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The Ryerson 3MT® Competition
One Slide. Three Minutes. GO!
The 2016 3MT was held on March 3rd.
Winner: Michael Moore 
Runner-Up: Julie Robertson
People's Choice: Michael Moore
Michael Moore placed 2nd at the Ontario 3MT on April 14th at Wilfrid Laurier University!





What is 3MT

The Ryerson 3MT® (Three Minute Thesis) is an annual, university-wide competition for graduate students in which participants present their research and its impact in three minutes or less to a panel of non-specialist judges. The challenge is to present complex research in an engaging, accessible and compelling way, using only one static slide.

Graduate students from all disciplines are encouraged to compete! This fun but challenging competition offers a great chance for graduate students to refine their communication, presentation, and research skills.

The Ryerson 2016 3MT® Competition will be held on Thursday, March 3rd  in POD 250. 

The Ryerson finalist will go to the Ontario 3MT® Competition at Wilfrid Laurier Universityon April 14, 2016 (details of Ontario 3MT) and compete against other Ontario universities for a chance to win $1000 and compete in the Canadian 3MT® Competition in June (details of national competition).


The three-minute thesis competition provides graduate students with an opportunity to improve skills that can be used after graduation. The ability to communicate research in a clear form, without over-simplifying or making it overly-complex, and to highlight the wider implications of the research is an important skill to carry into post-graduate employment and/or public service.

The competition also enables students to showcase their research to a wider audience, across disciplines within the university, and to the broader public. The competition is open to the public, and is advertised within the community. This is a unique opportunity to communicate the innovative and significant research undertaken by graduate students.

Participants are encouraged to invite colleagues, friends and family; they should arrive before the start time, as access to the room will be limited during the presentations.

2016 Judges

Anthony Bonato, Associate Dean, Students & Programs, Yeates School of Graduate Studies

Janet Lum, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, Faculty of Arts

Asher Alkoby, Associate Dean, Student Affairs & Administration, TRSM


The 3MT® Competition was developed by the University of Queensland, Australia in 2008, to promote effective communication of research. Since then, it has has spread internationally. Queen’s University hosted the inaugural Ontario 3MT® Competition in 2013. The first Canadian National 3MT® Competition was held in 2014, hosted by University of Manitoba.


Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. 


• A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed. The slide is to remain in view for the duration of the oration).
• No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and/or video files) are permitted.
• No props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment, phones, etc.) are permitted.
• Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum and competitors exceeding three minutes are automatically disqualified. (Participants will be able to see a countdown timer and will be given a 30-second visual or audio warning).
• Presentations are to be spoken (i.e. no poems, raps, or songs)
• Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts the presentation through movement or speech.
• The decision of the judges’ panel is final.



• To participate in the Ryerson 3MT® students must currently be registered in a Masters (thesis or MRP) or PhD program and have made substantial progress on their research and analysis.
• Presentations must be based on research that is directly related to the student’s graduate program thesis/dissertation/MRP.
• Presenters must agree to be video-taped (details on registration form).
• The 3MT® must represent the thesis research of the presenter.
• Presenters (Masters and PhD only) must be available to present, in person, on the day of the competition, and if successful, on the day of the final.
• Please ensure you refer to the Confidentiality and Intellectual Property Considerations on the registration form before applying to compete.

Please note:
• PhD and Masters students who have defended but have not yet convocated are also eligible.
• Post-Doctorate Fellows can compete in the Ryerson 3MT® Competition. However, due to Ontario and national rules, are NOT eligible to compete in the Ontario and national competitions.
• Previous winners are not eligible.


Judging Criteria

Judging Criteria

Presentations will be judged according to the following criteria, each of which is equally weighted.

• Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
• Did the presenter clearly outline the nature and aims of the research?
• Do you know what is significant about this research?
• Did the presentation follow a logical sequence?

• Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
• Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or ‘dumb down’ their research?
• Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their work?
• Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
• Would I like to know more about the speaker’s research?

• 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 have a confident stance?
• Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology that needed to be 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?



Confidentialtiy & Intellectual Property Considerations

Confidentiality and Intellectual Property Considerations

Students must understand that the presentation of their research in 3MT® will be publicly accessible, i.e. in the public domain.

The presentation of the research will not affect any pre-existing rights prior to and following the competition except as stated below:

• Due to the nature of the competition, we will not ask judges, reviewers, staff or the audience to sign non-disclosure statements. If your research is being/has been conducted under contract with an outside sponsor, please discuss the related contractual terms of confidentiality and intellectual property with your supervisor(s) before participating in this competition.
• All public sessions of the competition, including but not limited to oral presentations, are open to the public at large. Any and all of these public sessions may be broadcast to interested persons through media, which may include the Internet.
• Any data or information discussed or presented in public sessions should be considered ‘public’. If your research includes confidential or culturally sensitive material we advise that you discuss your competition entry with your supervisor(s) before entering the 3MT® competition.

Ryerson University, Wilfrid Laurier University and any other event 3MT® related, may take photographs, videotapes and/or audiotapes of the presentations, or material prepared for use in presentation at the 3MT®, for promotional purposes and to support knowledge mobilization.



Registration is closed for 2016.



For queries about Ryerson's 2016 3MT® Competition contact:

Leslie Mutic

Yeates School of Graduate Studies

416-979-5000 x 3480



Winner: $1000 
Runner-Up: $500
People's Choice Award: $250

The first-place winner will also have all expenses paid to travel to Waterloo, Ontario to represent Ryerson at the Ontario 3MT® Competition on April 14, 2016.



Please let us know if you require any accessibility accommodations to ensure your inclusion in this event. 


Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. 






Registration is closed for 2016. 


Stay tuned for 3MT® 2017!




For queries about Ryerson's 2016 3MT® Competition contact:

Leslie Mutic

Yeates School of Graduate Studies 

416-979-5000 x 3480



Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. 





Frequently Asked Questions - Students

Q – What proportion of my degree has to have a research component for me to be eligible to compete?
A – You are eligible to compete in the Ryerson competition if your degree involves a thesis, dissertation or MRP. You must have a supervisor and have submitted your proposal.

Q – I was a student at the time of my competition at my university, but will graduate before the Ontario competition. Am I eligible to enter?
A – Yes. If you are eligible at the time of your university’s competition, you will remain eligible for the Ontario competition, regardless of your program status.

Q – I have participated in the 3MT® before. Can I participate more than once?
A – As long as you are not a previous winner, you are welcome to enter again.

Q – Can I present my oration via Skype?
A – No. Also, the winner will also be expected to attend the Ontario competition in person.

Q – Can I present my oration as a poem, rap or song?
A – No.  The 3MT® is primarily about developing students’ oration skills.

Q – Can I use a laser pointer or note cards?
A – No.

Q – Does my slide have to be in PowerPoint?
A – PowerPoint is the preferred format as all slides will be collated into a single PowerPoint presentation.

Q – How many transitions or animations can I have in my slide?
A – None; the slide must be static and not change in any way during the presentation. Your slide must be displayed for the duration of your presentation.

Q – Do I have to use a slide?
A – No, the slide is optional as the emphasis is on the oration.

Q – What happens if my presentation is longer than three minutes?
A – In all finals, a 30-second warning will be provided to competitors (and a bell will sound at the three-minute limit. If a presenter continues to speak after the bell they will be automatically disqualified.

Q – Is there a dress code?
A – There is no stipulated dress requirement such as “smart casual”. Please wear whatever is comfortable. NO COSTUMES (including hats, masks, etc).

Q – Will I be able to see a countdown timer at my final?
A – Depending on the room and AV that is provided we will attempt to provide a countdown timer.

Q – Can I win more than one category?
A – Yes, it is possible to win a place (1st or runner up) and win the People’s Choice Award (or for the Ontario Competition, the Participants’ Choice Award).

Q – What is the People’s Choice Award?
A – This is a winner that is selected by either the audience or the competitors (not the judges).

Q – What happens if I cannot attend the Final?
A – The winner of each the final is expected to represent Ryerson University at the next stage of the competition. If the winner is unable to attend the final, the runner-up will proceed to the next round of the competition.



Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. 





3MT® Coaching Workshop

An information session and coaching workshop is offered to students registered for the Ryerson 3MT®. All participants are encouraged to attend.

Rebecca Dirnfeld, a Career Consultant from Ryerson's Career Centre, will lend her expertise on how to prepare and present an engaging and effective three-minute presentation. In the second part of the workshop, she will cover presentation techniques such as vocie, body language, and tips and tricks.

Topics to be covered include:

- Introduction to the 3MT® and what to expect

- How to uncover and talk about the "so what?" of your research topic

- How to prepare a killer PowerPoint slide (only ONE slide can be used)

- How to leave your audience wanting more!

- Effective presentation skills


Date: January 22, 2016

Time: 12-3PM

Where: CED 701, Heaslip House


**Refreshments will be served **


3MT® Practice Sessions

Get some practice in front of an audience, and receive feedback on your 3MT® presentation and slide before the competition! Andrea Moon and Christopher Brierley from SLS will facilitate, and videotaping will be available. Participants are encouraged to attend one practice session (choose Monday OR Tuesday).

Please note: your slide is due by Feb. 19th to Leslie Mutic for the practice session.


Session I

Date: Monday, February 22

Time: 11:00AM-1:30PM

Location: SLC 506


Session II

Date: Tuesday, February 23

Time: 2:00-4:30PM

Location: SLC 506

Please RSVP to Leslie Mutic at and indicate Session I or Session II.



Practice Your Presentations Skills I

A free, one-day workshop specifically for grad students, presented by Mitacs Step at Ryerson.

Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Time: 9:00AM-5:00PM

Location: CED 701 (Heaslip House)




2015 Canadian 3MT® Competition Videos

Past Trans-Tasman Competitions

Winning 3MT® Presentations from Around the World

Past University of Queensland Competitions


Additional Resources

Ontario 3MT Competition a Celebration of Innovative Research by Grad Students

Academic and Professional Communication for New Researchers (

Making the Most of your 3 Minutes” (pdf)

How to Win the 3MT

How to Talk About your Thesis in 3 Minutes

"6 Components of Successful 3MT Speeches"

"3MT How-to Video"

Body Language Video

"Ryerson LTO Presentation How-to"

University of Queensland’s Overview of the 3MT Competition

Ryerson Student 3MT ® FAQs (pdf)

Toronto Star#1

Toronto Star#2



For queries about Ryerson's 2016 3MT® Competition contact:

Leslie Mutic

Yeates School of Graduate Studies

416-979-5000 x 3480






Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. 





Ontario 2016 3MT® Competition

Michael Moore, Ryerson Biomedical Physics PhD student, placed second.

Click here to view


Ryerson 2016 3MT® Competition

Michael Moore, Biomedical Physics PhD student, "Listening to the 'seeds' of cancer."

Click here to view

Julie Robertson, "The Challenges of Representing Traditional Inuit Knowledge in a Geographic Information System."

Click here to view

People's Choice Award
Michael Moore, "Listening to the 'seeds' of cancer."

See all the participants on Ryerson Graduate YouTube:

Click here to view


Ryerson 2015 3MT® Competition

Jaclyn Ludmer, Psychology MA student, "Understanding Infants' Genetic and Environmental Risk for Depression."

Click here to view

Zainab Al-zanbouri, Computer Science MSc student, "Green and Sustainable Computing."

People's Choice Award
Aaron Berhane, Immigration and Settlement Studies MA student, "You Must Obey Me, Even in Canada."


Ontario 2015 3MT® Competition

Ontario 2015 3MT Winner

Ontario 2015 Finalists


Canadian 2015 3MT® Competition

Canadian 2015 3MT® Competition


Ryerson 2014 3MT® Competition

Muhammad Ali Naqvi, Molecular Science PhD student, "Milk. It does the body good...but how?"

click here to view


Adrian Bulzacki, Electrical and Computer Engineering PhD student, "Machine Recognition of Human Gestures Aided by Commercialization."

click here to view


People's Choice Award

Fatima Hussain, Electrical and Computer Engineering PhD student, "Magic! or Machines?"

click here to view


Ryersonian Artlcle

"Three minutes to change the world


Ontario 2014 3MT® Competition

Ryerson's Muhammad Ali Naqvi placed third and was also voted the Ontario People's Choice Award winner.

0ntario 2014 Finalists


Ontario 2013 3MT® Competition

Click here to see competitors (including Ryerson's finalist) from the 2013 Ontario 3MT® Competition.







Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.