3-Minute Paper Competition
Months of work . . . 180 seconds to explain it.
The 9th Annual 3 Minute Paper competition for undergraduate students to Nozhem Theatre in the Enwayaang Building for a live and in-person event at 7pm on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.
Applications are now open. The application deadline is 4pm EST, January 26, 2023. How do I apply?
- What is 3MP?
- Why is it exciting?
- Eligibility and Application
- Competition Rules
- Judging criteria
- 3MP Videos
- Program Sponsors
- Contact Us
Three Minute Paper (3MP) is an exciting competition for undergraduate students developed in collaboration by the colleges of Trent University and the Academic Skills; this initiative was sparked by the success of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition where Trent graduate students explain their highly specialized research to a general audience in a short three minutes with the support of a single PowerPoint slide.
Open to Trent students completing an honours seminar, an honours thesis, or a major project in any discipline, the 3MP competition challenges undergraduates to present their work to others, in a clear, concise, and engaging manner. Participants have three minutes to explain their research from one major assignment in an upper year course. 3MP challenges students to balance complexity and depth with clarity and concision as they explain their research question, their findings, and its relevance to the Trent community; participants can use up to three PowerPoint slides as visual aids to support their talk.
In 2023, 3MP returns to Nozhem Theatre in the Enwayaang Building for a live and in-person event on Tuesday, March 7 at 7pm.
Students develop essential communication skills in the planning, preparation, and performance of their talk. These skills are important as undergraduates move on to professional careers or graduate school, where they need to be able to describe their research, and its larger importance, in language that is accessible and engaging to a non-specialist audience.
Participation in Three Minute Paper supports undergraduate students in the development of valuable skills for job interviews, networking, professional education, or graduate studies. The event provides students with opportunities to expand their resumes and portfolios.
This event showcases the wide range of undergraduate research opportunities at Trent and encourages students to learn about work beyond their own disciplines. Learn more from past participants:
Testimonial from 2016 3MP Participant, Kelly McLean:
"I participated in the 3MP competition last year, and it was very difficult to condense my honours thesis work into 3 short minutes. I currently work for the Canadian Wildlife Service and am representing my office this weekend at a climate change conference for youth. Once again I have to talk about my work in 3 short minutes! I will definitely use the skills I learned in the competition to prepare."
Applications for 2023 will open Monday, January 9, 2023. Check out our 2023 Application Guide.
Applications are now open (open the application form). The application deadline is 4pm EST, January 26, 2023.
- Participants must be currently registered in the 3rd or 4th year of a Trent undergraduate degree program. The competition is open to students from Peterborough and Durham; further, spaces are available for students from all of Trent's colleges (Champlain, Eaton, Gzowski, Otonabee, Traill). The 3MP Committee works to ensure balanced representation between campuses, colleges, and programs of study.
- Presentations must be based on original research that is directly related to the student’s undergraduate thesis, major research project, or major research paper. Research does not need to be complete for a student to participate, but research should be in progress during the 2022-2023 academic year.
- Participants may individually present research from a group project with the permission of all group members.
- Presenters must agree to be photographed and video-taped and allow photos/videos to be shared publicly.
- All applicants must complete a written application by 4pm EST January 26, 2023 and must submit a short video by email before 11:59pm EST January 27, 2023. Details will be provided to all applicants in their application confirmation email.
- All participants must have approval from the faculty supervisor/course professor for which the research is assigned.
- Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum. Any competitor that exceeds the time limit will be disqualified.
- Presenters may use no more than three slides. Slides cannot include animations or transitions. No additional props or electronic media are permitted. All slides and presentation materials must be submitted according to deadlines set by the 3MP organizational committee.
- Presenters may use notes or cue cards.
- Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. No songs, poems).
- Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts his or her presentation through either movement or speech.
- Presentations are to commence from the stage.
- The decisions of the 3MP college panel and the 3MP competition judges are final.
The judging panel for the 3MP competition will be comprised of members of the Trent community.
- Language & Communication
- Vocabulary/Word Choice
- Presentation Skills
- Knowledge & Understanding
- Clear explanation of purpose, question, approach, findings (in progress)
- Organized discussion
- Explain significance
- Convey enthusiasm
- PowerPoint Slides
- Overall visual appeal
- Clarity and creativity
(Judging criteria adapted from 3MT®, University of Queensland)
The Office of Research Overall Prize - $150
Alumni Engagement and Services 1st Runner Up Prize - $100
Centre for Teaching and Learning 2nd Runner Up Prize - $75
The winners of the overall, 1st runner up and 2nd runner up prizes win publication of their 3MP scripts in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Undergraduate Studies at Trent.
The President's Office Audience Choice Prize - $100
The President's Office Prize for Best Visual Aids - $100
NEW in 2023: The Social JUST-ice Prize - $100
The winner of this prize, sponsored by the Journal of Undergraduate Studies at Trent (JUST), presented an engaging and informative presentation on research about a social justice issue or in support of social justice work.
3MP 2022- Virtual Edition
2022 Prize Winners
- Office of Research Overall Winner: Kieran Freitag (Biomedical Science, Champlain), The curious case of the missing TATA boxes in this waterborne parasite
- Alumni Engagement and Services First Runner-Up Prize and Office of the President Audience Choice Prize: Mckenna Lowrie (Biology – Psychology, Otonabee), A Memory Trace in Two Systems: The HPC and Memory
- Centre for Teaching and Learning Second Runner-Up Prize: Suruthe Janakan (Chemistry, Otonabee), Animal Neurotransmitters in Plants?
- Office of the President Best Visuals Prize: Erin Giroux (Forensic Science, Gzowski), The Key to Unlocking Solutions to SARS-CoV-
3MP 2021 - Virtual Edition
2021 Prize Winners
- Office of Research Overall Winner and Office of the President Best Visuals Prize, Ayan Niazi, Lady Eaton College: Proteins Behaving Badly! (Biology)
- Alumni Engagement and Services First Runner-Up Prize, Nicole Leach, Gzowski College: Why Is Choosing A Sunscreen Still an Enigma? A Chemical Approach To Effective Decision Making (Chemistry)
- Centre for Teaching and Learning Second Runner-Up Prize, Linda El-Ayday, Lady Eaton College: Working out a Solution: Exercise Therapy for Anxiety in Parkinson’s Disorder (Psychology)
- Office of the President Audience Choice Prize, Arlene Ononiwu, Lady Eaton College: Building Technologies for Disease Detection (Biology)
3MP 2020 - In-Person Event
2020 Prize Winners
- Office of Research Overall Prize, Sam Blondeau (Durham-GTA/Traill), Child & Youth Studies/Sociology: "Squeegee Kids are Not Broken Windows!"
- Alumni Affairs First Runner-Up, Katherine Nocera (Durham-GTA), Psychology: "We're All in This Together: The Influence of Family-Based Treatment on Adolescent Substance Use."
- Centre for Teaching and Learning Second Runner-Up, Alissa Sallans (Gzowski College), International Development Studies, "Can "Poverty Alleviation" Sustain Poverty?"
- President's Office Audience Choice Prize and Best Visuals Prize, Danielle Harper (Traill College), Biology: "Spice Up Your Life: Blood Vessel Formation and Cellular Stress"
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions
Thanks to Champlain College, Gzowski College, Lady Eaton College, Otonabee College, Traill College, Trent Durham, & Academic Skills
Thank you to prize sponsors: The Office of Research, Alumni Engagement and Services, Trent Centre for Teaching and Learning, the Journal of Undergraduate Studies, and The Office of the President