3-Minute Paper Competition
Months of work . . . 180 seconds to explain it.
3MP goes virtual for 2021!
Mark your calendars for 7pm EST on Thursday, March 25th, 2021: 3MP will premiere live on YouTube!
- What is 3MP?
- Why is it exciting?
- Eligibility and Application
- Competition Rules
- Judging criteria
- 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.
For 2021, 3MP – The Virtual Edition
Participants will pre-record their 3-minute presentation, which will be included in a single video file to premiere live on Trent University’s YouTube channel. As a virtual event, 3MP can reach audiences in the Trent community, in both Peterborough and Durham, and beyond to showcase the depth of undergraduate research. Audience members can vote for their favourite presentation and a panel of judges will score each video to determine prize winners.
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.
Students will also practice multi-media skills in the development of static PowerPoint slides and recording of their presentation for video distribution.
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."
Office of Research Overall Prize
Alumni Affairs First Runner-Up
Centre for Teaching and Learning Second Runner-Up
President's Office Audience Choice Prize and Best Visuals Prize
- 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 2020-21 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 1pm EST February 5, 2021 and must submit a short video by email before 1pm EST February 8, 2021. 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 must be recorded in one take and all recordings and slides must be submitted by deadlines set out by 3MP Committee. Late materials will be excluded from the event video.
- Presenters may use no more than three slides. Slides cannot include animations or transitions. No additional props or electronic media are permitted.
- Presenters may use notes or cue cards.
- Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum. Any competitor that exceeds the time limit will be disqualified.
- Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. No songs, poems).
- 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)
Prizes and prize sponsors to be announced at a later date.
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 Affairs, Trent Centre for Teaching and Learning, and The Office of the President