fbpx Seven Minute Thesis Competition

An 80,000 word thesis would take 9 hours to present.
Your time limit... 7 minutes.

Seven Minute Thesis

Higher Degrees by Research

The XTF Seven Minute Thesis (7MT) is a research communication competition that challenges graduate students to clearly and concisely articulate complex research to non-specialist audiences. Contestants represent a diverse array of disciplines and areas of study and reflect the passion and thirst for discovery common among all students.

Participating in the competitions helps students develop communication skills, allows them to share and take pride in their work, and offers the chance to compete for prizes. You can view the presentations of all of our finalists on the 3MT spotlight page.


Registration Deadline: Monday, October 4th, 2021

Students: To compete, you must register. After the registration deadline passes you will receive an invitation to join the 7MT ICON course that will include instructions on how to participate in the virtual preliminary competition.

Judging Criteria


Winners should be determined by a panel of judges using criteria outlined by the official 7MT competition. For the Graduate College finals, judges will be invited from the Exchange and Training Foundation and staff, previous 7MT winners, and the local community.

PDF & Qualtrics versions of the form are available by contacting vivian-sheridan@7mt.org.

When selecting judges for your competition, the Graduate College suggests a panel of 3-5 individuals. It is also suggested that no more than one faculty member from the home department sit on the judging panel.

Comprehension & Content

•Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?

•Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?

•Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?

•Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?

•Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?

•Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation - or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?

Engagement & Communication

Higher Degrees by Research

Winners will be determined by a panel of judges using the official 7MT competition rubrics to judge the video submissions. Judges will be invited from the University of Iowa faculty and staff, previous 7MT winners, and the local community.


Each contestant who advances to the final competition
will win a $250 cash prize.
There will be additional prizes for:

$500 dollars for 1st place (decided by judges) and the option for funded to travel to Hong Kong

$250 for honorable mention (decided by judges)

$250 for the "People's Choice" winner, selected by audience ballot Gain everlasting glory for your college with the 7MT Dean's Cup