Mountain Lion Grad Slam 2020

The UCCS Mountain Lion Grad Slam 3-Minute Thesis Competition is an opportunity for graduate students to explain their research and scholarship in an engaging way. This fast-paced research ROAR (get it? Mountain Lions roar, right?!) highlights the hard work accomplished by UCCS graduate students.

The UCCS Mountain Lion Grad Slam challenges students to a 3-minute/1-slide presentation to showcase their research to the audience and judges in a condensed and captivating way. Participants will be evaluated on how well they explain and communicate the most significant parts of their research. Winners of the preliminary rounds,on Monday Jan. 27th,  will progress to the final round on Friday, January 31st, 2020 from 12-1pm in Berger Hall. Winners will be announced at the reception following the event.

A panel of UCCS staff and faculty will judge each round using a scoring rubric. The UCCS campus community are all invited to attend the final round and join us at the reception where the winners are announced.


To see previous winners, click here!

2020 Competition 

Registration Deadline

December 2nd, 2019 at 5pm MST

Register here

Preliminary Round

Monday Jan. 27th

Please note: you will present only once in preliminary round based on registration information.

Final Round

*Friday, January 31st, 2020 (Berger Hall) Time: 12-1pm

* open to the public

Awards given between 1:30-2pm  Berger Hall 

(judges will deliberate from 1:00pm-1:30pm)

Email: with any questions

Eligibility Criteria

  • Current Active UCCS Graduate Student (master, certificate, or doctoral level)

  • Presenting work completed while a UCCS Graduate Student (e.g., capstone project, thesis or dissertation, other professional research project).
  • Only one presenter is allowed. If presenting collaborative work, must have the permission of all collaborators to present.
  • Students may only present one project.
  • A project may only be presented by one student.
  • If you competed in a past 3MT competition at UCCS, you can compete again. However, if you made it to the final round, you need a new project to participate again.


Rules and Regulations

  • This event follows the national 3MT standards from the University of Queensland
  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented at the beginning of the oration. The slide is due to by Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 at noon MST. Please review the PowerPoint Slide Requirements and Tips for Success document. Presentations that do not follow the guidelines will not be accepted and presenter will be disqualified.
  • You cannot modify your PowerPoint slide between rounds nor after submission for the competition.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) is permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum and competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified. A time clock will be made visible for contestants to monitor.
  • Wear business casual attires (no hats, costumes, etc.)
  • Contestants must arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of the competition for check-in and must stay for the entire competition to reduce distraction. Leaving after your presentation is not allowed.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps, or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.


Why Should You Participate?

Participation in the UCCS Mountain Lion Grad Slam 3MT® competition develops presentation and research communication skills, while honing graduate students' ability to effectively explain the breadth and significance of their research to a non-specialist audience. The ability to clearly and concisely articulate complex research to non-specialist audiences is a vital skill for all graduate students.

Participating in the 3MT helps students develop communication skills and allows them to share and take pride in their work.

Not to mention these prizes:

1st place wins: $750

2nd place wins: $500

People's choice wins: $250

First place will also get an opportunity to compete in the regional finals in March 2020 paid for by the Graduate School in New Mexico. If the first place winner in unable to travel, the second place winner will be offered this opportunity. 

Resources for Participants

Registration Form

Training will be offered by the Excel Communication Center. More information will be emailed to registered participants.

Watch winning 3MT presentations from around the world Top Ten Tips for Writing and Delivering Very Brief Speeches by Bill Cole TED Talks: Approximately 3-minute talks on "ideas worth spreading" 10 Most Common Rookie Mistakes in Public Speaking by Terry Gault How to win at academic presentations: top tips on what to say and how to say it


Please be advised that your participation in the Mountain Lion Grad Slam event may amount to a public disclosure which could jeopardize your ability to obtain patent protection in certain jurisdictions. As a student, prior to participating and openly sharing the details of your project, you may want to seek legal counsel, speak with your advisor, or contact the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Integrity regarding any disclosure you plan to share or otherwise present to get advice on how to protect any intellectual property that may arise from your project.