Frequently Asked Questions


If you are interested in taking part in the 3MT competition, here are some Frequently Asked Questions that will help you get started.

What is 3MT?

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is a skills development activity that challenges graduate students to explain their research project to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.

How long is each 3MT presentation?

Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum. Competitors exceeding three minutes will be disqualified.

What is allowed on the presenter's 3MT PowerPoint slide?

One single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. In preparing the slide, remember that 'less is more'. It does not have to include text. Visual cues are very effective in assisting the presenter's explanation of their research (however, no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any kind can be used).

Can sound or video be used during a presentation?

No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) is permitted during a 3MT presentation.

Can additional props be used during a presentation?

No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted during a 3MT presentation.

Can palm cards or speech notes be refered to during a presentation?

Yes, palm cards and/or speech notes are acceptable, however this option may detract from the delivery of the 3MT and is not recommended.

While presenters can't deliver their 3MT as a poem or song, can they quote from a poem or song?

Yes, quotes can be included from a poem or song if it is relevant to the presenter's thesis topic. Poetry and song lyrics are not permitted to be used to present the entire 3MT and their use should be very limited.

Who do I contact to discuss my interest in the 3MT competition?

The Dean of Science office will be able to assist you and answer any additional 3MT questions that you may have. Please email