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Queen's University
  • Rules

Competition Rules 


  • To participate in 3MT® students must currently be registered in a Masters (thesis only) or PhD program and have made substantial progress on their research and analysis. 
  • PhD and Masters students who have defended but have not yet graduated are eligible.
  • Presentations must be based on research that is directly related to the student’s graduate program thesis.
  • Presenters must agree to be video-taped
  • The 3MT® must represent the thesis research of the presenter.

Confidentiality and Intellectual Property considerations :

Students must understand that the presentation of their research in 3MT® will be publically accessible, i.e. in the public domain. 

The presentation of the research, will not affect any pre-existing rights following the competition except as stated below:

  • Due to the nature of the competition, we will not ask judges, reviewers, staff or the audience to sign non-disclosure statements. If your research is being/has been conducted under contract with an outside sponsor, please discuss the related contractual terms of confidentiality and intellectual property with your supervisor before participating in this competition.
  • All public sessions of the competition, including but not limited to oral presentations, are open to the public at large. Any and all of these public sessions may be broadcast to interested persons through media which may include the Internet.
  • Any data or information discussed or presented in public sessions should be considered ‘public’.  If your research includes confidential or culturally sensitive material  we advise that you discuss your competition entry with your supervisor(s) before entering the 3MT®

Judging Criteria

At every level of the competition each competitor’s presentation will be assessed according to the criteria listed below.  Please note that each criterion is equally weighted.


  • Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Did the presenter clearly outline the nature and aims of research?
  • Do you know what is significant about this research?
  • Did the presentation follow a logical sequence?


  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialise or ‘dumb down’ their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their work?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Would I like to know more about the speaker’s research?


  • Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker use sufficient eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and a confident stance?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology that needed to be used, and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend the right amount of time on each element of their presentation – or did they elaborate for too long or were rushed?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance, rather than detract from, their presentation – was it clear, legible and concise?


If the scores submitted by the judges result in a tie in the first 3 places, then the judges will deliberate to determine the order.


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description, the slide is to remain in view for the duration of the oration).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and/or video files) are permitted
  • No  props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken (i.e. No poems, raps or songs)
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the judges panel is final.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000