Three Minutes Thesis competition

Competition Overview

The “Three Minute Thesis” (3MT) is a research communication competition where university students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their innovative research and its significance. The competition will be organized by Rwanda Biomedical Center through Medical Research Center (MRC).

The 3MT is an opportunity for students to develop their capacity to effectively present research findings, to share their ideas and discoveries with a broader scientific audience, to generate public and media interest in their research, and receive constructive criticism.

For the research community, 3MT will be an opportunity to gather research higher degree students, academicians, research funders and policy-makers to profile and celebrate the innovative research conducted by students in Rwanda within the framework of producing and using empirical evidence to guide policies.


The prizes for the three top winners of the 3MT will be awarded with different prizes including small research support stipends.


The 3MT competition will be open to all students who are currently enrolled in a research degree in Rwanda, such as Master’s or PhD. Students whose thesis is under examination are eligible but those who have already graduated are ineligible.

Judging Criteria

Each competitor will be judged on the three judging criteria listed below:

  • Comprehension: Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Engagement: did the presentation (oration) make the audience want to know more?
  • Communication style: was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?

The following rules will be considered for the competition:

  • A single static Power Point slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any type). The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration and does not have to include any text.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • The presentation should be delivered in English.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (eg. no poems, raps or songs).
Application Process

Students will be asked to submit a 350-word summary of their research and its potential impact on the society. The summaries will be reviewed and ranks by a panel of judges. The most informative and engaging summaries will be selected and the top five students will be invited to compete in the 3MT final during the Health Research and Policy conference.