3 Minute Thesis Competition




The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition that assists current graduate students with fostering effective presentation and communication skills. Participants have just three minutes to explain the breadth and significance of their research project to a non-specialist audience.


The competition was developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, and is now held at many countries around the world. Every year heats are held across campus beginning in February, with winners moving on to the UBC-wide semi-Finals and finals in March.

UBC’s winner will be invited to participate in the western Canadian regional final from which 3 presenters move on to the Canadian nationals. They will also participate in the virtual Universitas 21 (U21) 3MT® international competition held each October

Prize Winners

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners. Details to be announced.

Gift card prizes will also be available for all contestants! 



How To Register

When you register for Research Day & Industry Night,  indicate that you will be participating in 3MT by making sure you have the 3MT box checked before clicking submit. 

*Note that there will be a 3MT Competition for UBC engineering graduate and undergraduate students. These two events are separate. 

Graduate 3MT Event:

Department heats will take place on February 26, 2021. Winners of the CHBE 3MT Heat will advance to the UBC Semi-Finals (March 12) and UBC Finals (March 31st). The finalist will have the opportunity to represent UBC at the Western Regional 3MT competition. Info on the UBC 3MT competition can be found here.

Undergraduate 3MT Event:

Registration deadline: March 1, 2021

Preparation workshop: February 5, 2021 

*The Undergraduate 3MT event is an internal competition only. It is not a departmental heat, leading to a university-wide competition. The UBC-wide undergraduate 3MT competition took place in January 2021. Details can be for on the UBC Undergrad 3MT Website



    • 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). Images used in the slide must be your own, or you must have permission from the owner of the photo(s) and provide proper credit(s).
    • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
    • No additional props (e.g. laser pointers, costumes, laboratory equipment or musical instruments) are permitted.
    • No notes allowed. Presentations are to be memorized.
    • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum. Judges are recommended to deduct marks from presentations that exceed 3 minutes.
    • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
    • Presentations must be based on research directly related to the student’s current graduate program thesis. Research performed for employment should not be present.
    • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
    • *The video presentation will focus on the presenter in the centre of the screen, from about waist up. The presenter and camera will not move during the presentation (i.e. you will remain seated or standing in one place for the full duration of the presentation).
    • *The 3 minute audio must be continuous – no edits, breaks etc.
    • *Presentations will be videotaped inside, with a minimalist background (i.e. a blank wall).
    • *Presenters must agree to have their video streamed live to participate in the 3MT final.
    • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

3MT rules can be found on the G+PS 3MT webpage.


Files for contestants:

  1. Powerpoint template: you MUST download this template and use it to create your SINGLE, STATIC (aka no animations) slide to augment your 3MT presentation. 3MT Presenter Slide PPT template 2021
  2. 3MT judging criteria: for your information, to consider who your presentation will be assessed. 3MT Judging criteria



3MT Workshop: Strategies for Presenting your Research in 3 Minutes 

Tips for creating a 3MT presentation:  grad.ubc.ca/about-us/events/17228-strategies-presenting-your-research-3-minutes-webinar

For information on how to prepare, rules, and guidelines visit UBC 3MT Home Page


Watch the 2021 winners of the CHBE Heat



Watch CHBE Grad Council President Karl Zimmermann in the UBC 3MT final from 2019.


Watch the UBC finalists from prior 3MT presentations.