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3MT® Rules & Eligibility

EligibilityRulesJudging Criteria


  • Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is open to all University of Manitoba graduate students in thesis-based programs
  • Presentations must be based on the primary research the student has conducted in their graduate program
  • Students who have already defended their thesis but have not yet graduated are eligible
  • Students with uncompleted projects are eligible
  • Students in course based programs, visitng students, exchange students and students on leave are not eligibile
  • Students must present in person and agree to be phtographed and video taped and allow any recordings to be made public 

Reference: CAGS (Canadian Association for Graduate Studies)


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any kind, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the presentation). The slide must have minimum 0.5" margins for key information
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted
  • No note cards or additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum and challengers exceeding three minutes are disqualified
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (eg. no poems, raps or songs)
  • Presentations are to commence from and remain on the stage
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech
  • Presentations must be based on research directly related to the student’s graduate program thesis. Research performed for employment should not be presented.
  • A three-minute clock/timer will be made visible for the students during their presentation
  • For any images, photos or diagrams used on the slide, if not created by the presenter, the presenter must ensure the source is credited and the use is allowable by the copyright owner. When in doubt that written permission is needed, contact the UM’s Copyright Office for guidance.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final


Judging Criteria

View Judges' Score Sheet

At every level of the competition, each challenger will be judged on the three categories of criteria listed below.

Comprehension: did the presentation help the audience understand the research?

  • Did the presenter clearly outline the nature and goals of their research?
  • Did the presenter clearly communicate the significance of their research?
  • Did the presentation follow a logical sequence?
  • Did the presentation help you to understand the research being done?

Engagement: did the presentation make the audience want to know more?

  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialise or dumb down their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their work?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
  • Do I want to know more about the speaker's research?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible and concise?

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 appear confident? Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology that was used, and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend the right amount of time on each element of their presentation – or did they elaborate for too long or were rushed?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance, rather than detract from, their presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?