Graduate School

Competition Rules and Guidelines


Current graduate students in good academic standing who are involved in a capstone experience are eligible to participate in 3MT competition.  Capstone experiences may include theses, projects, internships, portfolios, or capstone course projects. Graduate students in any stage of their capstone experiences, including those in the initial planning stages, as well as those in the data collection or final preparation stages are welcome to participate. Masters graduates are not eligible.


  • 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 will be   disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. 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.

Judging Criteria

Each competitor will be assessed on the judging criteria listed below.
Please note: Each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.

Comprehension and Content
  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the capstone topic being addressed and its significance?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the capstone topic including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the capstone topic, key results, 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 the presenter elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?
Engagement and Communication
  • Did the oration 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 topic?
  • 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?