The first 3MT was held at The University of Queensland in 2008 with 160 RHD students competing. Enthusiasm for the 3MT concept grew and its widespread implementation by universities has led to the development of an international competition.
Strong support for 3MT exists in Australia and New Zealand with 44 institutions coming together to participate in the 2013 Trans-Tasman 3MT Competition. The event also hosted special guests from Fiji and Hong Kong. The inaugural International U21 competition was also launched in 2013. The global reach of the competition can be seen by the extent of participation with universities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Vietnam also hosting local 3MT events.