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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
July 30, 2016
Canadian Excellence

About 3MT


What is a 3MT?

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is a research communication competition that challenges PhD and Masterís students to present their thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes to a non-specialist audience.  

Laurier PhD and masterís students (thesis only) will be assessed by a panel of judges on set criteria including communication style, engagement with the audience and audience comprehension of the research. The 3MT will develop academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students' capacity to effectively explain their research.  Winners receive cash prizes and the opportunity to represent Laurier at the Ontario 3MT Competition hosted by Wilfrid Laurier University on April 17, 2015.

Judging Criteria

Each of the three judging criteria has equal weight. Note what each criterion has in common: an emphasis on audience.

  • Communication style: was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Comprehension: did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Engagement: did the oration make the audience want to know more?


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts the presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


First - $1000

Runner-up - $500

Honorable mentions - $250

Particapants' Choice - $250