Have questions about “Computational Insights into the Molecular World of an Antimicrobial Agent” but not sure reading a scientific paper will clear it up? Instead, put a 3-minute timer on a graduate student’s presentation, a panel of judges in front of the student and a “People’s Choice” ballot in the hands of audience members, and students are not only racing against the clock to woo the judges, but they’re also trying to captivate their non-researcher audience—and the presentations become educational and enthralling.

The Graduate College at Northern Arizona University will host its annual 3 Minute Research Presentation (3MRP) Competition Finals, where students will showcase their research, scholarship or creative work for the chance to win a $3,000 grand prize. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 3:30 p.m. March 27 at the High Country Conference Center.

The aforementioned presentation was that of Alexanndra Heyert—last year’s second place 3MRP winner. Sofia Sweeney, who placed first for her presentation on “Instagram as a Second Language Vocabulary Learning Tool” and also won the People’s Choice award, went on to win at the state level as well.

“Whatever outstanding scholarly endeavors our graduate students are pursuing mean little without the ability to explain the work’s significance to non-specialist, lay audiences” said Maribeth Watwood, dean of the Graduate College. “The 3 Minute Research Presentation competition prepares students to translate their work into non-technical language. We are thrilled to help our graduate students more confidently describe the amazing contributions that they are making across the region and the world.”

A Graduate Student Government Poster Symposium will immediately follow the 3MRP event in the High Country Conference Center. The Poster Symposium allows graduate students to showcase and discuss their research in a professional setting.

For more information on the competition and resources, visit the Graduate College page.