Western Graduate & Postdoctoral  Studies

3MT - Three Minute Thesis


Faculty Heat Schedule 2018 - HEAT SCHEDULE WILL BE POSTED IN LATE 2017

Select Your Faculty and REGISTER Below

Heats will be hosted by each Faculty. Some faculties are grouped together based on historic participation rates. Please register under your corresponding Faculty.  Registration will close one week before your faculty heat date listed below. There will be no exceptions for missed deadlines.

Arts & Humanities, Education, FIMS, Ivey, Law, Music

Date:Friday, March 2, 2018
Time:  9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Location: International and Graduate Affairs Building (IGAB), Room #1N07

Last Day to Register: Friday, February 23, 2018


  • Arts & Humanities
  • Education
  • FIMS
  • Ivey
  • Law
  • Music

Faculty Coordinator: Becky Blue


Date: Thursday, January 25, 2018
Time:  11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Alexander Charles Spencer Engineering Building (SEB) Room #1200

Last Day to Register: Thursday, January 18, 2018


Faculty Coordinators: Whitney Barrett and Karen McDonald

Health Sciences

Date: Thursday, March 1, 2018
Time: TBA
Location: Somerville House (SH), Michael’s Garden Room #3320

Last Day to Register: Thursday, February 22, 2018


Faculty Coordinators: Ruth Martin and Nicole Chabot

Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry

Date: TBA
Time:  TBA
Location: TBA

Last Day to Register: TBA


Faculty Coordinator: Janelle Cobban


Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Time:  9:30 a.m. - 12 noon
Location: Physics & Astronomy Building (PAB) Room #100

Last Day to Register: Tuesday, February 6, 2018


Faculty Coordinator: Stephanie Attardi

Social Science

Date: TBA
Time:  TBA
Location: TBA

Last Day to Register: TBA


Faculty Coordinator: Paul Minda

Faculty Heat Coordinators - Resources

  • Faculty Coordinator Resource Guide: a detailed guide to help you plan your event.
  • Name randomizer: a useful tool to create a random order for your faculty heat.
  • Powerpoint slide template:  note that all student slides MUST BE in 4:3 screen format.  Alternative aspect ratios WILL NOT be accepted.
  • Judging Sheet template:  use up to 10 participants per page.  For additional participants, print more pages. NOTE:  Many judges like to give written feedback to the presenting students.  Feel free to use the back of each judging sheet to give your feedback.  This will be shared with the students upon request, and the judges who gave the feedback will remain anonymous.
  • Timer:  a three-minute timer in mp4 video format. Right-click to "save as" to your local computer.
  • Logo:  the official 3MT logo to use wherever needed.
  • Slideshow banner 880x300 and Slideshow banner 700x300:  a web banner for your program's home page. Choose the ratio that works best for you, and link it here: http://grad.uwo.ca/3mt
  • VISIX 16x9 and VISIX 4x3: high-resolution images in png format for your program/department/faculty screens.
  • Poster:  a printable 8.5" x 11" poster to display in your departments.

Western's 2018 3MT Final:  Tuesday, March 27 at 10:00 a.m.

The top 20 students from our six heats will present in the final competition on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 in the Davenport Theatre, Talbot College at 10:00 a.m.  A reception for all 3MT participants and guests will follow in the atrium of the International and Graduate Affairs Building.

The first-place winner from Western's final will attend 3MT Ontario 2018 taking place at York University in Toronto on Thursday, April 19, 2018.


2017 Winners: (from left) Gregory Wallace, third place; Tamara Tavares, first place; and Shane Smith, second place.

What is 3MT?

3MT (Three Minute Thesis) is a research communication competition where graduate students have 3 minutes or less to present their research and its impact to a panel of non-specialist judges and peers. The exercise develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students' capacity to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.

The competition was developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. The first 3MT was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 graduate students competing. Enthusiasm for the 3MT concept grew and its adoption in numerous universities led to the development of an international competition in 2010. Western University was one of the first Canadian universities to host a 3MT competition in April, 2012.

This fun and challenging academic competition is an excellent opportunity for graduate students to improve their communication skills. Whether it be networking, a job application, research opportunity or scholarship application, the ability to effectively communicate complex research and its impact using open language is a valuable skill set.


Preparation Workshops

Teaching Support Centre

The Teaching Support Centre is pleased to offer workshops to help students prepare for the 2018 competition.

Workshops TBA

Competition Details


Current Western graduate students may participate in 3MT:

  • Presentations must be based on research that is directly related to the student’s graduate program thesis, major research paper, or dissertation.
  • PhD and Master’s students who have defended but have not yet graduated are eligible to participate.
  • Presenters must be available to present, in person, on the day of their heat, and must also be available to present, in person, at the 3MT final on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.


  • A single static 4:3 PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description)
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted
  • No laser pointers are permitted
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs) in English
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final

Judging Criteria

Presentations will be judged on the basis of three criteria:


  • Was the thesis topic communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker use the full three minutes for maximum impact?
  • Did the speaker use sufficient eye contact and vocal range, and maintain a steady pace?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology, and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend the right amount of time on each element of the presentation – did the presenter elaborate for too long or rush?
  • Did the slide enhance, rather than detract from, the 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 research?
  • Did the presenter clearly indicate what was significant about this research?
  • 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 the research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
  • Would the audience want to know more about the speaker's research?


Prizes will be distributed at the 3MT Reception in the atrium of the International and Graduate Affairs Building on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. All participants are encouraged to attend the final and post-competition reception to celebrate the achievements of all presenters. Cash prizes are given to assist winners in attending conferences in order to promote their research and further their academic network.

  • 1st place: $1,000
  • 2nd place: $500
  • 3rd place: $250


What will the room setup be like for presentations?

Heats take place in rooms located across the university.  Some rooms have a podium, but most participants prefer to stand and move around as they present.  Microphones are generally not used for the heats. For the final, all participants will be wired with either a lapel microphone, or a headset-style microphone similar to the technology used for TED Talks.

Am I allowed to use cue cards during my talk?

Cue cards are acceptable, however this option may detract from the delivery of the 3MT and is not recommended.

Will I be able to see my scores?

Unfortunately, all scoring is confidential and not provided to participants. Many judges make comments on their judging sheets, and you can email your faculty contact to receive this feedback.

Will my talk be videotaped?

The 3MT finals will be photographed and videotaped; preliminary heats may or may not be photographed or videotaped based on the needs of each faculty.  All 20 participant videos will be posted on Western's 3MT Youtube Channel for all to view. London's local television station, RogersTV, is also scheduled to videotape and broadcast the event.

I submitted my slide for my faculty heat, but would like to make changes. Is this possible?

Yes, it is possible to make changes BEFORE your faculty heat REGISTRATION DEADLINE, no later than ONE WEEK before your heat. In the confirmation email you received when registering, you can log back into the 3MT system and simply upload a new slide. The slide that will be used will be the slide you upload closest to your faculty heat deadline.

Are there any opportunities to participate in a public speaking event prior to 3MT?

Yes, the Western Research Forum is an annual event hosted by SOGS that traditionally takes places a few weeks prior to 3MT, with several opportunities to discuss your research in a public, non-specialist setting.

Helpful Links

Questions regarding this event can be directed to Mark Wolfe.