Skip to main content

2023 3-Minute Thesis Competition Divisional Winners

March 8, 2023

2023 Division Winners

Yale’s 3-Minute Thesis Competition challenges Ph.D. students to describe their thesis work to a non-specialist audience - in just 3 minutes! Join us in congratulating all participants in the division rounds, held last week, for their fascinating and engaging presentations.  This year for the first time, a 1st  prize of $750 and 2nd prize of $400 were awarded to the top presentations within each of 5 academic divisions. The following winners who will move onto the final competition on April 14:

Biological Sciences

  • 1st Place ($750): Elizabeth Woo (4th year, Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program): “Investigating the Neurons Susceptible to Degeneration: A “GLO1”-Wing Hint”
  • 2nd Place ($400):  Sateja Paradkar (5th year, Pathology): “Implicating PARG In Cancer Drug Resistance”

Physical Sciences

  • 1st Place ($750): Zili Shen (4th year, Astronomy): “Finding the Biggest Dwarf Galaxies in Our Cosmic Backyard”
  • 2nd Place ($400): Kaustav Mitra (5th year, Astronomy): “Weighing Galaxies to Quantify Some Fundamental Properties of the Universe”

Engineering & Applied Sciences

  • 1st Place ($750): Anna Lynn (4th year, Biomedical Engineering): “How Can We Cure Disease Before Birth?”
  • 2nd Place ($400): Alaaddin Ibrahimy (2nd year, Biomedical Engineering): “Drug Affinity in Brain: A New Approach in Early Phase Drug Development”


  • 1st Place ($750):  Trina Hyun* (7th year, English): “In the Beginning was the “Medium”: A Literary History of 17th-Century Theology and Technology”
  • 2nd Place ($400): Sophia Richardson, (7th year, English): “Reading the Surface in Early Modern English Literature”
  • Alternate for Trina Hyun in Final: Thomas Munro (4th year, Classics): “The Contexts of Classical Reception in Post-War Britain”

Social Sciences

  • 1st Place ($750): Kathryn Graves (5th year, Psychology): “Minds in Motion: How the Human Brain Gives Rise to Real-World Navigation”
  • 2nd Place ($400) Tristan Yates* (5th year, Psychology): “The Secret Life Of Babies: An Fmri Approach To Infant Perception And Memory”
  • Alternate for Tristan Yates in Final: Nghiem Huynh (5th year, Economics): “Bridging the Economic Divide: Lessons from Vietnam”

*Unavailable to attend the final competition.

April 14:  2023 3-Minute Thesis Final Competition

We invite the Yale community to cheer on this year's 10 finalists in this in-person celebration of Ph.D. research.  During the event, you will be able cast your vote for the People's Choice awards so be sure to register now here!

Judging Panel

  • Lynn Cooley, Dean of the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • Bert Eshaghpour '79 Ph.D., President, Wego Chemical & Mineral Corporation
  • Katherine Cohen '97 Ph.D., CEO and Founder, IvyWise
  • Kim Boehm '92 Ph.D., President, UC San Diego Alumni Board of Directors; Board Member: Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties, LEAD San Diego, and Reality Changers; Former Provost and Dean of the Faculty, Mills College
  • David Sanchez '84 M.Phil., CEO, Sanchez Global LLC and Managing Director, Zanbato Securities


  • 1st Prize:  $1000
  • 2nd Prize:  $500
  • 3rd Prize:  $300
  • People's Choice – Humanities/Social Sciences: $300
  • People’s Choice – STEM: $300


Please contact Hyun Ja Shin, Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Career Services, or Jacob Gonzalez, Senior Associate Director, with any questions.

Yale’s 3-Minute Thesis Competition is supported by the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  It is a collaboration between the offices of the McDougal Graduate Student Center: the Poorvu Center for Teaching & Learning, the Graduate Writing Lab, Graduate Student Life, the Office for Graduate Student Development & Diversity, and the Office of Career Strategy.

Yale’s event is modeled on the 3-Minute Thesis Competition founded by the University of Queensland.  3MT competitions are now held at over 900 universities and institutions across 85 countries around the world.