3MT Submission Guidelines

If you were selected to compete in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, you were notified via email.

If you are competing, we are excited to see your video entry! Everything that you need to know can be found on this page. If you still have any questions that are not answered on this page, please contact Andy Karduna (karduna@uoregon.edu).

What is 3MT?

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by graduate students. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), 3MT cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

The key requirement of the virtual 3MT competition will be that students must pre-record their presentation for consideration by the judges. This will ensure participants are not disadvantaged due to technical issues during a presentation.

ASB2020 3MT Competition Timeline:
July 7Zoom Q&A session
July 9 @ 11:59pm PSTDeadline to submit video for preliminary round
July 24Finalists announced
August 5Final round competition
Virtual 3MT Competition

Competitors will record their 3MT presentations (using any available recording device) and submit them for consideration in the virtual 3MT competition.

For the preliminary round, judging panels will evaluate all videos using the 3MT scoring rubric (found below). Based on scoring, the top Master’s and PhD presentations will move on to the final round. Presenters are allowed to alter their content or video after initial submission and before the final round.

The final round will take place synchronously during the meeting on Wednesday, August 5th. Two parallel final rounds, one for Master’s and one for PhD candidates, will occur during this time. Finalists are encouraged to present their 3MT talk live during the final round, but have the option to substitute their video submission if they are unable to attend or if that is their preference. Judges will evaluate the talks during the final round and announce winners following the final round.

Judging Criteria

Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MT PowerPoint slide. Judges will not score presentations based on the video/recording quality. The full list of judging criteria can be found below.

Full list of judging criteria

●  Were the topic, key results, research significance, and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
●  Did the presenter avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology, and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
●  Did the presenter clearly understand their topic and make the audience understand something about it, too?

●  Did the presentation provide some background about 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?
●  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?

●  Did the presenter give the audience of sense of who they are, what they study, why they study it, and how in relatable terminology?
●  Did the presenter engage and connect with the audience?
●  Did the orator and presentation 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 the audience attention?
●  Did the presenter have sufficient stage presence, eye contact, and vocal range?
●  Did the presenter maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
●  Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?
●  Was the research or scholarship conveyed in an understandable way?

Rules for Submissions

●  Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
●  Timing commences when the competitor starts speaking, not at the start of the video.
●  A single static slide is permitted in the presentation (no slide transitions, animations, or ‘movement’ of any description). This must be visible throughout the presentation.
●  The 3 minute video and audio must be continuous – no edits or breaks.
●  No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment and animated backgrounds) are permitted.
●  Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps, or songs).
●  No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording.
●  The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
●  Submissions must be in video format (recommended: 16:9 aspect ratio, ≥720p resolution). Submissions sent in other formats will not be accepted.

Videos must meet the following criteria:
●  Filmed horizontally
●  Filmed on a plain background
●  Filmed from a static position
●  Filmed from one camera angle
●  Contain a video recording of presenter in the top right corner (see template below for dimensions, video must not exceed specified dimensions)
●  You may format your slide however you like as long as the specified video/presentation dimensions from the template and the other rules outlined above are followed

Zoom Q&A Session

We will be holding a help session for competitors on July 7. This is intended to help with technical issues or answer any questions that you may have. Information about how to attend this help session via Zoom was sent to competitors in an email from Andy Karduna.

Directions for Submissions

1. Save your video as: FirstnameLastname_3MT_Category (ex: AnnaSmith_3MT_PhD OR BenJackson_3MT_MS)
2. Upload your video to a personal or academic Google Drive account
3. Share your video and enable “editor” permissions with 3mt.asb2020@gmail.com
4. Complete the submission survey below to submit your video


Tips for creating a presentation:
●  Virtual 3MT Handbook
●  Virtual Competitor Guide

Tutorials for recording a presentation:
●  Webcam & Powerpoint
●  Webcam & Zoom
●  Webcam & Zoom/Google Slides
●  Smartphone camera & Google Slides

Previous 3MT presentations:
●  3MT Presentations from Around the World