Rules & Judging Criteria


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted "3MT logo"
  • PowerPoint slide should be created using an aspect ratio of 16:9
  • No slide transitions, animations or movement of any description are allowed; the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) is 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
  • Presentations are to be delivered in regular prose (eg no poems, slam poetry, raps, songs, or spoken word presentations)
  • Presentations must commence from and remain on the stage
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter initiates either movement or speech
  • The decision of the judging panel is final

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 non-verbal communication (ie. eye contact, voice modulation, body language, etc) effectively?
  • Did the presenter use language and terminology that was clear, jargon-free and understandable to the general audience?
  • Did the presentation follow a logical sequence?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation? Did they elaborate for too long on one aspect, or did the presentation feel rushed?


  • Did the talk help you to understand the scholarly research and creativity being undertaken?
  • Did the presenter clearly outline the nature and purpose of their research?
  • Did the presenter clearly indicate the fascinating or compelling aspects of their research?
  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance of the research question being addressed?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?


  • Was the talk engaging?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain the attention of the audience?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their work?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
  • Did the talk inspire you to want to know more?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise? 

The 3MT® must represent the thesis project research of the presenter. Students must understand that the presentation of their research in a 3MT setting will be publicly accessible and in the public domain.

The presentation of the research, will not affect any pre-existing rights prior to and following the competition except as stated below:

  • Due to the nature of the competition, judges, reviewers, staff or the audience will not be asked to 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 participating in the competition.
  • 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 presented in public sessions should be considered in the public domain.
  • If your research includes confidential or culturally sensitive material, 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®


If you have any accessibility requirements or special needs, call Colette at 613 533 6000, ext 78776 or via email