3MT Competition Information

Competition Categories, Awards, and Criteria

There are two categories of East Foundation's 3MT competition - General Research and Proposed ResearchStudents may prepare a presentation for both categories, but each student must prepare at least one 3MT presentation. If electing to present in a single category, new students who have not begun collecting data should present in the Proposed Research category. Additionally, students who have already presented twice in the General Research category should present in the Proposed Research category. All others should present in the General Research category. 

General Research 

General Research presentations are based on your active or complete projects - your audience wants to know what you're up to.

Directors’ Award – $2,500

The presentation that best meets the judging criteria and captures the essence of our mission at the East Foundation will win the Directors’ Award. Our Board of Directors are senior-level leaders that hold a deep understanding of cattle ranching, land management, wildlife conservation, business, and management.

People’s Choice Award – $1,500

The People’s Choice Award is judged by the audience in the room—peers, colleagues, university faculty, the East Foundation staff and other invited guests from across south Texas.

Proposed Research  

Proposed Research presentations may be either ideas for "next steps" in a current research area, or innovative ideas that address an important question or issue related to East Foundation's mission. 

Best Research Proposal Award – $2,000

The Best Research Proposal Award is judged by a panel of interdisciplinary guest judges.

Rules and Judging Criteria

  • 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.
  • Additional electronic media (e.g., sound and video files) are not permitted.
  • Additional props (e.g., costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are not permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes. Presentations exceeding three minutes are subject to disqualification at the discretion of the judges.
  • 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 movement or speech.
  • The decision of the judges is final.

Each of the three judging criteria have equal weight and all emphasize audience understanding. The 3MT audience consists of peers, colleagues, university faculty, the East Foundation Professional Advisors Group, East Foundation staff, and other invited guests.

  • Communication Style – Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
  • Comprehension – Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Engagement – Did the presentation make the audience want to know more?

For additional resources see the 3MT® Competitor Guide from the University of Queensland. 

East Foundation reserves the right to make no awards if presentations do not meet minimum judging criteria.