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Three Minute Thesis

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.


The 3MT® competition was developed initially by the University of Queensland (Australia) in 2008. 3MT competitions are now held in over 600 universities and institutions across 65 countries.

The first UOIT 3MT® competition was held in 2013. The inaugural provincial 3MT® competition was also held in 2013, followed by the first Canada-wide competition in 2014.

Learn more

Thank you for your support!

We'd like to thank Purdue Pharma for their generous support of 3MT®.


Three Minute Thesis

Important dates - 2018



Friday, February 9 3MT® registration closes
February to March Coaching sessions
Friday, March 2 Deadline for 3MT® supervisor consent form
Tuesday, March 13 Deadline for 3MT® presentation slide
Tuesday, March 20 UOIT 3MT® heats
Wednesday, March 21 at 2 p.m. UOIT 3MT® finals
Thursday, April 19 Provincial 3MT® competition at York University


Tips and resources for your presentation

Three Minute Thesis


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 their 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 School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) 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 SGPS no later than Friday, March 2, 2018 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 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.
Female graduate student presenting at the Three Minute Thesis competition


2018 UOIT 3MT® winner

Eryn Frawley

The Safety in Numbers: Animal Aggregation
Faculty of Science


Elysabeth Reavell-Roy

Applying Genetic Analysis of Plant Cell Walls to Sustainable Biofuel Production
Faculty of Science

People's Choice

Tara Hattangadi

Everybody I know is always hungry, but nobody really asks why: Exploring food insecurity and psychological distress in university students
Faculty of Health Sciences


Taylor Egan

Interconnected Microgrids for Resilient Energy and Transportation Infrastructures
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

Heather McCracken

Multisensory Processing and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Faculty of Health Sciences

Harmeet Nanner

Medical Assistance in Dying and the Right to Die: Informing the Debate
Faculty of Health Sciences

Watch finalists' 3MT® presentations


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

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

Thank you for your support!

We'd like to thank Purdue Pharma for their generous support.


If you have any questions, please contact the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at 905.721.8668 ext. 6209 or

Three Minute Thesis

Contest for UOIT students

We encourage all UOIT students to attend our 3MT® Final on Wednesday, March 21 at 2 p.m. to learn more about the exciting research taking place at the university. All current UOIT students (undergraduate, professional and graduate) will be entered in a draw for a $100 gift card.

People's Choice Award

You be the judge! All audience members at the UOIT 3MT® Final on Wednesday, March 21 will have the opportunity to vote for their choice of best presentation. 


We encourage you to park in the Founders 2 lot. When entering the parking lot, proceed to the parking gate and take a ticket. Chaser tickets will be available at the 3MT registration desk so you can exit the lot free of charge.

Once parked, walk past the Student Life Building and the Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre (ERC) to the Business and Information Technology (UB) Building.

Three Minute Thesis

Judging panel

Meet the judges for the 2018 3MT® competition!

Judging criteria

Communication (score out of 100)

  • Did the presenter use language and terminology that was clear and understandable?
  • Was the pace of the talk effective?
  • Did the presenter use non-verbal communication (i.e. eye contact, voice modulation, body language, etc.) effectively?
  • Did the slide enhance, rather than detract from, the talk – was it clear, legible and concise?

Comprehension (score out of 100)

  • Did the talk help you to understand the scholarly research and creativity?
  • Did the presenter clearly outline the nature and purpose of the scholarly research and creativity?
  • Did the presenter clearly indicate what is interesting about the scholarly research and creativity?
  • Did the talk follow a logical sequence?

Engagement (score out of 100)

  • Was the talk engaging?
  • Did the talk inspire you to want to know more?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their work?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain your attention?