WMU Grad Talks

  • WMU Grad Talks 3MT competition

    Awardees at the Gradtalks 3MT competition fall 2016.

  • Graduate Student presenting their research at the Gradtalks three minute thesis competition

    Graduate Student presenting her research at the Gradtalks 3MT competition.

  • Audience at the Gradtalks three minute thesis competition

    Audience at the Gradtalks 3MT competition spring 2016

  • Awardees from fall 2017

Gradtalks and the 3mt competition

Grad Talks is a graduate student symposium designed and sponsored by the Graduate Student Association at Western Michigan University. This program is similar to and is inspired by TED Talks. In our version, Western graduate students from all disciplines will be able to present their research ideas, theses, and dissertations for 3 minutes. With this activity, the Association is seeking to provide students with the chance to convey their research to an interdisciplinary audience. In addition, all presentations will be filmed and published on the Association's website for future reference and viewing.

Moreover, we have partnered with the Graduate College to combine Grad Talks with the 3 Minutes Thesis competition; an idea developed by  The University of Queensland. Now, in addition to presenting in front of an interdisciplinary audience, students will communicate to a group of judges. This team of judges will be comprised of faculty from different Western graduate programs and other graduate students.

When and where will this program take place?


who can take part in this program?

All full time and part time registered Western graduate students on the main campus, through Extended University Programs, as well as the professional and graduate students in the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine can apply to participate in this program. Nevertheless, only the graduate students who are taking classes on site on main, East or Parkview campuses are eligible to receive the scholarship.

How can I apply?

Follow the Grad Talks Application Form to apply. Submissions will be reviewed by the Grad Talks Committee and you will be notified if your application is received within five business days. We will select up to 10 applicants to present at each Grad Talks. The judges will choose 3 winners out of these 10 participants, and they will be awarded a scholarship* in the following way: $500 for the first place; $300 for the second place and $200 for the third place. In addition, we will have the people's choice award; a surprise prize will be given to the student who gets the most votes from the audience. Finally, the student with the highest score will have the opportunity to compete and represent Western at the regional contest. If you have any questions please send them to gsa-gradtalks@wmich.edu.

What are the rules?

Rules and judging criteria

Applicant selection criteria

Who can attend the presentations?

Grad Talks are open to the public and all attendees will be part of a raffle with the chance to win surprise prizes. Moreover, seats will be reserved for graduate students and their guests who pre-register to attend. Email gsa-gradtalks@wmich.edu for more information.

Upcoming Presentations 

Congratulations to Shreya Naseri who is working on her MBA and won at the last 3MT contest in fall 2017. 

You can find and download pictures from our fall 2017 presentations in this link: pictures. In addition, you can watch the videos of these presentations here: videos

Here are some Three Minute Thesis presentations from the spring 2016 3MT Competition. Use them as examples of what is expected. Enjoy!

Tiantian Zhang: genetically engineered tanapoxivirus expressing interleukin-2 suppresses human Melanoma tumors.

Peter White: Kalamazoo diabetes path study.

Raina Khatri: what education researchers who develop new educational innovations do to increase the impact of their work?

Ryan Clark: numerical simulation and modeling of combustion in scramjets.

 Timothy Clark: how do we make topological spaces?

*Scholarships will be deposited in your student account before they are transferred to your personal account via direct deposit or a check. This procedure is subjected to all University regulations regarding transfers.


Your voice at Western Michigan University!