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Graduate Studies

Competition Rules

Developed by The University of Queensland, 3MT cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Also, see the National 3MT Handbook which the Ontario 3MT rules are modelled after.

Expandable List

  • Students must be registered in a master’s (Thesis or MRP) or PhD program at the time of the 3MT competition and must have made substantial progress on their research and analysis. Course-based master’s students are ineligible.
  • PhD and master’s students who have defended, but have not yet convocated, are eligible to participate.
  • 3MT presentations must represent the primary research the student conducted in their graduate program.
  • Competitors must present in person and agree to be video-recorded and photographed. They must also allow those video-recordings and photographs to be made public.
  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. 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) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum and competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.

Presentations will be judged on the basis of the following:

  • Communication
    • Did the presenter use language and terminology that was clear and understandable?
    • Was the pace of the talk effective?
    • Did the presenter use non-verbal communication (i.e. eye contact, voice modulation, body language, etc.) effectively?
    • Did the slide enhance, rather than detract from, the talk – was it clear, legible, and concise?
  • Comprehension
    • Did the talk help you to understand the scholarly research and creativity?
    •  Did the presenter clearly outline the nature and purpose of scholarly research and creativity?
    • Did the presenter clearly indicate what is interesting about scholarly research and creativity?
    • Did the talk follow a logical sequence?
  • Engagement
    • Was the talk engaging?
    •  Did the talk inspire you to want to know more?
    • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their work?
    • Did the presenter capture and maintain your attention?
  • 1st place – $1,000
  • 2nd place – $500
  • 3rd place – $250
  • 4th place – CAGS national finalist
  • 5th place – CAGS national finalist
  • Participants’ Choice Award – $250

1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners are also selected as CAGS national finalists.