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  in the form of prepaid VISA cards


3-Minute Thesis prizes 2020:

$100 – 1st Place

$50 – 2nd Place           

$25 – People’s Choice Award



How To Register


When you register for Research Day & Industry Night you will be prompted “do you want to compete in: … 3-Minute Thesis (3MT). Select ‘yes’

*Note that the 3MT Competition is limited to UBC engineering graduate students.


Deadline to register for the 3MT heat is February 27th, 2020 at 11:59 pm


Winners of the CHBE 3MT Heat will advance to the UBC Semi-Finals (March 10th) and UBC Finals (March 12th). 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.



  • One single static 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. laser pointers, costumes, laboratory equipment or musical instruments) are permitted
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum. Judges are recommended to deduct marks from presentations that exceed 3 minutes.
  • Presentations are to be spoken words (e.g. no poems, raps or songs)
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when the presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


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 2020
  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 

Dr. Jonathan Verrett and Dr. Gabriel Potvin from CHBE are hosting a 3MT practice session to give people the chance to practice their presentation and to get valuable feedback.

Date: Wednesday Feb 12, 2020 | 2:30 – 4:00 PM

Location: CHBE 202

Registration: please email the GSC President (Karl Zimmermann) at chbegsc.president@chbe.ubc.ca to register for the practice session.

Open to graduate students from CHBE and Biomed Eng.



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


Watch the UBC finalists from prior 3MT presentations.