SBME HEAT 2022: Three Minute Thesis 3MT


When: Thursday, March 3, 2022 | 12:30 – 2pm

Ready to put your 80,000 word thesis to the test? In 3 minutes?

The competition gives you the chance to network with other graduate students, gain exposure for your work and win prizes.

1st place: $500

2nd place: $300

3rd place: $200

[2022.February 24 update: Registrations for presenting are now closed]


  • A single, static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration). Images used in the slide must be your own, or you must have permission from the owner of the photo(s) and provide proper credit(s).
  • 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.
  • No notes allowed. Presentations are to be memorized.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum. Judges are recommended to deduct marks from presentations that exceed 3 minutes.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations must be based on research directly related to the student’s current graduate program thesis. Research performed for employment should not be presented.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The presenter and camera will not move position for the full duration of the presentation.
  • The 3 minute audio must be continuous – no edits, breaks etc
  • In case of potential conflict of interest, judges will not evaluate the respective competition candidate. The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


Comprehension & Content:

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Were the thesis topic, key results, research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation – or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?

Engagement & Communication:

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range;maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?

Please note: video and sound quality of live virtual event presentations will NOT be part of the adjudication criteria

Are You Ready?

If you’ve reviewed the contest criteria and you’re ready to throw your hat in the ring then click the link below.

[2022.February 24 update: Registrations for presenting are now closed]


Zoom: Details will be posted prior to the event.

  • SBME students and faculty: refer to your email (“SBME 3MT Virtual Heat”) from SBME Reception
  • Non-SBME attendees: email at least three hours prior to the start of the Heat. Late requests may not be accommodated.


The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic competition that assists current graduate students with fostering effective presentation and communication skills. Participants have just three minutes to explain the breadth and significance of their research project to a non-specialist audience.

The competition was developed by the University of Queensland in 2008, and is now held at many countries around the world.
UBC was one of the first universities in North America to host a 3MT competition, when it held the inaugural 3MT® @UBC in 2011. Every year heats are held across campus beginning in February, with winners moving on to the UBC-wide semi-finals and final in March.

UBC’s winner will compete in a Western Canadian final featuring finalists from the Western provinces. The top presenters from the Western final go on to be featured in a Canada-wide event.