Savannah Rattanavong
Office of the Provost

Seven graduate students advance to KU 3MT competition finals

Mon, 11/13/2023

3MT 2023 finalists at the University of Kansas.

LAWRENCE — Seven University of Kansas graduate students will advance to the finals of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. The winner will represent KU in the Midwest regional competition.

The finals will take place from 2-4 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Burge Union, Forum C. The general public is encouraged to attend in person or by watching the competition livestream on the KU 3MT site.

“The passion, creativity and innovation on display through these graduate student participants was inspiring,” said Jennifer Roberts, senior vice provost for academic affairs & graduate studies. “The first round of KU’s 3MT competition highlighted just a fraction of the compelling and impactful research being done at the university. To briefly and successfully relay the importance of that work to the wider public is an essential skill.”

KU’s 3MT preliminary heats, which took place Nov. 7, challenged 21 graduate students to concisely explain their research within three minutes to an audience of nonexperts. Seven of the students, from six different academic units, have advanced to KU’s final round:

  • Samantha Ghali, doctoral student in child language
  • Riddhi Golwankar, doctoral student in chemistry
  • Kara Hageman, doctoral student in bioengineering
  • Quentin Jarrell, master's student in bioengineering
  • Abhishek Juneja, doctoral student in educational psychology and research
  • Margaret Lazarovits, doctoral student in physics
  • Payal Makhasana, doctoral student in civil engineering

Competition judges will select a first-place winner to receive a $600 award and a second-place winner to receive $300. The audience will select a People’s Choice winner, who will receive $150. The first-place presenter will serve as KU’s representative at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools 3MT Competition in the spring.

The University of Queensland in Australia first held the 3MT competition in 2008. Today, more than 900 universities in more than 85 countries participate.

For more information, contact the Office Graduate Studies at

Photo: Pictured from left to right: Jennifer Roberts, senior vice provost for academic affairs & graduate studies; Payal Makhasana, doctoral student in civil engineering; Margaret Lazarovits, doctoral student in physics; Abhishek Juneja, doctoral student in educational psychology & research; Quentin Jarrell, master's student in bioengineering; Kara Hageman, doctoral student in bioengineering; Riddhi Golwankar, doctoral student in chemistry; Samantha Ghali, doctoral student in child language.

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