SURF, Mount Allison's annual Summer Undergraduate Research Fair, is a student-run event that gives Mount Allison students the chance to share and present their research to a general audience.


Presenters can choose either an oral or a poster presentation, and will be judged by a panel made up of Mount Allison faculty and notable members of the Sackville community.
Presenters gain valuable presentation experience, get to show off their summer work in front of friends, colleagues, and the community, and have the chance of winning some cash! Audience members have the chance to see what discoveries are being made in all disciplines of research right here at Mount Allison. As well, everyone in attendance has the chance to win some sweet prizes!
Oral presentations
3MT logoSURF uses the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) format, an academic competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. With this format, students have only three minutes to present their research to a general audience of their peers and other community members. Presenters will be made aware of how much time they have remaining throughout their talk.
Here are the rules for the 3MT competition format*:




  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional 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 word (eg. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

For more information on the 3MT competition, please visit 
Poster presentations
Poster presenters will be assigned a number corresponding to a location on a poster board in Room 130 of the Wallace McCain Student Centre. Poster presentations should be installed by 4:15pm on the day of the event. Presenters are encouraged to produce a large form poster, though printed PowerPoint slides are acceptable. The poster boards in use will be 4' x 4', so the standard 3' x 4' poster size (portrait or landscape orientation) is acceptable.
Students are responsible for their posters being printed, as SURF does not have the resources to do this.
Poster judging will take place over the food break. Presenters are required to be present at their poster for the duration of the poster session. Judges will circulate during this time and browse posters, ask presenters questions, and will evaluate each work. While a formal presentation is not necessary, presenters should prepare a brief explanation of their work and be prepared for questions.

Evaluation criteria

All criteria are marked out of 10 points, for a total mark out of 30 points.

3MT presentations


  • Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear, logical sequence?


  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the speaker enthusiastic about his or her research?


  • Did the speaker project his or her voice, maintain eye contact, and speak with clarity?
  • Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?

Poster presentations


  • Did the poster show application of logical and/or scientific thought?
  • Was the poster neat, organized, and easy to follow?


  • Was the presentation engaging and incite questions from a viewer?
  • Was the speaker enthusiastic about his or her research?


  • Did the speaker maintain eye contact and speak with clarity?
  • Did the presenter clearly explain the project's purpose, procedure, results, and conclusions?

 * Three Minute Thesis rules taken from