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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® 2018

Save the dates for the 2018 competition!

  • UOIT 3MT® Heats - Tuesday, March 20, 2018
  • UOIT 3MT® Final - Wednesday, March 21, 2018
  • Provincial 3MT® Competition - Thursday, April 19, 2018 at York University

Registration will open in January 2018. In the mean time, watch videos from our past competitions for inspiration!


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.

Information for UOIT 3MT® competition contestants



Judging criteria

Important dates




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 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 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


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


Judging panel for the heats

  • Gloria Duke-Aluko, Policy Advisor, Durham Region Social Services
  • Ryan Ellis, Membership Director, Tech Connex
  • Natalie Sims, President, Durham Medical Services
  • Michael Wasdell, Director - Research and Academics, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Services
  • Michael Williams-Bell, PhD, Professor, School of Health and Community Services - Durham College, 2015 UOIT 3MT® winner

Judging panel for the finals

  • Arlene Ali, Executive Director - Medical Sciences, Purdue Pharma
  • Jennifer Baron, Business Manager, Covanta Durham York Renewable Energy L.P.
  • Kirsten Janeteas, National Account Manager, Cimetrix Solutions
  • Rito Salomone, President, Resource Software International
  • Nancy Shaw, Chief Executive Officer, Oshawa Chamber of Commerce

Three Minute Thesis spectators and 3MT logo

Provincial competition

Ololade Sanusi competed in the provincial Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition on April 12 at the University of Waterloo. Ololade’s presentation exploring new technology for blood sterilization systems won fourth place in a field of 19 graduate students from Ontario universities. Congratulations Ololade!3 Minute Thesis - provincial competition

Ololade, along with the other top-five presenters from Ontario, will move on to the national level, an online competition coordinated by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies.

In the five-year history of the Ontario 3MT competition, Ololade is the first from UOIT to advance to the national event.

Watch Ololade’s presentation on the provincial 3MT® competition website (Ololade’s presentation begins at 1:38:00) and see photos from the event on the UOIT Grad Studies Facebook page.

"Getting the word out about my research through 3MT has been a rewarding experience. So many people have helped me get this far. I'm grateful to my supervisors Dr. Langis Roy and Dr. Ying Wang, my research group, the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) and the UOIT community for all the support and encouragement. The support I received was immense and can't be explained in words." - Ololade Sanusi, 2017 fourth-place winner at provincial Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition and national 3MT® participant

“We are very proud of UOIT’s admirable provincial 3MT® performance, in which Ololade placed among the best of the best in Ontario. Not only is this a testament to her great skill and passion, the work she presented exemplifies the high-quality and exciting research being carried out at UOIT–all in an extremely supportive institutional environment that prepares our graduate students for success. We wish her all the best at the national finals.” - Langis Roy, PhD, Dean, SGPS

UOIT competition


Name: Ololade Sanusi

Program: Doctor of Philosophy, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Thesis/presentation title: Next-Generation Wireless Blood Sterilization Systems

Bio: Ololade Sanusi is a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering. In 2015, Ololade received her B.Eng. degree in Aerospace Engineering from Carleton University, which sparked her interest to specialize in Microwaves and Electromagnetics with a focus in antennas and radar systems. Her research focuses on novel antenna designs and integration technologies for wireless sensors. Ololade is particularly interested in investigating ways to integrate new circuit designs and electromagnetic concepts into antenna system designs, to make them smarter, flexible and tunable for use in diverse applications like sensing, medicine, telecommunications, defence and wearables. Ololade also serves on the UOIT Board of Governors as the Graduate Student Representative.


All finalists listed alphabetically by last name:

Emma DePasquale***
Program: Master of Health Sciences
Title: Are We Really Like Our Parents?

Eryn Frawley
Program: Master of Science, Modelling and Computational Science
Title: Birds of a Feather Flock Together: How Animal Groups are Formed

Kristopher Knopf
Program: Master of Health Sciences
Title: A Pilot Spontaneous Breathing Trial Initiative in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at SickKids

Sancgeetha Kulaseharan**
Program: Master of Science, Modelling and Computational Science
Title: Computational Approaches to Detect Focal Cortical Dysplasia (FCD) in Children with Epilepsy using MRI

Michael Miljanovic
Program: Doctor of Philosophy, Computer Science
Title: Adaptive Serious Games for Computer Science Education

Ololade Sanusi*
Program: Doctor of Philosophy, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Title: Next-Generation Wireless Blood Sterilization Systems

*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.

2017 videos

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.