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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
April 24, 2017
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Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Three Minute Thesis competition returns to Laurier

Feb 27/14| For Immediate Release


Michael Bittle, Communications Coordinator
Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
519-884-0710 ext. 4718 or


Lori Chalmers Morrison, Acting Director
Communications & Public Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3067 or

WATERLOO – Graduate students put months, or even years, of work into their research. But what happens when they’re challenged to boil all that research down to a three-minute presentation? 

On March 4, masters and doctoral students at Laurier will be getting to the point at the university’s second-annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition. The contest gives participants just three minutes and a single, static PowerPoint slide to present their research to a panel of non-expert judges. The judges select a winner based on how well the speaker communicates with and engages their audience, which has little or no prior knowledge on the subject matter. 

"The 3MT® helps graduate students develop the capacity to explain their research effectively and succinctly to a general audience," said Joan Norris, dean: Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. “Last year’s participants inspired us with the scope of their scholarship and their ability to communicate complex ideas simply and meaningfully.”

This year’s competition will feature 30 Laurier graduate students from a variety of disciplines. Examples of participating students and their research include:

  • Scott Mitchell, Master of Science in Integrative Science: “Zombies in Bacterial Genomes: Analysing Defective Bacteriophage.”
  • Janice Edwards, PhD in History: “Mau Mau and Mississippi: Rights and race in the Cold War World.”
  • Sarah Dougall, Master of Science in Kinesiology: “Through Their Eyes - Police Response to Mental Health Calls." 

For a full schedule of presentations, including all the presenters and their research topics, click here

Master of Education student Tracy Bachellier won Laurier’s first 3MT® competition in March, 2013 with her presentation “Parent and Family Engagement: Practice in Pedagogy.”

“Without a doubt, the 3MT® competition was a challenging experience,” said Bachellier. “It forced me to narrow down the exact essence of my research; what I am doing and why it is important. Participating in 3MT® gave my research clarity and gave me confidence in talking about and promoting my research.”

This year’s winner and runner up will receive cash prizes and serve as Laurier’s representatives at the Ontario 3MT® competition at McMaster University on April 25. Two honourable mentions will also receive cash prizes. 

Laurier’s 3MT® competition will be held on March 4 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. in the Paul Martin Centre on the university’s Waterloo campus. The event is free and open to the public. For more information visit: To view the 2013 finalists’ presentations, click here

The 3MT® competition was first held in 2008 at The University of Queensland in Queensland, Australia. It has since spread to 12 countries including Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Laurier’s 3MT® is organized by Laurier’s Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Writing Centre, with support provided by the Graduate Students' Association through the Graduate Enhancement Fund.


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