Three Minute Thesis

One slide. Three minutes.  Cash prizes.  Give voice to your thesis in SFU's annual 3 Minute Thesis competition.

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition challenges graduate students to present their thesis and its significance in just three minutes and one slide. The competition cultivates students' academic, presentation, and research communication skills, and celebrates exciting graduate research taking place at Simon Fraser University.

Take a peek at past finalists to learn about competing and SFU graduate reseach

Watch the 2021 Finalists

Curious about the presentations? Watch the finalists from the 2021 SFU 3MT Finals.

Watch now

2021 3MT 

This year the 3MT will be held online. As in previous years, each faculy will run their own heats and the winners will advance to the SFU Final on April 15, 2021.

2021 SFU 3MT Winners

  • First Place: Em Lim, "Where Does Animal Pee Matter Most?"
  • Second Place: Erin Williams, "Syncope… With a Grain of Salt."
  • People's Choice: Nic Zilinski, "Mind Reading with Laser Beams." 

Why Participate?

Not only can you win some cash prizes, but the 3MT also helps you build professional skills and get noticed. It's a great way for graduate students to effectively explain their research in a language appropriate for a general audience.

  • Improve your presentation skills
  • Share your work and make connections with other SFU graduate students
  • Develop knowledge translation strategies for your research
  • Have an answer ready the next time a relative asks about your work

"I wanted to let you know about a phone call I had today. A previous contact was looking for information on my work, and Googled my name. He found the 3MT video and watched it, and shared it at his office. The company he works for is now asking if I would be interested in consulting with them, and if there are other people in my department with similar skills.

His comment was that it was excellent advertising for me, as well as excellent marketing for my research lab, and for our whole department."

— Mary Ann Middleton, 3MT 2013 competitor

Prizes

Final

  • 1st Place: $1,000
  • 2nd Place: $500
  • People's Choice: $250

Faculty Heats

  • An overall winner and runner up will be chosen to move forward to the university wide final. 
  • Prizes for faculty heats will vary according to each faculty:
    • $300–$400 for the winner
    • $100–$150 for the People's Choice prize 

History of 3MT

Developed by The University of Queensland in 2008, the competition challenges higher-degree research students to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance in just three minutes in language appropriate to a general audience. 3MT is not an exercise in trivializing or ‘dumbing-down’ research but forces students to consolidate their ideas and crystallize their research discoveries.

Since 2011, the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT competitions are now held in over 200 universities across more than 18 countries worldwide.

Sponsors

Our prizes have been generously donated by:

Questions?

If you have any questions about the 3MT, please contact Stevie Benisch.

Send us your questions