The first 3MT® took place in 2008 at the University of Queensland, Australia, and has since grown to become an international academic competition. Since 2011 the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT competitions are now held in over 200 universities across more than 18 countries worldwide.
For nearly ten years, the Graduate Student Association, sponsored in part by the College of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies, hosted USask’s 3MT® competition every spring. The 3MT® communication competition challenges students to translate their research and its impact to an audience of non-specialists in just 3 minutes using only one static slide. This competition helps graduate students develop essential communication skills which are transferable for many purposes:
- Funding proposals
- Transitioning into employment
- Generating interest in, awareness of and support for academic research
- Communicating with confidence and clarity to diverse audiences
The College of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies assumed responsibility (in 2013) for USask’s 3MT allowing the GSA to focus on its advocacy of its members in pursuit of a safe, supportive, respectful, accessible, and inclusive community that fosters the multi-faceted roles played by graduate students at the University of Saskatchewan. Visit #GSA for more information.
2024 Competition Schedule
3MT Prep, 3 Ways! Engaging in a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) workshop can significantly enhance one's ability to deliver an impactful and concise presentation. These workshops offer invaluable guidance, equipping participants with the skills necessary to distill complex research into a brief, compelling narrative. Through tailored coaching, participants learn to refine their communication techniques, structure their content effectively, and craft a captivating story that resonates with diverse audiences.
with writing specialist
|What's Your Hook
with Erin Kulhawy, Innovation Mobilization & Partnership
with writing specialist
MT180 (3MT in French)
Through a partnership with USask's French-speaking students, mentors, the University of Regina and Acfas, registration is now open for graduate students who wish to compete in the MT180. For details on how to participate in the MT180 visit Acfas-Saskatchewan.
March 9, 2024
Crafting a compelling 3MT entry requires finesse, merging scholarly depth with clarity for a diverse audience. It entails condensing months or years of rigorous study into a three-minute pitch, highlighting the significance and impact of one's research.
March 19, 2024
From elucidating the problem statement to outlining methodology and results, finalists must captivate a lay audience while showcasing the innovation and relevance of their work. This process not only hones communication skills but also fosters an appreciation for the essence of concise and impactful storytelling in academia, preparing scholars for broader dissemination of their research beyond the confines of their field.
Up to 15 top presentations from the preliminary round will be selected to compete in the finals. Is your department (or school) holding a 3MT? This could be your automatic qualifier to compete in the finals. Contact us to find out more.
- All USask Master's and PhD thesis-based graduate students are eligible to participate.
- A student whose thesis is under submission on the date of their first competition is still eligible to compete.
- Presenters must register for the event and be able to present in person.
- One single static PowerPoint slide is permitted.
- No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are permitted.
- Your slide is to be presented from the beginning of your oration.
- No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
- Less is more: text and complicated graphics can distract your audience – you don’t want them to read your slide instead of listening to your talk.
- Personal touches: personal touches can allow your audience to understand the impact of your research.
- Creativity drives interest: do not rely on your slide to convey your message – it should simply complement your oration.
- Work your message: think about how your slide might be able to assist with the format and delivery of your presentation – is there a metaphor that helps explain your research?
- An engaging visual presentation can make or break any oration, so make sure your slide is legible, clear and concise.
Submitting a recording for the virtual 3MT competition? Follow these steps:
1. Submit a recording of you speaking (no slide) | one file
Filmed on the horizontal
Filmed on a plain background
Filmed from a static position
Filmed from one camera angle
MP4 video format is preferred. Instructions on how to submit your video file will be sent to you after you complete the registration form.
Send only 1 static slide using 16:9 .pptx format then convert that to a .jpeg.
Do not include a title slide
Include this file with your registration form
Our team puts the two files together (the recording and the slide) once submitted to ensure a standardized format for every entry.
The judging panel for the virtual preliminaries is selected from campus faculty/staff and students who have a communications background and/or previous winners of research poster competitions. They will be selecting up to 15 of the highest calibre talks to move forward to the finals on April 11th.
Of the 15 presenters selected each will receive a certificate of participation and a brief feedback summary.
[info coming soon]
Each recipient will receive a certificate of participation and a swag bag.
- Presenters are allowed a single PowerPoint slide; no slide transitions, no animations or movement' of any kind, the slide is presented from the beginning and for the duration of the presentation.
- No additional electronic media (ex: sound or video files) are permitted.
- No additional props (ex: costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
- Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum; presentations running over 3 minutes will be disqualified.
- Presentations are limited to spoken word (ex: no poems, raps, or songs).
- Presentations are to commence from the stage (ex: no dramatic entrances).
- Presentations are considered to have commenced when the presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
- The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
The competitors will be judged based on two criteria:
|Comprehension and Content
|Engagement and Communication
- First place - $1,500
- Second place - $750
- Third place - $500
- People's Choice - $250
- Simon Clews (University of Melbourne) has prepared a helpful guide on preparing for the Three Minute Thesis Competition
- Jackie Amsden (Simon Fraser University) discusses how narrative frameworks can help grad students effectively tell their research story
- Matt Abrahams (Stanford University) provides Tips and Techniques for More Confident and Compelling Presentations
- Matt Abrahams (Stanford University) podcast Think Fast, Talk Smart: advice for impromptu speaking
- Anett Grant (Executive Speaking) addresses Six Pieces of Bad Speaking Advice That Just Won’t Die
- Inger Mewburn (RMIT University) developed How to Talk About Your Thesis in 3 Minutes
- Henry Miller (UT Health San Antonio) shares 11 Tips For The 3 Minute Thesis Competition
- At the high point, the 3MT Finals event page (2023) had 2.3K views and an event count (scrolls) on the page of 7.2K.
- The People’s Choice voting had over 2000 active hits with more than 919 actual votes placed from unique IP addresses.
- The live stream captured ~ 508 active watchers from across the globe. The heatmap below is a snapshot of where folks tuned in from.
1st Place: Narsimha Pujari
2nd Place: Shaheli Senanayake
3rd Place: Hemlata Gautam
People's Choice: Michele Monroy-Valle
1st Place: Antonia Powell
2nd Place: Gaurav Malik
3rd Place: Tumpa Sarker
Honourable Mention: Kaylie Krys
1st Place: Ahmad Karimi
2nd Place: Kayla Cropper
3rd Place: Alivia Mukherjee
Honourable Mention: Ninu Kallingal Mohandas
1st Place: Shaunti Bergen
2nd Place: Farzad Dehghan
3rd Place: Christopher Mahadeo
Honourable Mention: Edgar Martinez-Soberanes
1st Place: Farzad Dehghan
2nd Place: Miranda Zwiefelhofer
3rd Place: Nicholas A. Belliveau
People’s Choice: Miranda Zwiefelhofer
Honourable Mention: Alivia Mukherjee
1st Place: Roland Macana
2nd Place: Sajna Simon
3rd Place: Adesola Olufade