Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) at Trent
Three Minute Thesis
Trent's 3MT is on Thursday, April 13th at 7 pm. Market Hall, 140 Charlotte Street, Peterborough
Come and support your graduate student peers as they compete in Trent's 2023 3MT. 3MT is an opportunity for Masters' and PhD students to practice their presentation skills before a general audience. Watch as they compete for $1500 of prize money and help select your favourite for the Audience Choice Award.
- What is the Three Minute Thesis Competition?
- Why Three Minute Thesis?
- Judging Criteria
- Confidentiality and Intellectual Property Guidelines
- Resources for Participants
- Video Archive of Past Competititons
What is the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®)?
The Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®) presents Masters and Ph.D. students with the ultimate challenge: to explain their complex and highly specialized research and ideas to a general audience in just three minutes, using only one Power Point slide.
3MT® was begun at the University of Queensland in 2008 as part of an effort to encourage graduate students to develop their skills in communicating their research. It has spread to universities throughout the world with students participating in a wide range of university, regional, and international competitions.
This event is presented by Traill College and Trent Academic Skills.
Why Three Minute Thesis (3MT®)?
The skills developed while preparing for and competing in 3MT® are central to graduate students' growth as professionals. From job interviews, to networking with colleagues at conferences, to conversations with family and friends, graduate students are often in situations where they must describe their research, and its larger importance, in language accessible and engaging to a non-specialist audience. Forcing participants to balance complexity and depth with clarity and concision, 3MT® hones skills that will benefit graduate students as they move toward professional careers.
3MT® also provides an excellent opportunity for conversation across disciplines. Participants will share key insights from their research and polish their presentation skills.
This event is generally sponsored by Traill College, the Trent Graduate Student’s Association, and the School of Graduate Studies. Prizes to be announced.
The School of Graduate Studies Overall/1st Prize: $500 and all expenses to Ontario Finals
Trent Graduate Students' Association Runner-up Prize: $500
Traill College Audience Choice Award: $500
- Students must be registered in a Trent Masters (Thesis or MRP) or PhD program at the time of the 3MT® competition, and must have made substantial progress on their research and analysis. Course-based Masters students are ineligible.
- PhD and Masters students who have defended but have not yet graduated are eligible to participate.
- Presentations must be based on research that is directly related to the student’s graduate program thesis, dissertation or MRP. The 3MT® presentation must represent the research of the presenter.
- Presenters must agree to be recorded on video and allow the video to be shared publicly.
- Presenters must consent to 3MT® confidentiality/intellectual property guidelines.
- A single static Power Point slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or "movement" of any description). The slide must remain in view for the entire presentation.
- No additional electronic media (such as sound and/or video files) are permitted.
- No props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
- Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum, and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
- Presentations are to be spoken (for example, no poems, raps or songs).
- Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts the presentation through movement or speech.
- No notes are allowed during the presentation.
- The decision of the judges' panel is final.
Applications for 2023 are closed.
How To Apply to Participate in 3MT
- Review the eligibility and confidentiality information and ensure that you are able to participate in Three Minute Thesis.
- Once the applications open, you will be able to access a form that will ask you for information about your program and thesis. You should be prepared to provide a tentative title (we promise you can change it later), a three-sentence description of your proposed 3MT talk, as well as a brief summary of how you have completed a significant portion of your research and analysis for your thesis.
- Your application will be reviewed by the Graduate Program Directors Committee.
- The application committee will review your application and allocate spots in a manner that a) ensures that a diverse range of Trent's graduate programs are represented b) gives priority to students who have completed a significant portion of their research and analysis.
Important: Depending on the number of applications received, all applicants may be required to participate in a preliminary heat the week of March 6th or 13th. If this is the case, the heat participants with the highest scores, along with several wildcard participants, will move on to the 3MT final.
Trent's 3MT® Competition will be decided by 3- 5 esteemed judges, including members of the Trent and Peterborough communities and Trent Alumni. Together, the panel represents a diverse range of perspectives.
Each competitor’s presentation will be assessed according to the criteria listed below. Please note that each criterion is equally weighted.
- 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?
- 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?
- Did the presenter clearly indicate what is interesting about the scholarly research?
- Did the talk follow a logical sequence?
- 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?
Confidentiality and Intellectual Property Guidelines
- The information presented during 3MT must represent the work of the presenter.
- Judges and audience members are not asked to sign non-disclosure agreements. If participants' research is being/has been conducted under contract with an outside sponsor, they should discuss the related contractual terms of confidentiality and intellectual property with their supervisor(s) before presenting the research project.
- All public sessions of the competition, including, but not limited to, video streaming of the presentations, are open to the public at large. These public sessions may be broadcast to interested persons through media which may include the Internet.
- Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by presenters should be considered information that will likely enter the public realm, and presenters should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged, or presented in these sessions. This means if your research includes confidential or culturally sensitive material you should think very carefully about how you can present this information. We advise that you discuss your competition entry with your supervisor(s) before entering 3MT.
- Traill College, The School of Graduate Studies, and Trent University may make photographs, videotapes, and/or audiotapes of the presentations or material prepared for use in presentation at 3MT. The digital representations may be used in future marketing of the event or may be used for future educational purposes.
Resources for Participants
Resources to Help You Create Your 3MT presentation
Academic Skills Workshop: Date TBA
"How to Talk About Your Thesis in Three Minutes" (I. Mewburn, 2012)
"Winning Tips for Preparing a Successful Three-Minute Thesis 3MT® Presentation” (S. McGraw, 2016)
Video Archive of Past Competitions
2022 – 3MT® Winners
The School of Graduate Studies 1st Place Prize
Sasha Newar - The Nocturnal Gliders: Ultrasonic Communication across Gliding Mammalia
The Catharine Parr Traill 2nd Place Prize
Tristan Baecklund – Fungus and the Bat: Temporal Analysis of Host Genetics in Response to an Invasive Pathogen
The Trent Graduate Students Association 3rd Place Prize
Simal Iftikhar – The Lie we Tell: Educational Barriers of Refugee Students in Canada
2021- The2is Competition
The competition was modified to allow students to create their own videos. The presentation format included a two-minute video recorded talk with two slides. Judges selected the 1st and 2nd place winners.
2021 The2is Competition - All Participants
- Traill College 1st Prize and Audience Choice Award
- Nayomi S. Camilus (ENLS), “A Novel Method to Detect Metabolic and Mental Disorders”
- School of Graduate Studies 2nd Prize
- Beatriz Bento (ENLS), “Mercury Pollution in the Wabigoon River”
2020 – 3MT @ Home Version
The competition was modified as students submitted 3-minute videos that they produced themselves. Note: All of the prize winners were awarded based on audience choice, as the judging panel was cancelled.
2020 3MT Competition - All Participants
3MT @ Home Version Winners
- Provost’s 1st Prize
- Sasha Newar (ENLS), “Think Before They Squeak: Vocalizations of the Squirrel Family”
- TGSA Runner Up Prize
- Roya Ghahremani (Psychology), “Unbridled Potential: The Use of Equine Assisted Learning as a Resiliency Intervention”
2019 3MT Winners
- President’s First Prize and Provost’s People’s Choice Award
- School of Graduate Studies Runner Up
- Catharine Parr Traill College Honourable Mention
2018 3MT Winners
- President’s First Prize
- School of Graduate Studies Runner Up and Provost’s People’s Choice Award
- Catharine Parr Traill College Honourable Mention
Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. Trent University would like to thank the University of Queensland and Queen's University for use of language and images included on this site.