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3MT Laurier Registration is Open

The 3 Minute Thesis Competition (3MT) is back for another year with $2,000 in total prize money up for grabs. 

Are you up for the challenge?

We are looking for PhD and master's students who are currently writing a dissertation or thesis to take the stage on March 24 and tell the Laurier community about their research in just three minutes. The competition is all about how well you can communicate your research to a non-specialist audience.

Why Participate?

You'll be rewardedPresenting in plain language is a vital skill. Demonstrate to your future employer, family and friends that you can expertly talk about a complex idea. If that isn't enough reward, we are offering $2,000 of prize money in total.

You won't be alone. You will participate alongside fellow graduate students from across the university. Learn what your colleagues are doing and cheer each other on as the university celebrates graduate research.   

You'll be prepared. You can do this and we will help you succeed. You will have access to resources and training that will help you prepare for the competition and beyond.

Registration closes on Feb 20.  


To participate in 3MT® Laurier:

  • You must currently be registered in a master's or PhD program at Laurier and have made substantial progress on a research paper (dissertation/thesis or major research paper).
  • You may have defended but have not yet graduated.
  • Your presentation must be based on research that is directly related to the your graduate research paper (e.g. thesis or major research paper).
  • You must agree to be videotaped.
  • You must be available to present, in person, on the day of the day of the competition.

About the 3MT

Judging Criteria

Each of the three judging criteria has equal weight. Note what each criterion has in common: an emphasis on audience.

  • Communication style: was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Comprehension: did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Engagement: did the oration make the audience want to know more?


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum and competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. 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 adjudicating panel is final.


  • First: $1,000
  • Runner-up: $500
  • Honourable mentions: $250
  • Participants' choice: $250

Preparing for the 3MT Competition

Talking It Up Without Dumbing It Down Workshop

Being able to explain your research to a non-specialist audience is an essential skill for graduate students — whether you are talking with a grandparent or to somebody in a human resources department.

By attending this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Confidently and concisely describe your research to a lay audience; and
  • Employ a metaphor to describe the nature and impact of your research.

Registration in the 3MT is not required to attend this workshop.

Workshop Details

  • Wednesday, Feb. 15, 3 p.m. - 4:40 p.m., 202 Regina Street, R270 (Waterloo).
  • Thursday, Feb. 16, 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m., 202 Regina Street, R270 (Waterloo).
  • Tuesday, Feb. 28, 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m., Room TBD (Brantford).

Event Details

  • Friday, March 24, 2017
  • 9 a.m. - noon
  • Senate and Board Chamber, Waterloo campus
  • Register