3 Minute Thesis Competition

Information expanding section

Three Minute Thesis is a unique event during which graduate students concisely present their research to a non-academic audience.  Competitors are judged on research innovation and ability to present their work to the general public with strict adherence to the 3 minute time limit.

Rules expanding section
  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video) is permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum. Exceeding the three minute maximum will result in disqualification.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations must be made from indicated area at the front of the room.
  • Timing will start when presenter begins speaking or makes a movement to indicate presentation has begun.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.
  • Research papers, projects, and theses are accepted, even if research is not completed at time of competition (this will be communicated to judges).
Judging criteria expanding section

At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below.  Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.

Comprehension and Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance of the research question being addressed?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Were the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology, and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation – or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?

Engagement and Communication

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain audience attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact, and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?
Prizes expanding section

Winner: $500

1st Runner Up: $300

2nd Runner Up: $200

People's Choice: $300

People's Choice: Following the presentations, the audience will be asked to vote on the most convincing 3MT presentation (based on their understanding of the criteria outlined above).   The People's Choice award may be given to any presenter (including participants receiving awards from the official judges panel).

2019 Awardees

Winner - Theresa Simpson - Biology
1st Runner Up - Logan Keding - Biology
2nd Runner Up - Katelyn De Starkey - Physical Therapy
People's Choice - Theresa Simpson - Biology

Workshop video expanding section

Interested in learning more about 3MT?  Check out this year's workshop!