2017 90 Second Thesis

90 Second Thesis has a NEW website!

Visit 90secondthesis.rice.edu to get the latest details about the competition.


Why should you compete?

      • Receive professional coaching
      • Improve your public speaking skills
      • Learn to communicate to a broad audience
      • Enhance your CV
      • Obtain a professional video of your talk to share with others
      • Prepare for a thesis defense, conference talk, or interview
      • Promote your research
      • Discover ways to convey the impact of your research
      • Network with alumni
      • Win prizes!


      • Graduate students from all disciplines and any year of study are encouraged to apply.
      • Students may present their research project, proposal, paper, thesis, or dissertation.
      • Students do not need to be writing their thesis or dissertation to compete. However, the student will need to be able to clearly establish the context of their research question, explain their methodology or approach, identiy current findings and/or results, and convey the significance of their work. 

Important Dates

Registration Deadline:  January 23, 2017
Script Coaching Sessions with CWOVC: January 30 – February 23, 2017
Presentation Coaching with CWOVC: February 24 – March 1, 2017
Dress Rehearsals: March 2 – 3, 2017
Competition: March 3, 2017


      • Each contestant will have 90 seconds to engage the audience intellectually and communicate the uniqueness and significance of their research topic.
      • Points will be deducted if a contestant exceeds the 90 second time limit.
      • Contestants are required to participate in at least one coaching session prior to the competition. If you do not sign-up for coaching, you will not be eligible to participate.
      • A small hand-held prop is allowed, if it is appropriate and helps describe the research topic. However, we do not encourage the use of props, because it can distract from the speaker's message. Ideally, you should be able to effectively communicate your research topic without the prop.
      • PowerPoint slides are not permitted.

Who judges the competition?

      • Judges are Rice Alumni, Experienced Professionals, Community Partners, and Rice Faculty and Staff. 
      • Judges from the 2016 competition represented over 30 different organizations, including:

2016 90STC Judges

Interested in judging at the 2017 90 Second Thesis Competition? Sign up here.

Judging Criteria

      • Judges will score each contestant on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is poor and 10 is excellent. 
      • Contestants will be judged on message and delivery.
      • Message: Contestants should be able to engage the audience, clearly communicate their research questions, explain the relevance of the problem, and describe the methodology and results in terms easily understood by a broad audience.
      • Delivery: Contestants should engage the audience by projecting confidence and excitement and using appropriate gestures, vocal variation and clear diction. 

Click here for more information regarding the judging criteria.



Contestants: Kiri Kilpatrick, kiri.kilpatrick@rice.edu
Judges: Sherry Vanderslice, sdv1@rice.edu
Volunteer Opportunities: Josh Hill, jchill@rice.edu