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Rules & Judging Criteria - Three Minute Thesis (3MT)

Eligibility criteria:

  • To enter, you must be currently enrolled on a doctoral programme at the University of Warwick. You must not have had your viva before the date of the final on 7th June 2017.

Rules for video submission:

  • Videos are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Videos are to focus solely and continuously on the presenter, with at least your face in view throughout (i.e. 'talking heads'-style webcam or camera-phone videos are acceptable).
  • Presentations must not be edited and videos must contain no additional visual aids or elements.
  • 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.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • The decision of the shortlisting panel is final.

Rules for 3MT® live final on 7th June:

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any kind, 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 (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage (for the live final).
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

3MT® Judging Criteria

At every level of the competition each competitor will be assessed on the three judging criteria listed below. Please note that each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.

1. Comprehension:
1.1 Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
1.2 Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
1.3 Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
2. Engagement:
2.1 Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
2.2 Was the presenter careful not to trivialise or generalise their research?
2.3 Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
2.4 Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
3. Communication:
3.1 Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
3.2 Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
3.3 Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace; and have a confident stance?
3.4 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?


For the online shortlisting, a panel of judges comprising administrative and academic staff from a range of departments will independently judge each entry using the criteria above (with the exception of criterion 3.3) and the highest scoring overall will go forward to the final on 7th June.

For the live final, a panel of specially appointed judges will be drawn from senior University staff and an external guest judge. All of the above judging criteria will apply.



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