3MT - Three Minute Thesis


Western's 2019 3MT Final: 
Thursday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m.

Wolf Performance Hall | London Public Library (Central branch)
251 Dundas Street in downtown London 

The top 20 students from our four heats will present in the final competition on Thursday, March 21, 2019 in the Wolf Performance Hall | London Public Library (Central branch) at 7:00 p.m.  A reception for all 3MT participants and guests will follow where we announce our top three winners.

The first-place winner from Western's final will attend 3MT Ontario 2019 hosted at McMaster University on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. 

3MT winners

2019 Winners: (from left) Anisa Morava (third place), Robert Kuehnen (second place), and Yoah Sui (first 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.

Faculty Heat Schedule 2019

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 | Social Science

Date:  Friday, Feburary 28, 2020
Time:  9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Location: International and Graduate Affairs Building (IGAB), Room #1N05

Last Day to Register: Friday, February 21, 2020



Associate Dean Arts and Humanities:  Melitta Adamson
Associate Dean Education:  Pam Bishop
Associate Dean FIMS:  Pam McKenzie
Associate Dean Ivey:  Stephan Vachon
Associate Dean Law: Michael Coyle
Associate Dean Music:  Catherine Nolan
Associate Dean Social Science:  Jamie Baxter


Date: TBA
Time: TBA
Location: TBA

Last Day to Register: TBA



Associate Dean:  Kamran Siddiqui

Health Sciences

Date: TBA
Time: TBA
Location: TBA

Last Day to Register: TBA


FACULTY HEAT COORDINATORS:  Ruth Martin and Nicole Chabot

Associate Dean: Ruth Martin

Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry | Science

Date: TBA
Time: TBA
Location: TBA

Last Day to Register: TBA



Associate Dean Schulich:  Susanne Schmid
Associate Dean Science: Jisuo Jin

Resources for Faculty Heats

  • Planning 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 16:9 screen format.  Alternative aspect ratios WILL NOT be accepted.
  • Judging Sheet template:  use up to 10 participants per page.  For additional participants, click the tabs at the bottom of the excel file and print more pages. NOTE:  Please also print this instructional COVER PAGE for your judges to go with the excel spreadsheet.  This cover page gives important details to the judges so they know exactly what they are evaluating.
  • 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.

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 at the Wolf Performance Hall, London Public Library (Central branch) on Thursday, March 21, 2019.


  • A single, static 16:9 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 three minutes maximum and competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified; likewise, presentations that are significantly shorter than three minutes will be penalized.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final; scores are never disclosed to the participants.

Judging Criteria

Presentations will be judged on the basis of three criteria:


  • 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?


  • Did the talk help you to understand the scholarly research and creativity?
  • Did the presenter clearly outline the nature and purpose of the scholarly research and creativity?
  • Did the presenter clearly indicate what is interesting about the scholarly research and creativity?
  • Did the talk follow a logical sequence?


  • 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?


Prizes will be distributed at the 3MT Reception at the Wolf Performance Hall, London Public Library (Central branch) on Thursday, March 21, 2019. 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

Videos and Photos

Inspiration for Student Participants

How to Create an Effective 3MT Talk

Presentation by Paul Schmidt, Associate Director, Writing Support Centre, Western University

3MT Talks Delivered by Western Professors

Joanna Quinn, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Science

Maxwell Smith, Assistant Professor, School of Health Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences

Jonathan De Souza, Assistant Professor, Don Wright Faculty of Music

Aleksander Essex, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

Jacquie Burkell, Associate Professor, Faculty of Information and Media Studies

Brad Urquhart, Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry

Gordon Osinski, Assistant Professor & Industrial Research Chair, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science

FAQs For Student Participants

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 detract from the delivery of the 3MT and are not allowed.  Please memorize your presentation.

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 coordinator 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