesis Competition

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Kirby Rickel Kirby Rickel was the 2021 3MT Competition first-place winner. Her presentation was titled “Development of a Drug Coated Balloon for the Brain.”
VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota is set to host the fifth annual Three Minute Thesis Competition. The preliminary round is Feb. 9 from 3-5 p.m., followed by the final competition on Feb. 16 from 3-5 p.m. in the Al Neuharth Freedom Forum.
The 3MT is a competition in which students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance. The competition challenges students to consolidate their ideas and research discoveries so they can be presented concisely to a non-specialist audience.
“Competing in 3MT helped improve my science communication skills,” said Kirby Rickel, Ph.D. candidate studying biomedical engineering and first-place winner of the 2021 3MT Competition. “I had to really think about why my research is important and then convey that importance so that anyone in the general public could understand.”
The first-place presentation will be awarded $350, as well as advancement to the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Regional 3MT Competition scheduled for April 6-8 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The competition is open to students actively enrolled in a Master’s (Thesis option A) or Ph.D. program and in good academic standing. An information session will be held on Feb. 2 from 3-5 p.m. in Muenster University Center Ballroom BC.
To learn more about the competition, visit
USD is the largest provider of graduate education in the state of South Dakota, with 78 graduate and professional programs. The mission of the Graduate School is to provide high-quality graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education, business, fine arts, law and medicine; to promote excellence in teaching and learning; and to support research and creative scholarship. In partnership with individual degree programs, we accomplish this mission by providing students with excellent academic preparation and extraordinary opportunities for research, creative scholarship, clinical experiences and internships.
Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News


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