Three Minute Thesis (3MT)

Three minutes. One PowerPoint slide. No props.

These are the fundamentals of the competition, which gives graduate students three minutes to explain their research in a way that captivates judges and others from outside their discipline and why it matters.

Cash Prizes

Winners of the 3MT competition will receive:

1st place: $1,000

2nd: $500

3rd: $250

People’s Choice: $250

Competition Details

Founded by the University of Queensland in 2008, The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition provides research-based graduate students with the opportunity to practice their knowledge translation and communication skills by showcasing their research to a broad audience.

  • To participate in 3MT you must currently be registered in a thesis-based master’s or PhD program at Brock University and have made substantial progress on your research and analysis.
  • Graduate students who have defended but have not yet convocated are eligible. Students must not have graduated prior to the date of the competition final.
  • Students who have competed in past 3MT competitions may participate. Their presentation must be new for each competition.
  • Post-Docs are invited to participate as guests and will be judged separately from the graduate students. Postdocs are not eligible for the prize money and are not eligible to compete in either the Ontario 3MT, or National 3MT.
  • Visiting grad students and Exchange grad students may participate in the Brock 3MT competition as guests, but will not be eligible to represent Brock in either the Ontario 3MT, or National 3MT, and are not eligible for the prize money.
  • Presentations must be based on research that is directly related to the student’s graduate program thesis. Research performed for previous degrees or employment should not be presented.
  • Presenters must be available to present on the day of the finals. Winners of the finals must be available to participate in the live 3MT Ontario competition.
  • Presenters must agree to be videotaped and if in the final, give permission to have the video available on our website/Brock’s YouTube
  • Presenters must agree to be photographed and give permission for the photos to be used for promotional purposes.
  • It is understood that by registering, you have discussed your participation with your supervisor and have agreed that you fulfill the eligibility requirements set out above.
  • A single, static PowerPoint slide is permitted.
  • No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description; the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • The presentation slide should be created using an aspect ratio of 16:9
  • Images used in the slide must be your own, or you must have permission from the owner of the photo(s) and provide proper credit(s).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. musical equipment, laser pointers, costumes, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are to be delivered in regular prose (e.g. no poems, raps or songs)
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum. Judges are recommended to deduct marks from presentations that exceed 3 minutes.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter initiates either movement or speech.
  • No notes allowed. Presentations are to be memorized.
  • Presentations must be based on research related to the student’s current graduate program thesis. Research performed for employment should not be present. Research completed as part of a prior degree should not be presented as current work.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Keep in mind that you will be judged on the following:

Comprehension & Content:

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the research question’s background and significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Was the presentation clear and logical?
  • Was the language used appropriately for a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the presenter make good use of the three-minute allotment? Or did the
    presentation feel rushed?

Engagement & Communication:

  • Did the oration make the audience want to learn more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to generalize their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain the audience’s attention?
  • Did the presenter have sufficient stage presence, eye contact, and vocal range?
  • Did the presenter maintain a steady pace and confident stance?
  • Did the static slide enhance the presentation? Was it clear, legible, and concise?

3MT Finals

Thursday, March 28

Ontario Competition

Date: TBA
Host institution: Lakehead University Orillia Campus

National 3MT Showcase

TBD, traditionally held each November at the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies Annual Meeting.


Register by February 29, 2024

2024 Workshops

3MT Workshop - Planning your Script and Slide

Tuesday, February 6
at 10 a.m.

Learn about the upcoming competition with some tips and tricks to get started.

Abstract Writing

Wednesday, February 21
1 p.m.

Learn and practice developing a great abstract.

3MT Workshop - Presentation Tips and Practice

Wednesday, March 6
10 a.m.

Get tips on and practice presenting your 3MT.

Presenting your Research

Wednesday, March 13
10:30 a.m.

Develop your presentation skills for upcoming conferences and competitions.

3MT Drop-in - Practice and Feedback

Wednesday, March 13, 1 pm, RFP 216

Thursday, March 21, 10 am, Pond Inlet 

Visualizing your Research

Monday, March 18
10:30 a.m.

Explore creative strategies to visualize academic research.

2023 Winners

First Place

Karl Grantham

AI Enabled Drug Design and Side Effect Prediction Powered by Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithms and Transformer Models

Second Place

Alex Wilder

Smell you later: Understanding the role of olfactory signals in African penguin communication​

Third Place

Zoe Gagnon

Examining the role of Sema3A in hippocampal spatial memory formation in the adult mouse

People’s Choice Award

Mourin Mostafiz

Responding to organizational crisis: The role of message framing and information processing system

Pictured (from left): Zoe Gagnon, Alex Wilder, Karl Grantham and Mourin Mostafiz