3MT competition details

Rules and criteria

Competition format and dates 2016

The competition will be held in two stages. The first stage will involve 2 heats on Bentley campus on Tuesday 23 August 2016 (date to be confirmed), with a separate heat being conducted at the Sarawak campus. The top 5 ranked competitors in each Bentley heat, along with the winner of the Sarawak heat, will compete in a University-wide final on Friday 2 September 2016 . The winner of the Curtin final will go on to compete in the Asia-Pacific Final at The University of Queensland on Friday 30 September 2016.

Eligibility criteria

  • Only Doctoral* students who have successfully passed their Candidacy by 1 August 2016 are eligible to participate in the Final of the Curtin 3MT competition, including the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition.

* Doctoral degrees where the minimum research component is at least two/thirds of the degree.

  • Graduates are not eligible.

*Please Note: For Masters Degrees to be eligible for the heats they must be at least two thirds research (definition drawn from Grant Guidelines 2006 for Higher Education Support Act (HESA) 2003) and produce a thesis that is examined externally.

3MT competition rules

All participants must abide by the following rules of the competition:

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description, 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 area.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.

Judging criteria

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

1. Comprehension and Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to 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?
  • Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • 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?

2. Engagement and Communication

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialise or generalise their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?


The prizes for Curtin 3MT Competition 2016 are awaiting confirmation, but it is proposed:

  • The winner of the Curtin Final will receive $2000 towards research expenses and the opportunity to compete in the Asia-Pacific Final at The University of Queensland, including travel, accommodation and registration expenses.
  • The runner-up will receive $1000 towards research expenses.
  • The People’s Choice winner (as voted by the audience) will receive $200 donated by CUPSA
  • All other Finalists will receive a $50 gift voucher from the Curtin Co-op.
  • The top presentation from each heat will receive a $100 gift voucher from Curtin Co-op.

Competition dates 2016

Preliminary Heats 1 and 2 – 23 August 2016, Building 500, room 1102AB:EX

Curtin Final – 2 September 2016, from 10am, Building 213 room 104

Asia-Pacific Final – Friday 30 September 2016 at The University of Queensland


Email the following registration information by Monday 1 August 2016 to GRS.Training@curtin.edu.au.

  • Title (Mr/Ms/Mrs)
  • First name
  • Surname
  • Full Name for your Certificate of Participation
  • Student ID
  • School
  • Faculty
  • Email
  • Mobile Phone
  • Course
  • 3MT Title
  • Thesis Title
  • 100 Word summary
  • slide*

*Competitors use a single, static PowerPoint slide for their presentation. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are permitted. No electronic media (e.g. sound or video files) are permitted either. The slide must be submitted by 15 August 2016.

A confirmation email will be sent once we have processed your registration.

3MT practice session 1

When: Monday 8 August, 2pm-4pm
Where: Building 500, room 1102AB:EX (exhibition room on level 1)

3MT practice session 2

When:  Tuesday 16 August, 2pm-4pm
Where: Building 500, room 1102AB:EX (exhibition room on level 1)

Contact details

For further information contact Tania Lerch via GRS.training@curtin.edu.au

Winners 2015

First Prize – Adnan Mannan, School of Pharmacy “The anti-diabetic potential of the herb “Teucrium polium”

Runner up  – Siddier Chambers, John Curtin Institute of Public Policy, “It’s not about the  money: Evaluating poverty and rural women in Jamaica”

People’s Choice Award – Siddier Chambers