3MT Competition Information

Competition Categories, Awards, and Criteria

There are two categories of East Foundation's 3MT competition - General Research and Proposed Research

General Research presentations are based on your active or complete projects - your audience wants to know what you're up to. 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 - a great way to communicate about new ideas and opportunities.

This year we’re planning to award three prizes. Two will be awarded during the social immediately following the competition.

People’s Choice Award – $1,500

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

Judge's Award – $1,500

The Judge's Award is judged by a panel of interdisciplinary guest judges.

Directors’ Choice Award – $2,500

Following the competition, the East Foundation Board of Directors will select one presentation to receive the Director’s Choice Award. Our Board of Directors are senior-level leaders that hold a deep understanding of cattle ranching, land management, wildlife conservation, business, and management.

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. 

  • 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.