Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition

Can you present your research in just three minutes? PhD students are invited to enter this year’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition to hone their public speaking skills and earn cash prizes.

This year’s 3MT will take place in-person on Friday, May 19 from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. in UChicagoGRAD’s headquarters, located on the 3rd floor of the bookstore. A reception with a light lunch will follow.

In a 3MT competition, participants prepare a three-minute presentation about their research using only one static slide. It’s a great opportunity to showcase your work to a broader audience. A judging panel will award $2,000 total, with $1,000 to the first-place winner.

Any PhD student currently working on a research-based project may participate. The focus of your presentation should be your original research, pitched in an engaging way to a general audience without losing sight of the significance and impact of your work.

If you are interested in participating, please register for and attend the info session on Thursday, April 27, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. at UChicagoGRAD HQ. Questions? Contact Kathrin Kranz (


Wintertime Wellness

Photograph of a person's hands holding snow in the shape of a heart.

Prioritizing your health and wellbeing is key—especially as we head into the winter months. Whether you strategically schedule time in the sun, check-ins with friends and family, or physical activity, it is important to plan to protect your wellbeing. If you need additional support during this time, remember that Student Wellness is available to you. The Student Wellness Center will remain open during Winter Recess, but please check the website for hours (and note we will close at 12 p.m. on December 23 and 30).

For more information about resources, programs, and clinics from Student Wellness, read on and check out our website.

A Message from the GRAD Administrative Services Team

POV: tax forms and a calculator.

The 2022 tax filing deadline is not until April 18, 2023, but it’s never too early to takes steps toward successful tax preparation. The fourth and final 2022 Quarterly Estimated Tax Deadline is January 18, 2023. Whether this is your first time paying estimated taxes or your tenth, you may have questions. Please take some time to watch our 2022 Estimated Tax Workshop along with our other Financial Wellness resources, and reach out to with your questions related to taxes and University payments.

More updates from across campus in this week’s GRAD Guide Weekly.


Sounding Board Advising

UChicagoGrad wants to extend our support to the UChicago student community as you continue to navigate this on-going difficult time. Whether you are worried about yourself, a friend, or a family member there are extensive support resources and services provided by the UChicago community that can assist you with your mental health concerns.

Sounding Board Advising is a resource for helping graduate students and postdocs negotiate work/life balance issues, navigate relationships, and create strategies for having difficult conversations with peers, faculty, and others. Sounding Board currently functions as general support services for challenged graduate students.

UChicago Student Wellness provides access to student mental health with virtual sessions staffed by clinicians, in addition to virtual drop-in sessions and workshops. Their calendar of events is here.

Wellness Coaching is a free service that teaches you how to create goals for navigating transitions and overcoming challenges that come your way. Schedule your Wellness Coaching session today.

There is a therapist-on-call available 24/7 that students can reach at 773-702-3625.

Do you wish you had an answer at the ready when someone says, “So, tell me about your research”?

Apply by May 17th to participate in UChicagoGRAD’s Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT) and Research Showcase. This year’s 3MT will take place virtually on Thursday, June 10, 3:00-5:00pm CT.


In a 3MT competition, participants prepare a three-minute presentation about their research using only one static slide. It’s a great opportunity to showcase your work to a broader audience and practice your public speaking skills. Participants compete in a Master’s or PhD category and a judging panel will award $150 to the overall winner and $100 each to the next highest score in the Master’s and PhD category. To participate please fill out the application form by May 17.

Any student currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at the University of Chicago and writing a Master’s or PhD thesis is eligible to apply. The focus of your presentation should be your original research, pitched in an engaging way to a general audience without losing sight of the significance and impact of your work. The winning presenters will have their presentations featured on the UChicagoGRAD website. To see videos of the 2020 3MT winners, please visit last year’s 3MT page.


The application deadline for the Three Minute Thesis Competition is May 17. To complete the application form and for additional information, please click here. For questions please contact Michael O’Toole:


UChicagoGRAD Stands with the University against Anti-Asian Violence

We stand with the University in condemning all acts of anti-Asian racial violence that have been increasing in the country over the last few months. We are saddened by the recent events in Georgia, and our hearts go out to the Asian/Pacific Islander/Desi American (APIDA)  community, and all people who have been and continue to be vulnerable to these acts of racial hatred and violence in the US. We have collated resources from our campus partners to help  promote emotional support resources through this time. We encourage you to engage with all the wonderful support programs that the University of Chicago offers to people of all backgrounds. You can read the university’s full message here.


Vaccination Information for Graduate Students

Important Information to Prepare for Phase 1c and 2 Vaccine Distribution
The University shared important information for students in advance of Phase 1c and 2 of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, including actions that may be required on your part.

As of now, the University expects most students to be eligible in Phase 2, which the City of Chicago is estimating to begin May 31. Other students may be eligible in Phase 1c, including those with medical conditions that place them at higher risk of serious health outcomes from COVID-19, and students whose employment includes classroom or on-campus duties. Please note that the City’s vaccination schedule remains subject to change. Although most students likely will need to wait until Phase 2 to be vaccinated, the University is providing information now to help with preparations for vaccination whenever you are eligible. The University’s February 24 message included information about how to opt out from the creation of a medical record for vaccination purposes and how to self-identify as an individual with high-risk condition(s), which may affect the timing of your eligibility for vaccination. Please see the full message and these FAQs for further details.

Here are some other resources:


 Black History Month from UChicagoGRAD

UChicagoGRAD recognizes Black History Month by highlighting the first African American graduate students! The stories of Edward Alexander Bouchet and Georgiana Rose Simpson as the first African-Americans to earn PhDs in the United States are inspiring and as we look at these two graduate students.

Edward Bouchet

Edward Alexander Bouchet was the first African-American man to earn his Ph.D. from an American University, Yale College (what is now Yale University) in 1874. Throughout his education and career, he faced many challenges despite his intellect and success. While being highly talented and educated, he lived in a segregated society, in which not only his daily life, but his schooling affected his access to resources. His scientific research and professionalism were hindered by the types of labs he could have access to, resources provided by the school, and even support in the educational curriculum. Even post-graduation, his skills and education were looked down upon and he struggled to be employed in the field he earned his degree in.

Despite this, Edward Bouchet completed milestones in terms of graduate education for African Americans. Bouchet is recognized as one of the first 20 Americans (of any race) to receive a Ph.D. in physics. He stands as the 6th student from Yale to earn a Ph.D. in physics in its history and ranked 6th in his class at Yale out of 124 students. Bouchet was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa, being officially inducted in 1884, after a chapter reorganization. While this caused him to not be the first African American elected to it, the first being George Washington Henderson, he is recognized as one of the early few. His doctoral thesis centered on measuring the refractive indices of various glasses. Despite the academic excellence Bouchet exemplified, his post graduate career was almost unaffected. Unlike anyone else in the U.S. who earned a Ph.D. at that time, including Georgiana Rose Simpson, and for the next 80 years, Bouchet was unable to obtain a college (or university) position, because of his race. He accepted a position working at Philadelphia’s Institute for Colored Youth, where he taught a variety of subjects other than physics. Philadelphia offered Bouchet access to the city’s considerable progress in education, which had been growing before his arrival. After the Civil War, the ICY played an important role in training the thousands of black teachers that were needed throughout the country to provide freedmen with the education they sought. Unfortunately, he continued to face hardship on the base of race, when many schools at that time were beginning to alter their course subjects. The Industrial Education models caused schools to steer towards vocational subjects, causing Bouchet to lose his job in 1902, when the all-white board members fired anyone who wouldn’t teach this model. Bouchet ended up as in itinerant teacher, working in many states, until he moved home due to health concerns. In his honor, Yale established both the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society and the Bouchet Leadership Award, and the American Physical Society has named the original location of Yale’s Sloan Laboratory as a historic site to honor Bouchet.

Georgiana Rose Simpson

While Bouchet is a legacy for Yale, our very own University of Chicago has its own historic student in Georgiana Rose Simpson. She is recognized as the first African-American woman to receive a PhD in the United States, receiving her doctoral degree in German philology from UChicago in 1921. At this same time, there were two other scholars—Sadie Mossell Alexander (Ph.D. in economics) and Eva Dykes (Ph.D. in English philology)—who also earned their Ph.D.’s, becoming a striking trio of African American women earning their doctorates. Georgiana is recognized as the official first due to UChicago’ s early commencement. No doubt all these women faced substantial racism while trying to obtain their degrees, and Georgiana’s story is one that is retold every year as a reminder of the progress of graduate education for all at the University of Chicago. Georgiana arrived at UChicago in 1907 and was invited to live in the dorms on campus. Pervasive racism caused female students in her dorm to demand her removal. While initially this request was denied, the University of Chicago President at the time Harry Pratt Judson insisted that she move off campus, to which she did. Due to the extreme racial prejudice she faced against the predominantly white, southern student body, she finished her studies mainly through summer classes and correspondence courses. Her bachelors arrived in 1911, her master’s in 1920, and her Ph.D. in 1921. Simpson, along with her other black scholars, did not get university positions either, as most universities didn’t hire black women outside of the Home Economics courses.

Bouchet’s, Simpson’s, Mossel’s and Dykes’ race informed their life, but did not affect their scholarships. Bouchet and Simpson persisted in their ability to continue to teach and learn, despite the racism they faced. Bouchet spent his 26 years teaching physics, geography, astronomy, and a variety of subjects. Simpson was able to edit a biography of the Haitian independence hero Toussaint Louverture; African-American studies wasn’t officially accepted as a discipline at this time, and this opportunity was Georgiana’s work towards that field, despite her Ph.D.  in German philology. The University of Chicago strives for equity for all students and continues to make improvements for its graduate students and achieving their academic success through offices like UChicagoGRAD.


Oh, more information? Of course we have it— Here are some resources to learn more about these figures, and  about UChicago Diversity initiatives:

Autumn Quarter Flu Shots

UChicago Student Wellness and UChicago Human Resources are offering free flu shots to individuals with a University ID. To reduce lines and encourage social distancing, individuals will be required to have an appointment to receive a flu shot. The online scheduling tool allows you to quickly and easily schedule, change, or cancel your appointment. We encourage you to make your appointment online as soon as possible.

For more information, please visit the UChicago Student Wellness 2020 Flu Shot Events website: There are some important changes to ensure a smooth and safe process and so that individuals can select a time that works for them.


Important Changes for 2020:

• To reduce lines and encourage social distancing, individuals will be required to have an appointment to receive a flu shot. The online scheduling tool allows you to quickly and easily schedule, change, or cancel your appointment. We encourage you to make your appointment online as soon as possible.
• The online scheduling tool, available on the UChicago Student Wellness website, will allow you to quickly and easily schedule/change/cancel your appointment at your convenience.
• In order to receive a flu shot, you must:
o Wear a face covering and practice social distancing during your appointment.
o Bring your UChicago ID and two copies of the completed consent form. There will be copies of the consent form available on site if you do not have access to a printer.
o Arrive on time to your appointment. Individuals who arrive late may be asked to reschedule.


Last Available Dates: November 6-7, from 9am-6pm, at the Student Wellness Center, 840 E. 59th Street.

UChicago Convocation 2020

The 533rd Convocation will take place virtually on Saturday, June 13, at 9:15 a.m. This is a University-wide ceremony involving degree candidates from all divisions and schools. During the ceremony, the University President Robert J. Zimmer will confer degrees to all candidates.

Live Streaming

The virtual University-wide ceremony will stream at

Speakers, contact information, and links to the virtual ceremonies can be found on the Virtual Ceremonies Schedule page.

Details for the College, as well as the Schools and Divisions’ individual ceremonies, can be found below. All ceremony times are Central Standard Time (CST).


  • FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2020
    • 9:00 AM- The School of Social Service Administration
    • 11:00 AM – The Division of the Social Sciences
    • 12:30 PM – The Divinity School
    • 2:00 PM – Class Day
    • 4:30 PM – The Division of the Humanities
  • SATURDAY, JUNE 13, 2020
    • 9:15 AM – University-wide Ceremony
    • 11:00 AM – The William B. and Catherine V. Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies
    • 11:00 AM – The Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies
    • 11:30 AM – The Law School
    • 12:00 PM – The Division of the Physical Sciences
    • 4:30 PM – The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 2020
    • The College is proud to recognize the incredible achievements of our graduates during our College Diploma Ceremonies. A UChicago tradition, the College Diploma Ceremonies invite students to return to their residential communities to celebrate graduation with those with whom they began their academic journey. Each ceremony is presided over by a resident dean and features remarks, speeches, and the reading of the names of each graduate. This year’s virtual ceremonies will take place on Sunday, June 14, 2020, throughout the day at the times listed below. Links to each virtual ceremony, as well as speaker and contact information, can be found on the Virtual Ceremonies Schedule page.

Social Media

Share your Class of 2020 memories, photos, and reflections, as we recognize your accomplishments! Use our specially designed Class of 2020 social media tools to celebrate and share your success with friends and family.


For more information about Convocation, academic regalia, diplomas, and more, please consult the FAQ page. If you have additional questions, please email