3MT Competition

3MT 2018

2018 Contestant Video Clips

3MT 2019 – details to be determined

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic speech competition developed by The University of Queensland for research students. Students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance. 3MT is not an exercise in trivializing or ‘dumbing-down’ your research, but rather a challenge to consolidate your ideas and research discoveries so they can be presented concisely to a non-specialist audience.


The competition is open to all graduate students at TWU engaged in research-based programs (i.e. eligible for Tri-Agency funding).


This is a great opportunity to:

  • explain why your research is compelling and valuable
  • connect with faculty, researchers, and other graduate students
  • compete for a spot in the Western Division competition
  • and, possibly, the national competition
  • help promote community involvement and awareness of important research in Graduate Studies at TWU

For those not choosing to compete, this is a chance to come out and support your friends. While a select panel will judge the competition, one of the winners will be chosen by the audience.

This competition is hosted by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at TWU. Enquiries can be directed to:

Inquiries: diane.beaton@twu.ca


3MT® developed by The University of Queensland

3MT 2018 - Daniel Meszaros, TWU Graduate Student Competed in 3MT National Championship.

We are so proud of Daniel and the TWU Graduate Program of Counselling Psychology!

It is quite an accomplishment to have TWU represented at the National Level since the finalists were chosen from 36 Graduate Schools and from more than 1800 Graduate Students.

3MT 2018 National Competition Update:

The 3 Minute Thesis 2018 National Champion is Chidera Nwaroh, a master's student in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Her research focusses on the application of new MRS technology to observe metabolite changes in the brain chemistry of children. Nwaroh likens the use of this technology to "A Virtual Biopsy," which allows researchers to peer deep inside the brain using non-invasive techniques. In her talk, Nwaroh cleverly drew upon the analogy of the brain as a box of chocolates. Whereas traditional magnetic resonance imaging technology (MRI) left scientists guessing what type of chocolates were inside "the box," Nwaroh's research on magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) promises to reveal the size, shape, position, and flavour of each chocolate. The ultimate goal of this research, according to Nwaroh, is to improve the health and wellbeing of children suffering from brain injuries. "I believe my project has many applications in health care," she stated, "and I hope that it will one day help people across the world."

The judges of this year's national Three Minute Thesis competition were extremely impressed by Nwaroh's communication skills. Nicola Luksic, Producer of CBC Ideas, noted that the "quality of the presentations among all the finalists this year was truly impressive." But what set Nwaroh apart was her command over the subject matter, and her ability to convey complex information to a general audience. "Her analogy was well suited to the topic," Luksic noted, "and her clear and confident presentation style really stood out to me." Another judge, Alejandro Adem, Chief Executive Officer and Scientific Director of Mitacs, agreed that Nwaroh's presentation was outstanding. "This competition has clearly motivated the students to be at the top of their game," he stated of the 11 finalists. "Nwaroh's performance was quite remarkable. It is rare to see such research depth and communication expertise in a graduate student."

Second place in this year's national Three Minute Thesis competition was clinched by Gregory Liu, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Liu's research focusses on photocatalytic materials, and their use in breaking down pollutants in waste water and in generating electricity. Like Nwaroh, Liu also leveraged a familiar analogy to convey his complex research to a general audience. Likening photocatalysts to a "chemical rollercoaster," he demonstrated how wastewater created in the beer brewing process could be converted back into clean water, while at the same time generating electricity. The ultimate goal of Liu's research is to apply scientific principals to solve real world problems, particularly those related to water quality, pollution, and energy security. "Through this competition," Liu stated, "I learned first-hand the power and influence of the pitch. I am about to graduate, and am currently looking to bring this research and my experience in the 3MT to bear in the clean energy sector." Liu's Three Minute Thesis certainly impressed the panel of judges, but his performance also captured the imagination of the public. His video received 541 votes on the CAGS online voting system, which easily secured for him the prestigious People's Choice Award.

The organizers and judges of this year's national competition were all in agreement that the quality and sophistication of the presentations was the highest it has ever been. According to Sally Rutherford, Executive Director the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies, "this year's crop of finalists was certainly one of the best." More supervisors are getting behind the competition, Rutherford stated, and "it is obvious from the presentations that the universities are doing an increasingly good job preparing their candidates for this competition."

The 11 finalists were videotaped in front of live audiences at regional competitions held at York University, the University of Regina, and McGill University. Those finalists were chosen from 36 graduate schools and more than 1,800 students.

Competitors were challenged to explain their research and its impact to a general audience in three minutes or less. No props. One take. One slide. In addition to a cash prize of $1,500, the national champion will attend the CAGS annual conference in Winnipeg in November 2018. The second-place winner receives a cash prize of $1,000. The People's Choice winner receives a cash prize of $500.

If you haven't already seen the videos of the 11 finalists, you can watch them here www.cags.ca/3mt/3mt_videos.php

Winner: Chidera Nwaroh, University of Calgary Second Place/People's Choice: Gregory Lui, University of Waterloo