USask 3MT® Prelims

All University of Saskatchewan graduate students who are enrolled in a Master's or Ph.D. graduate program and in good standing are eligible to compete in the USask 3MT® virtual preliminary event for a chance to present at the finals.

March 13-17 | Virtual 

3MT® Preliminaries

The 3MT challenges higher-degree research students to communicate a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance in just three minutes to an audience of non-specialists. Helping graduate students develop skills in translating their research and its impact for non-specialists is an essential skill for many reasons:

  • Funding proposals
  • Transitioning into employment
  • Generating interest in, awareness of and support for academic research
  • Communicating with confidence and clarity to a diverse audience

Grad students also tell us that while they are developing their 3MT talk it helps them unpack research roadblocks, helps to refocus their energy and contributes to finding a revitalized passion for their thesis topic!

In a new format to USask, the 3MT® communication challenge starts with the preliminary virtual competition from March 13-17, 2023. Competitors' videos will be adjudicated by a panel of communication specialists throughout the week. An announcement will be made on March 27th of who is moving forward to the finals.

Meet our Prelim Judges


Stan Yu

Research and Communications Coordinator, Canadian Centre for the Study of Co-operatives
Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy


Shannon Boklaschuk

Communication Specialist
Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic


Jill McMillan

Learning Specialist, Graduate Writing Specialist
University Library


Rob Blizzard

Manager, Digital Strategy (Strategic Communications)
University Relations


  • A student whose thesis is under submission on the date of their first competition is still eligible to complete
  • 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.
  1. 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.
  2. No additional electronic media (ex: sound or video files) are permitted.
  3. No additional props (ex: costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  4. Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum; presentations running over 3 minutes will be disqualified.
  5. Presentations are limited to spoken word (ex: no poems, raps, or songs).
  6. Presentations are to commence from the stage (ex: no dramatic entrances).
  7. Presentations are considered to have commenced when the presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  8. The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

The competitors will be judged based on two criteria:

Comprehension and Content Engagement and Communication
  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question and its significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Was the presentation clear and logical?
  • Was the language used appropriately for a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the presenter make good use of the three-minute allotment? Or did the
    presentation feel rushed?
  • Did the oration make the audience want to learn more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to generalize their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain the audience's attention?
  • Did the presenter have sufficient stage presence, eye contact, and vocal range?
  • Did the presenter maintain a steady pace and confident stance?
  • Did the static slide enhance the presentation? Was it clear, legible, and concise?

From the Preliminary rounds; the top 20 presentations will be selected to compete for the following prizes at USask's Finals:

  • First place - $1000
  • Second place - $500
  • Third place - $250
  • People's Choice - $250
  • First place will represent USask among the winners of all Western Canadian competing Universities here at the University of Saskatchewan on May 25, 2023

All competitors must complete these forms and include them with their registration details.


 That’s how many words are in a typical PhD thesis. Years of gruelling research, sleepless nights, and history-making breakthroughs. Presenting something of this scale would take approximately nine hours. 3MT competitors do it in 3 minutes.





Today's preview of USask's Preliminary 3MT competitors!

3MT® Finals

USask's 3MT® Finals feature up to twenty of the best presentations selected from the virtual preliminary event.
  • Tuesday, April 11, 2023
  • 2-5 pm (CST)
  • In Person at the 
    GSA Commons, USask Campus

Meet the 3MT Finals Team


Ryan Walker | Host

Associate Dean, Policy & Programming, College of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies | Professor, Geography & Planning, USask


Alastair MacFadden | Master of Ceremonies

Interim Director, JSGS USask Campus; Director and Executive-in-Residence, JSGS Executive Education


Heather Perrson | Judge

Chief Communications Officer and Associate Vice-President, Strategic Communications


Zsuzsa Papp | Judge

Director, Business Development, Mitacs 


Antonia Powell | Judge

USask Alumni, 2022 3MT Western Regional & USask Champion


Tate Cao | Judge

La Borde Chair in Engineering Entrepreneurship & Assistant Professor Ron and Jane Graham School of Professional Development, USask

Finalist Next Steps

Finalists, the 3MT event team will be reaching out to you shortly after March 25th to provide all the logistical details you are going to need for the finals. Now is your chance to:

  1. Revise the title of your talk
  2. Revise your slide
  3. Practice!

Live Stream



People's Choice

The winner of the People’s Choice Award is up to You! Support USask's graduate students by casting a vote for your favourite presentation – it’s easy.

Ballot will be available April 11th.

Tips & Tricks

2022: Antonia Powell
Conquering a Cereal Killer

  • USask Champion
  • Western Regional Champion
  • National Showcase Guest

Tell a Story.

Engage your audience with more than just facts and figures. “Not one, but all of my professors would reiterate the importance of telling a clear story, whether it is for a term paper, an elevator pitch, a brief talk, or presenting your work,” says Powell.

Regardless of who you’re talking to, they can understand your research better if they can follow along with the journey of how you got there. Give this tip a try with your own research by creating a clear outline of a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end.


Take Advantage of Resources.

When it comes to communication, there’s always room for improvement. Powell’s advice? “I would suggest to any student looking to improve their presentation and communication skills to make use of the resources available at the university.”

USask offers resources for grad students through the University Library, Career Services, the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning, and even the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies’ own Grad Hub.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

The key to improving any skill is to simply do it more often. Powell suggests reaching out to new audiences and always looking for opportunities to present your research, “Listen and learn techniques of what to do and what not to do from others who are great presenters.”

Practice telling your story to friends, family, lab mates, and colleagues. Consider presenting your research at local competitions hosted by your college or the GSA. Keep an eye out for upcoming conferences and seminars by following on social media, like on the CGPS Twitter and Facebook pages.


Winners Circle


1st Place:  Antonia Powell

2nd Place:  Gaurav Malik

3rd Place:  Tumpa Sarker

Honorable 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

Honourable Mentions:

  • Brittney Lins
  • Mays Al-Dulaym
  • iVedashree Meher