TRU Three Minute Thesis (#TRU3MT)

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) is an internationally recognized research communication competition. 3MT™ was developed by the University of Queensland in 2008 to challenge thesis-based graduate students to deliver a compelling presentation of their research and its significance in three minutes or less to a non-specialist audience. Thompson Rivers University has hosted a 3MT competition since 2014.

3MT Final, Schedule of Events

Date: March 24, 2020 
Time: 10 am
Where: Panorama Room, International Building

Register now

Note: Registration is limited to students in their second year of a graduate program

If you have any further questions, please email

 Key details
  • Presenters must be able to present in person at the TRU final, scheduled for March 24, 2020. To advance in the competition, the winner must be available to present in person during the Western Canadian Regional 3MT Championship, at the University of Alberta (Edmonton), April 21, 2020.
  • Students are required to sign a consent form authorizing the use of video recordings of the 3MT presentation, photos, interviews for press releases, websites and social media.
  • Students are encouraged to discuss their participation and presentation with their supervisors.
  • Students who register for the 3MT competition and elect not to participate are asked to email

Participation in the regional competition is open to Western Deans Agreement participating universities hosting a local 3MT competition. Eligible participants are the winner of their local competition, and are Masters or PhD candidates in graduate programs eligible for Tri-Council funding.

For more information on the history and mission of 3MT, visit the official 3MT website.

 Can I participate?

All TRU students who are in their second year of a thesis-based graduate program and are in good standing, are eligible.

  • A student whose thesis is under submission on the date of their first competition is still eligible to compete
  • 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
  • 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 with take their place.

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 upon receiving notification of degree conferral even if they have not attended a graduation ceremony.

 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 3 minutes maximum.
  5. Presentations that go over 3 minutes will be disqualified.
  6. Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  7. Presentations must be based on research directly related to the student’s graduate program thesis. 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 videotaped.
  11. The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Official 3MT slide template
Please submit your slide using this template to by March 16, 2020


Learn how to distill your research, benefit from a series of specially designed workshops, meet and connect with other graduate students from across faculties, and possibly win cash? What's not to love?

First Place: $1,000
Second Place: $500
People’s Choice: $250
 3MT Judging

A panel made up of representatives from the community of Kamloops will judge presentations for the local competition.

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 thesis 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?
 Key dates & Workshops (#TRU3MT)

Registration deadline: March 13, 2020
3MT TRU Finals: March 24, 2019, Panorama Room, IB. 

Stay tuned for upcoming workshops!
Western Regional 3MT

The winner of the TRU 3MT will move forward to the Western Regional 3MT. If the winner is unable to attend the competition in person, the second-place winner will go in his/her place.

  • When: April 21, 2020
  • Where: University of Alberta, Edmonton

The winner from the regional competition will move forward to the National 3MT, hosted virtually by the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies.

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