3 Minute Thesis

Graduate Studies

3 Minute Thesis


3 Minute Thesis

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  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description)
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment, laser pointers or note cards) are permitted
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final

Judging Criteria

Please remember that the 3MT is a communication exercise and the point of the event is to give students the opportunity to communicate their scholarly research and creativity.

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.


  • 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 (ie. 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 and creativity?
  • Did the presenter clearly indicate what is interesting about the scholarly research and creativity?
  • 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?


  • To participate in 3MT®  @ Queen's you must currently be registered in a Masters (Thesis or MRP) or PhD program at the time of the competition and must have made substantial progress on your research and analysis.  Course based Masters students are ineligible
  • PhD and Masters students who have defended, but have not yet convocated, are eligible to participate.
  • Post-Docs are invited to participate but will be judged separately to the graduate students and are not eligible to compete in either the Ontario 3MT or the National 3MT
  • Presentations must be based on research that is directly related to the student’s graduate program thesis\project.
  • Presenters must agree to be video-taped and if in the final, give permission to have the video available on our website/Queen's YouTube
  • Presenters must agree to be photographed and give permission for the photos to be used for promotional purposes.
  • Presenters must have registered, completed the information form, send in a photograph of themselves and received confirmation of a place from the School of Graduate Studies.
  • Presenters must be available to present, in person, on the day of their heat.  To advance in the competition, heat winners must also be available to present, in person, at the School of Graduate Studies final.
  • The Winner will be expected to represent Queen's at the Ontario 3MT® competition

It is understood that by registering, you have discussed your participation with your Supervisor and have agreed that you fulfill the eligibility requirements set out above.

NOTE: Past winners & Runner Up will not be eligible.

Confidentiality and Intellectual Property Guidelines

  • The 3MT® must represent the thesis\project research of the presenter.
  • The presentation of the research, will not affect any pre-existing rights regarding its use at all times prior to and following the competition except as stated below:
  • Due to the nature of the competition, we will not ask judges, reviewers, staff or the audience to agree to or sign non-disclosure statements. If your research is being/has been conducted under contract with an outside sponsor, please discuss the related contractual terms of confidentiality and intellectual property with your supervisor before presenting your research project.
  • All public sessions of the competition, including but not limited to oral presentations, are open to the public at large. Any and all of 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 the 3MT®
  • The School of Graduate Studies, Queen's University and the 3 Minute Thesis Competition may make photocopies, photographs, videotapes and/or audiotapes of the presentations or material prepared for use in presentation at the 3MT®



  • Prizes for the top three graduate participants and best post-doc in each heat.
  • People's Choice Award in each heat.


  • Winner: $1000 cash
  • Runner-up: $500 cash
  • People's Choice: TBA

Graduate Winner to represent Queen's at the Ontario 3MT


If you have any accessibility requirements or special needs, call Colette at 613 533 6000, ext 78776 or email grad.recruitment@queensu.ca