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Three Minute Thesis

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a university-wide competition for graduate students in which participants present their research and its wider impact in three minutes or less to a panel of non-specialist judges. The challenge is to present complex research in an engaging, accessible and compelling way, using only one static slide. 

This fun and challenging academic competition enables students to showcase their research to a wider multidisciplinary audience, within the university and to the broader public. The competition is open to the public, and is advertised within the community. The 3MT® is a unique opportunity to communicate the innovative and significant research undertaken by graduate students.

3MT® History

The 3MT® competition was developed initially by the University of Queensland (Australia) in 2008 soon followed by other universities and has spread internationally. The inaugural Ontario 3MT® Competition was hosted in 2013 followed by the first national competition in 2014.

The first UOIT 3MT® competition was held in 2013.

Female graduate student presenting at the Three Minute Thesis competition

3MT® 2017




Schedule for the 2017 competition

Watch the online stream for all events or follow #UOIT3MT on Twitter for live updates.

Heats - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - Gordon Willey Building, G-Wing, Room G213 (Dining Room)

Heat 1 - 10 to 11 a.m.

Heat 2 - 11 a.m. to noon

Heat 3 - 1 to 2 p.m.

UOIT 3MT Final - Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 2 to 4 p.m. - Gordon Willey Building, G-Wing, Room G213 (Dining Room)

Provincial 3MT® competition - Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - University of Waterloo

National 3MT® Competition - TBD


The following prizes will be awarded at UOIT's internal competition:

Top finalist
Runner-up $500
People's Choice winner $250

Participation in the 3MT® competition is free.


Enter off Simcoe Street North or Conlin Road and proceed to Founders 3 parking lot.

Please direct inquiries to

Heat 1

10 to 11 a.m.


Heat 2

11 a.m. to noon


Heat 3

1 to 2 p.m.


Finalists (in order of presentation)

Information for UOIT 3MT® competition contestants



Judging criteria

Important dates


Coaching sessions



To participate in 3MT®, students must meet the eligibility criteria outlined below:

  • At the time of the 3MT® competition, students must be registered in a master's or PhD program and must have made substantial progress on their research and analysis. Students in programs with a major research project, paper or portfolio may participate. Course-based master's students are ineligible.
  • PhD and master's students who have defended or have submitted their project, paper or portfolio, but have not yet convocated, are eligible.
  • 3MT® presentations must represent the primary research the student conducted in his/her graduate program.
  • Presenters must agree to be video-recorded and to allow those recordings to be made public.

Confidentiality and intellectual property (IP) considerations

Students must understand that the presentation of their research in 3MT® will be publicly accessible, i.e., in the public domain.

The presentation of the research will not affect any pre-existing rights following the competition, except as stated below:

  • Due to the nature of the competition, we will not ask judges, reviewers, staff or the audience to sign non-disclosure statements. If your research is being/has been conducted under contract with an outside sponsor, you are required to discuss the related contractual terms of confidentiality and IP with your supervisor and the Office of Graduate Studies before participating in this competition.
  • All public sessions of the competition including, but not limited to, oral presentations are open to the public at large. Any and all of these public sessions may be broadcast to interested persons through media, which may include the Internet.
  • Any data or information discussed or presented in public sessions should be considered public. If your research includes confidential, contractual, newly created IP or culturally sensitive material, you are required to discuss your competition entry with your supervisor(s) before entering the 3MT® competition. Please submit the 3MT® supervisor consent form signed by your supervisor(s) to the Office of Graduate Studies no later than Friday, March 3, 2017 as evidence of this discussion.

In coordinating 3MT®, UOIT and any host institutions for the province-wide competition may take photographs, videotapes and/or audiotapes; make transcripts of the presentations; and/or copy material prepared for use in presentation at the 3MT® and any 3MT®-related events for promotional purposes and to support knowledge mobilization.

Testimonials will be requested of all participants after the events.


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or movement of any description, and the slide is to remain in view for the duration of the oration).
  • Competitors must present in person.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g., sound and/or video files) are permitted.
  • No props (e.g., costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum. Competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are to be spoken (i.e., no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations must be made by memory; notes may not be used.
  • The competition will be administered in English.
  • The decision of the judge's panel is final.

Judging criteria

Comprehension (graded out of 10 points)

  • Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Did the presenter clearly outline the nature and aims of research?
  • Do you know what is significant about this research?
  • Did the presentation follow a logical sequence?

Engagement (graded out of 10 points)

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or dumb down their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their work?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
  • Would I like to know more about the speaker's research?

Communication (graded out of 10 points)

  • Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker use sufficient eye contact and vocal range, maintain a steady pace and a confident stance?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology that needed to be used and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend the right amount of time on each element of their presentation - or did they elaborate for too long or were rushed?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance, rather than detract from, their presentation - was it clear, legible and concise?

Important dates

Tuesday, January 10 Registration opens
Friday, February 17 Registration closes
Wednesday, February 22 3MT® Lunch and Learn
Tuesday, February 28 Coaching sessions start
Friday, March 3 Deadline for 3MT® presentation slide
Deadline for 3MT® supervisor consent form
Wednesday, March 22 Heats
Thursday, March 23 UOIT 3MT® finals
Wednesday, April 12 Provincial 3MT® competition


Registration form

3MT® supervisor consent form

3MT® PowerPoint template

Coaching sessions

Date Time Location Title Description
Wednesday, February 22 Noon to 1 p.m. UA3230 3MT® Lunch and Learn This is your opportunity to understand more of what 3MT® ia all about, meet some of the other participants, coaches and staff involved, and to ask any questions!
Tuesday, February 28 2 to 4 p.m. G213 TBD
Wednesday, March 1 2 to 4 p.m. G213 TBD
Thursday, March 2 2 to 4 p.m. G213 TBD
Tuesday, March 7 2 to 4 p.m. G213 TBD
Wednesday, March 8 2 to 4 p.m. G213 TBD
Thursday, March 9 1 to 4 p.m. G213 TBD
Wednesday, March 15 1 to 4 p.m. G213 TBD


Tips and resources for your presentation

Making the Most of Your Three Minutes, Simon Clews, Writing Centre, University of Melbourne, Australia

3MT® Presentation Skills Workshop slides 2013 - Queen's University (Williams, 2013)

Communicating your research in lay language, Cristian A. Linte, IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, May/June 2009, pages 5-7.

Developing your 3MT video presentation for the U21 3MT online competition

Articles of interest

3MT Not Just for Scientists

List of 3MT® judges for the next competition will be posted in February 2017.


Judging panel for the heats

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer Baron, MSc, EP, Business Manager, Covanta Durham York Renewable Energy L.P. 

Jennifer has Bachelor of Arts degrees in Geography and English Literature from the University of Ottawa, a Master of Science in Geography from McGill University and has obtained her Environmental Professional designation in Waste Management through ECO Canada. She began working as an environmental consultant in 2007, specializing in environmental assessments, socio-economic impact assessments and waste management projects. Jennifer has worked for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change in their Waste Approvals Branch as a Waste Evaluator and has been in her role with Covanta since February 2015. She is a member of the Ontario Waste Management Association, the Ontario Environment Industry Association, the Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, the Clarington Board of Trade and the Bowmanville Rotary Club. 

Brian Gihm, Nuclear Technology Specialist, Hatch Ltd.

Brian received academic training in physics and electrical engineering. He has 11 years of experience in the Canadian nuclear industry, primarily in reactor core design, fuel design, safety analysis, market technology survey, radioactive waste reduction, radiation protection and new reactor concept development. His specialty is in multidisciplinary product development, particularly in conceptual and feasibility stages.

Peter Henry, CEO and Founder, GrowthLogic Inc.

An entrepreneur at heart, Peter ran his first successful company as a teenager. During the next 20 plus years of corporate product and service launches, he developed a passion for systems and processes.

Peter has worked with multiple clients, giving him an eye and passion for fast-changing marketplaces and technologies, and enhancing his ability to assist companies in building healthy process cultures from the outset. His clients have included payment services, security services, data centers, application development companies, retail companies (both online and traditional), universities and colleges, and multiple start-ups.

Utilizing a tested business framework, Peter developed and assembled a team that has built the trademarked Business Process Periodic Table, a quick-to-access knowledge core of standard processes, templates, examples and resources that gives business leaders the information and toolsets needed to grow and scale quickly. This simple 10-point approach focuses vision into action.

Sam Masri

Sam Masri, Managing Principal, Value Advisory, SAP

Sam Masri has extensive experience leading management consulting engagements on behalf of leading organizations in North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific across various verticals, with deep expertise in the Telecom, Media and Technology industries.

Sam's areas of consulting expertise include corporate strategy, strategic planning, market-entry, operational and process improvement, technology-led transformation, organization design, and supervisory and executive governance.

Sandro Perruzza

Sandro Perruzza, CEO, Ontario Society of Professional Engineers

Sandro is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), which is the advocacy body for the engineering profession in Ontario. Sandro is also on the Board of Directors of Minerva Canada, whose mandate is to embed health and safety curriculum into university engineering and business programs across Canada. He has been recognized for the ability to translate complex concepts and situations into unique and practical solutions through a balance of strong business acumen supported by excellent analytical and communication skills.

Prior to joining OSPE, Sandro was the President of Focus on Results Consulting and Chief of Client Services at Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, the largest Health and Safety Association in Canada, as well as a sitting member of the Ministry of Labour’s Prevention Operations Forum.

Sandra Pickering

Sandra Pickering, Vice-President, Business Development, Randstad Sourceright

Sandra is an executive sales leader respected for pushing individuals and organizations to achieve their full potential and accelerate on their choices and efforts to drive personal and corporate results. She has spent over 26 years in the Talent Management, HR Solutions and Recruitment industry; inclusive of four years managing her own consulting and sales training practice.

In her current role as VP with Randstad Sourceright, she is responsible for managing the business development efforts across Canada; she and her team work with corporate clients in designing sustainable talent intelligence strategies that attract, engage, develop and retain the talent who drive business success. As a facilitator, collaborator and connector, Sandra leads cross-functional teams to create and deliver on complex staffing solutions for clients, and connects top talent to business leaders. Her specialties include workforce management, recruitment and staffing, strategic execution of sales strategies, national and global sales leadership, coaching and mentoring, strategic sales training, strategic planning, influential communication and facilitation, and training delivery and facilitation.

Sandra is an avid student advocate, networking and volunteering her time to guide graduates and life-long learners to explore career choices. She is passionate about connecting academia and education leaders to the business community. 

Teresa Shaver

Teresa Shaver, CSP, Executive Director, Business Advisory Centre Durham

Teresa joined the Business Advisory Centre Durham (BACD) in August 2012 and has been working with the board of directors and key stakeholders to re-enthuse BACD with many new programs and services. Teresa worked in over five startup organizations across three countries and moved to Canada in August 1999 to be part of a small startup in Toronto that specialized in call centre staffing. After working in this industry for seven years, she went to work for the Whitby Chamber of Commerce for five years. Teresa loved working with the local business community and helping small businesses to be successful. Teresa was also a business coach for the Ontario Self Employment Benefit program, working with new startup businesses for three years. Recently, Teresa completed her Registered Corporate Coach designation from the World Association of Business Coaches. Teresa is a member of the Entrepreneurship Program Advisory Committee for both Durham College and Centennial College as well as a lead supporter of the Ladies Learning Code, Durham Chapter. In her spare time, Teresa loves to read, teach yoga and volunteer in her community.

Natalie Sims

Natalie Sims, President, Durham Medical Services

Natalie Sims, B.Com,C.F., is Co-President of Durham Medical Ltd. Together with her husband Bill, she is a second generation owner and has been involved with the business since 1998. Durham Medical, which has been operated by the same family since 1983, is one of the few independent stores of its size and history in the GTA and specializes in home medical equipment and supplies that allow clients to live independently in their homes. Some of Natalie’s key responsibilities involve sales, HR, strategic planning, business development, quality improvement, supply chain management and community relationships. Natalie is actively and professionally involved with Durham Medical’s member association Home Health Care Advisory Board and currently serves as President of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce.

Judging panel for the finals

James Goodfellow

James Goodfellow, Director of Business Development, BWXT Canada Ltd.

Jamie manages the strategic growth and new initiatives development for BWX Technologies (BWXT) Canada Ltd. (formerly Babcock & Wilcox Canada), based in Cambridge, Ontario. A subsidiary of BWXT, headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia, BWXT Canada is a world leader in the design, engineering, manufacture and service of commercial nuclear components.

Jamie joined the nuclear industry in 2006 as BWXT’s Sales Account Manager for their work at Bruce Power. Promoted to Manager of Projects in 2008, he oversaw the project execution of BWXT’s nuclear services division. In 2012, he relocated to France on an ex-pat assignment to promote BWXT’s business to the European nuclear market and upon returning to Canada in 2014, he assumed the role of Director of Business Development.

Before joining BWXT, Jamie held engineering and operations management roles in the agricultural equipment, forest products and automotive industries. He holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Western Ontario and a master’s degree in business from the Laurier School of Business. 

Kerim Kollu, PhD, Applications Research Scientist, Real Tech Inc.

Mark Morreale, MSc Epid, Academic, Program Manager, SAS Canada

Mark is an epidemiologist with over 20 years of experience in the Canadian healthcare system. Before joining SAS, Mark worked in several analytics positions for the pharma sector, hospitals, Ontario Ministry of Health and Health Canada. Currently, Mark’s role is to facilitate relationships and industry partnerships with academics and SAS.

Mark is also an epidemiology and biostatistics professor at McMaster University, where he lectures on clinical decision support, health care performance, quality and health research methodologies. Examples of his research includes evaluation of care maps, ER wait times, patient safety and quality of care.

Mark Nicol

Mark Nicol, Healthcare Affairs Manager, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.

Mark Nicol has been in the healthcare industry for over 20 years and is currently employed by Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., a major pharmaceutical company. His focus has been on optimizing patient care in a number of therapeutic areas that include cardiovascular, respiratory, diabetes, urology and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Currently, Mark is working in long-term care on system change protocols to improve the quality of seniors’ lives. Mark has a Bachelor of Science in Biology (Honours) in Administrative Studies and a Master of Business Administration. Mark is active in his community volunteering for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and is on the Board of Directors for Durham Outlook for the Needy.

Mario Silva, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ryerson University

Helen Smith, Finance Director, Rolls-Royce Civil Nuclear Canada Ltd.

Helen has always had a passion for science, innovation and technology, from understanding how an airplane flies to discovering new theories about the universe. She graduated from Cambridge University (United Kingdom) in 2007, in the area of mathematics, physics and astrophysics, which was a great opportunity to further develop her love of science. Helen joined Rolls-Royce under a finance graduate program, doing several placements around the company and the world, finally resulting in her moving to Peterborough, Ontario in August 2012.

Rolls-Royce Civil Nuclear Canada is part the Rolls-Royce Nuclear division and provides engineering, parts and tooling to support the nuclear operators within Canada and the United States. Innovation and discovery is at the heart of the Rolls-Royce culture and it is a fantastic opportunity for Helen to combine her business and scientific training in one role.

Helen also has an avid passion for aviation and currently holds a Private Pilots License and, as such, the majority of her spare time is spent having fun in the skies!

Three Minute Thesis spectators and 3MT logo

Thank you to all competitors, judges, coordinators and volunteers who helped make the 2016 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition possible. The University of Ontario Institute of Technology's (UOIT) 3MT® final competition was held on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, where six finalists competed for prize money and an all-expenses-paid trip to the provincial competition, which was held at Wilfrid Laurier University on Thursday, April 14. 

3MT® winner

Name: Megalai Thavakugathasalingam

Program: Master of Health Sciences (MHSc), field in Community Health

Thesis/presentation title: Reconstructing Childhood Cancer: A Young Adult’s Experience

Supervisor: Dr. Otto Sanchez

Bio: Megalai Thavakugathasalingam is completing her MHSc in the Community Health field. Her research explores the experience of young adult survivors of childhood cancer using an arts-informed narrative inquiry defined by Connelly and Clandinin. Megalai has had a passion for children’s health and cancer since her adolescent years and aims to use her master's as a first step into exploring the qualitative niche in the pediatric oncology world of health. Currently, she is one of the second-year graduate representatives on the Student Affairs and Research Culture Committee, striving to foster a stronger and expansive research culture. On the days she isn’t stressing about her project, she loves to open up to a nice book. Megalai is excited for the opportunity to share her work at the 3MT provincial competition!


All finalists listed alphabetically by last name:

Lauren Fridman**
Program: Master of Arts, Education
Title: Examining the Impact of Digital Infographics on Literacy Education for At-Risk Youth

Lorraine Ma***
Program: Master of Science, Modelling and Computational Science
Title: 2D-3D Image Registration Algorithms for Cardiac MRI

Shahrzad Pezhman
Program: Master of Health Sciences, Kinesiology field
Title: Effect of Gymnastics on Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Megalai Thavakugathasalingam*
Program: Master of Health Sciences, Community Health field
Title: Reconstructing Childhood Cancer: A Young Adult’s Experience

Keri-Ellen Walcer
Program: Master of Health Sciences, Kinesiology field
Title: Using Music to Motivate Movement in Children Aged 4 to 6 with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Hanyue Xu
Program: Master of Applied Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Title: Integration of Bandpass Filter with Dielectric Resonator Antenna

*First place
**Second place
***People’s Choice Award winner

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a university-wide competition for graduate students in which participants present their research and its wider impact in three minutes or less to a panel of non-specialist judges. The challenge is to present complex research in an engaging, accessible and compelling way, using only one static slide.


If you missed the excitement in person, or if you are looking to get a feel for how 3MT® works, be sure to check out the videos from our past 3MT® competitions.

2016 videos

2015 videos

2014 videos

2013 videos

Female graduate student presenting at the Three Minute Thesis competition


General 3MT® event inquiries can be forwarded to


The Office of Graduate Studies is looking for volunteers to assist at the 3MT® events. Volunteers may help with the following:

  • Preparing materials for the event
  • Event set up/clean up
  • Hosting a welcome table
  • Timing speakers
  • Video recording presentations
  • Assisting with judging
  • Score tabulation, etc.

You can sign up for volunteer opportunities by emailing quoting 3MT volunteer in the subject line.

University of Ontario Institute of Technology logo