Three Minute Thesis Competition

3 Minute Thesis logo

Nipissing University Three Minute Thesis Competition

2019 Date: To be announced

3MT® is a university wide competition for Masters and Doctoral students in which participants present their research and its wider impact in 3 minutes or less to a panel of non-specialist judges.

3MT® was initially developed by The University of Queensland in 2008 to promote effective communication of research. What started with only a few institutions has evolved into a huge success for Canadian institutions, having over 42 of Canada’s graduate schools participate.  

The challenge is to present complex research material in an engaging, compelling way, using only one slide. The three minute thesis competition provides graduate students with an opportunity to refine skills that can be transferred after graduation to diverse career paths. Distilling research into a clear form, without over-simplifying or making it overly-complex, and highlighting the wider implications of this research are important skills to carry into post-graduate employment and public service.


  • Students must currently be registered in a Masters or PhD program at Nipissing at the time of the 3MT competition, and must have made substantial progress on their research and analysis. Course based Masters students are ineligible.
  • Students who have defended but have not yet convo​cated are eligible.
  • 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.
  • Presenters must have registered and received confirmation from the School of Graduate Studies.
  • Presenters must be available to present, in person, on the day of the competition. The winner will be expected to represent Nipissing at the Ontario 3MT® at York University (2019 dates to be announced).


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or “movement” of any kind), and the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration and remain in view for the duration of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (sound or video files) are permitted.
  • No props (costumes, instruments, laboratory equipment...) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum, and competitors exceeding 3 minutes will be disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken in standard oratory prose. (i.e., no poems, raps, or songs, other than those that may be the target of research)
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations must be made by memory; notes may not be used.
  • Decisions of the judging panel are final.

Judging Criteria

At every level of the competition, each competitor’s presentation will be assessed according to the criteria listed below. Please note that each criterion is equally weighted.

Communication Style

  • Was the thesis/MRP topic and significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker use sufficient eye contact and vocal range, maintain a steady pace, and exhibit 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 the presentation – or did the presenter elaborate for too long on some elements or was the presenter rushed to get through the presentation?
  • Did the slide enhance, rather than detract from, the presentation; and was it clear, legible, and concise?


  • Did the presentation help the audience to understand the research?
  • Did the presenter clearly outline the nature and aims of the research?
  • Did the presenter clearly indicate what was significant about this research?
  • Did the presentation follow a logical sequence?


  • Did the presentation make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or "dumb down" the research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for the research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Would the audience want to know more about the speaker’s research?


Prizes for Nipissing's 2018 3MT® winners:

  • 1st Place: $500
  • Runner Up: $250
  • People's Choice Award: $250

The 2019 3MT® Provincial Competition: To be announced


Please fill out the registration form by CLICKING HERE​

2019 Registration Deadline: To be announced

2018 3MT Presenters

Emily Fachnie, Stephanie Munten, An Nguyen, Trevor Parsons, Carolyne Ticky 

  • 1st Place: An Nguyen - Master of Arts in History - What do you know about the Vietnam War?
  • Runner Up: Carolyne Ticky - Master of Arts in History - Before Diaries Were Diaries
  • People's Choice Award: Stephanie Munten - Master of Science in Kinesiology - Exercise Performance Response to Multiple External Stressors