Three Minute Thesis

• Congratulations to the 2021 UAlberta 3MT Winners •

Who will win UAlberta's 2022 Competition?

Find out March 29, 2022!

Watch the 2021 3MT Videos

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an academic competition that assists graduate students in fostering effective presentations and communication skills. Participants have just three minutes to explain the breadth and significance of their research projects to a non-specialist audience.
The inaugural UAlberta 3MT competition was held in 2015 and the event continues to grow every year. Some departments hold their own 3MT competitions as departmental finals but all graduate students are welcome to present at the semi-finals. The UAlberta Finals winners receive a cash prize and a trip to the Western Canadian Regional Finals.

Program and Schedule

Attend the info session and the two workshops to help you craft a competitive Three Minute Thesis (3MT):

What is a 3MT Anyway? Information Session | Not for PD Credit
Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. MST


Learn about the global phenomenon called a Three Minute Thesis (3MT). Challenge yourself while building your communication, creative thinking, and scholarly skills. UAlberta is gearing up for another 3MT competition - don't miss your chance to get involved!

3MT Part 1: How to Hook the Audience in 30 Seconds | 1.5 hours PD Credit
Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. MST


This workshop will teach you the importance of capturing your audience's attention in the first 30 seconds, how to do it creatively, and what exactly keeps them hooked throughout your whole presentation. 

3MT Part 2: The Structure and Delivery of a Good 3MT | 1.5 hours PD Credit
Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. MST


Now that you have a solid first 30 seconds, what about the next 120? This workshop will teach you the form of a 3MT, how to time your presentation perfectly, and make it engaging from beginning to end.

Want to take the challenge? Submissions open on Monday, February 7, 2022.

3MT UAlberta Semi-Finals
Date: Monday - Friday (everyday), February 28 to March 4, 2022
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. MST (Online)

Join us and support graduate student research... three minutes at a time!

3MT UAlberta Finals
Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. MST (Online)

Hosted by Real Talk's Ryan Jespersen

Who Can Participate?

All University of Alberta graduate students who are active/enrolled in a Master's or PhD graduate program and in good standing with their graduate program and the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research are eligible.

A few things to note:

  • A student whose thesis is under submission on the date of their first competition is still eligible to complete;
  • A student whose thesis is under submission, and whose degree is conferred while they are still competing in 3MT™ is still eligible. In this case, the student must have competed in their first competition heat prior to their degree conferral;
  • Presenters must register for the event and be eligible to present in person on the day of their first competition; and
  • To advance in the competition presenters must be available to present in person at the finals. If the winner is not available, the runner-up will take their place if they fulfill all requirements.

A student whose degree is conferred before they compete in their first competition, and who has therefore graduated, is not eligible to compete. Students become ineligible, in this case, upon receiving notification of degree conferral, even if they have not attended a graduation ceremony.

Visiting students are also not eligible.

Why Compete at 3MT?

There are many benefits to competing in a 3MT competition. See a few benefits listed below:

  • Be able to share your research with the public
  • Learn how to frame your thesis topic
  • Generate an easy to understand statement for scholarships
  • Get your name known
  • Develop presentation skills
  • Have a 'pitch' ready for a job interview
  • Meet other people who are part of the larger research community
  • Be part of a research community who is having impact
  • Add to your resume/CV
  • Monetary prizes are available
  • 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). Please note that using a slide is optional as the presentation focus is on your oration skills. Images used in the slide must be your own, or you must have permission from the owner of the photo(s) and provide proper credit(s).
  • 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.
  • Presentations that go over 3 minutes will have marks removed in the heats, and will be disqualified in the final.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations must be based on research directly related to the student's graduate program thesis. Research performed for employment should not be presented.
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • Presenters must agree to be video-taped for the Finals only.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Who are the judges?

Presentations in the semi-finals and finals will be judged by a panel of judges from the University of Alberta and the Edmonton community.

What are the judges looking for?


  • Was thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a general/non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker use sufficient eye contact and vocal range, maintain a steady pace, and a confident stance?
  • Did the speaker avoid jargon, explain terminology, and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the speaker spend the right amount of time on each element of their presentation - or did they elaborate for too long or were they rushed?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance, rather than detract, from their presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?


  • Did the presentation help the audience understand the research and research methods?
  • Did the presenter clearly outline the nature and aims of the research?
  • Was the significance and impact of the presenter's research clearly defined?
  • Did the presentation follow a logical sequence?


  • Did the presentation make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or overly generalize the research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention
Contact Information

Questions regarding the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition can be directed to:

Charity Slobod, MA
Community Connect Program Lead and Professional Development Coordinator
Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research

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