McMaster Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) 2017
Submission Deadline02/20/2017

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a university-wide competition for graduate students in which participants present their research and its wider impact in 3 minutes or less to a panel of non-specialist judges. The challenge is to present complex research in an engaging, accessible, and compelling way, using only one static slide.

The 3MT® competition provides graduate students with an opportunity to refine skills that can be transferred after graduation to diverse career paths. Distilling research into a clear form, without over-simplifying, and highlighting the wider implications of the research are important skills to carry into post-graduate employment and public service.

The competition also enables students to showcase their research to a wider multidisciplinary audience, within the university, and to the broader public. The competition is open to the public, and is advertised within the community. This is a unique opportunity to communicate the innovative and significant research undertaken by graduate students.

The 3MT® competition initially was developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, with competitions by other Australian and New Zealand universities following, culminating in the first Trans-Tasman competition held in 2010. 3MT® also has spread internationally: from Japan to Europe, to Canada and the U.S.

The main focus of McMaster’s 3MT® is oriented around student development and learning how to effectively communicate complex research in just three short minutes.  This unique opportunity will allow students to expand their range of communication skills in a dynamic and challenging way.

The top eligible presenter at McMaster will attend the Ontario 3MT® competition hosted by the University of Waterloo on April 21, 2017. Most Ontario universities are expected to participate in the provincial competition.

  • One single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or movement of any description are allowed), and the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration and remain in view for the duration of the oration.
  • No cue or note cards are permitted.
  • 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 in standard oratory prose. (i.e., No poems, raps or songs, other than those that may be the target of research).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  • The competition will be administered in English.
  • McMaster University has modeled the rules after the Ontario Provincial Competition for 2017. This was done to ensure the winners would be eligible to participate in the Provincial Competition and National Competition and possibly an international competition in the future.
  • Please download the full McMaster Handbook. Attachment below.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • McMaster students must be registered in a Masters (thesis or MRP only) or PhD program at the time of the 3MT® competition at McMaster, and must have made substantial progress on their research and analysis. Course-based Masters students are ineligible.
  • PhD and Masters students who have defended, but have not yet graduated, are eligible.
  • 3MT® presentations must represent the primary research the student conducted in his/her graduate program.
  • Presenters must agree to be video-recorded, and to allow those recordings to be made public.
  • Presenters must have registered using the online registration form, and received confirmation of a place from the School of Graduate Studies.
  • Presenters must be available to present, in person. To advance in the competition, heat winners must also be available to present, in person, at the McMaster School of Graduate Studies final.
  • The Winner will be expected to represent McMaster at the Ontario 3MT® competition on April 12, 2017 at the University of Waterloo.
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