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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

180-second Research Challenge

Each year graduate students take centre stage in the internationally renowned Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. Returning for the first time since 2019, TRU faculty get in on the experience in the 180(s) Research Challenge (180sRC). The goal is identical: Deliver a compelling presentation of their research to a non-specialist audience — in 180 seconds or less — using only a single static slide.

Coordinated by TRU’s Faculty Research Mentors, with support from the Office of the Vice-President Research, the 180sRC is intended to be fun, but there are also some serious prizes up for grabs.

Deadline to register: March 12, 2024

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180sRC Final, Schedule of Events

Date: March 19, 2024
Time: 4-6 pm
Location: 2nd Floor, OLARA

 The Rules
  1. A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. Using a slide is optional, but recommended. 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.
  2. No additional electronic media is permitted (e.g. sound, video files).
  3. No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted. Laser pointers are not allowed.
  4. Presentations are limited to 180 seconds maximum.
  5. Presentations that go over 180 seconds will be disqualified.
  6. Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  7. Presentations must be based on faculty’s research conducted through TRU. Research performed for employment should not be presented.
  8. Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  9. Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts his/her presentation through movement or speech.
  10. Presenters must agree to be recorded on video.
  11. The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
Official 180sRC slide template

Submit your slide using this template to by March 14, 2024.


First place: 
Second place: 
People's Choice: 

 180sRC Judging

The 180sRC will be judged by previous winners. 

What are the judges looking for?

Each of the three judging criteria has equal weight. Note that each criterion has an emphasis on the audience.

Communication style:
  • Was the research topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a 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 scientific 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?
  • Did the presenter clearly outline the nature and aims of the research?
  • Was the significance of the presenter's research clearly outlined?
  • 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 "dumb-down" the research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
  • Did the presentation make me want to know more about the speaker's research?
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