VIU Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity

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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.

Students in all graduate degree programs are eligible as long as they are completing a research project as part of their degree. The 3MT is based on this research.

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.


  • 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

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. You will be provided webform link for the students to fill out. Students will need to provide their slide (PowerPoint 16:9 ratio) and a photo of themselves at this time.

April 4: VIU 3MT Competition

  • 5:30pm start time
  • Discovery Trades Center

May 25: Western Regional Competition hosted by University of Saskatchewan

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

How do programs choose their representatives

Programs have the autonomy to choose students in a manner that suits their needs. Suggestions include:

  • Identify interested students.
  • OGS is available to do a workshop with these students.
  • Host a virtual or in-person program competition. Follow the same rules as the VIU competition. Remember the VIU comp will be in-person, so students will need to be available for that format.
  • Follow up with your 'top three' and provide constructive feedback so they can improve their 3MT in time for the VIU comp.
  • If your interested numbers are low, consider inviting the students to present to a small group of people to ensure they are strong enough representatives and to allow time and space for constructive feedback.