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exCITE Talks

exCITE Talks recognizes the role that co-curricular learning experiences plays in students' academic and professional development. Information about exCITE Talks 2023 will be available in August.

Undergraduate students selected for the competition will compete to deliver the best exCITE Talk: a three-minute elevator pitch, accompanied by a single slide. Amazon gift cards (1st prize: $500; 2nd: $250; 3rd $150; People’s Choice: $100) will be awarded to the students who receiving the top scores at the final competition.

exCITE Talks is inspired by the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition founded by the University of Queensland.

exCITE Talks 2022 Marketing Image


  • Applications are due on Friday, September 16 at Noon
  • All accepted contestants must attend or watch the recording of the online Elevator Pitch Workshop on Monday, September 19th at 12PM
  • The preliminary round will be in the Rockwell Pavilion on Thursday, September 22nd, between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM
    • Competitors will choose 30-minute appointments that fit their schedules.
  • The final round of the competition will be held in the Rockwell Pavilion on Monday, October 10th at 5PM


This elevator pitch competition is open to undergraduate students at the University of Houston Main Campus, who participated in an intensive co-curricular experience during the 2021 - 2022 academic year (August 23, 2021 - August 21, 2022).

To qualify as an intensive experience for the exCITE Talks competition, the co-curricular activity must have been at least 40 hours in duration. For travel programs, the duration of the trip counts toward this requirement as well as any pre- or post-trip meetings or requirements.

Contestants must have been enrolled at the University of Houston Main Campus during academic year 2021-2022 and be enrolled for the fall of 2022.

All contestants must attend the elevator pitch workshop sponsored by University Career Services.

Winners must be present to receive prizes at the final competition.



An elevator pitch is a short speech that communicates the significance of an experience, idea, or proposal to an audience who is unfamiliar with the speaker and topic.

In the exCITE Talks competition, these elevator pitches must describe the significance and impact of an intensive co-curricular experience. exCITE Talks cannot be more than three minutes in duration and must be accompanied by a single slide.


A co-curricular experience is an outside-of-the-classroom activity that relates to your academic course work. Some examples of co-curricular activities include internships, learning abroad, learning away, research assistantships, and service learning that relate to your academic program or goals. 


The CITE Advisory Board or CITE office staff will review all applications for the exCITE Talks competition. Students whose applications best articulate the significance of their experience will be invited to participate in the Preliminary Round of the competition.

All exCITE Talks will be evaluated by a panel of judges, made up up of faculty and staff.

Your presentation must conform to the following rules:

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is required. No slide transitions, animations or "movement" of any description are allowed. 
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are not to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps, or songs).
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.

A copy of the scoring rubric is available here.


  1. Can I compete in exCITE talks this year if I competed in a previous year? Yes, as long as you are still an undergraduate student at UH.  
  2. Can I compete if I worked on a project with a research team? Yes, you must present on your individual role in the project.