VIU Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity



The competition challenges graduate students to deliver a compelling presentation of their research and its significance to a room of non-experts in just three minutes.

To participate in VIU's 3MT you must currently be registered in a graduate degree program at VIU. Students must not have graduated prior to the date of the competition final.

VIU's 3MT Finals will be held in person during CREATE, April 3-6 (Exact time and date to be released soon). It is expected all the program finalists will be in attendance at the 3MT. The VIU winner needs to be able to attend the regional competition at the University of Saskatchewan on May 25. This will be an in-person event with travel expenses covered.

Judging Criteria

The competitors will be judged based on two criteria:

1. Comprehension and Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question and its significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Was the presentation clear and logical?
  • Was the language used appropriately for a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the presenter make good use of the three-minute allotment? Or did the
    presentation feel rushed?

2. Engagement and Communication

  • Did the oration make the audience want to learn more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to generalize their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain the audience's attention?
  • Did the presenter have sufficient stage presence, eye contact, and vocal range?
  • Did the presenter maintain a steady pace and confident stance?
  • Did the static slide enhance the presentation? Was it clear, legible, and concise?

Dates to Know

March 17: Programs to forward names of three students that will be their representatives at the VIU 3MT competition. 

April 4: VIU 3MT Competition

May 25: Western Regional Competition hosted by University of Saskatchewan

National 3MT Showcase: At the CAGS Conference in the fall of 2023


  • A 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


Handbook and Previous Finalists- this link will take you to the CAGS 3MT website, just scroll down a bit and you will see links to the videos. You can also just search for 'Three Minute Thesis' in YouTube and find all sorts of examples. But remember, your research and you are different - make sure your 3MT is too.

For those who like a list:

How to do a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) or Famelab | Don't make these mistakes!  See link in box just below. Thanks to stemventurist! He says it is for PhD students in science, but the 3MT is actually for all grad students in all disciplines. Solid advice for all though. If you are not doing a scientific project just plug in your discipline when he says 'science'. No props for 3MT! 

The second part on the 'performance' is there as well. 

How to do a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) or Famelab | Don't make these mistakes!

Presentation tips for PhD's | Improve your Three Minute Thesis (3MT) or Famelab performance


First Place

$500, some VIU swag, and the opportunity to represent VIU at the Regional Championships in May.

Second Place


People's Choice