Competition Rules

Explore eligibility from judging criteria, see how the 3MT® competition operates.


Currently active senior undergraduate students and graduate students in all disciplines at Purdue University Northwest will be eligible to participate in 3MT®. Students may be conducting research through thesis work, capstone, directed project, or other guided research under a faculty mentor.

Competition Rules and Recording

  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through speech (timing does not include the 3MT title slide and commences from when the competitor starts speaking, not the start of the video).
  • Videos must meet the following criteria:
  1. Filmed on the horizontal
  2. Filmed on a plain background
  3. Filmed from a static position
  4. Filmed from one camera angle
  5. Contain a 3MT title slide (at beginning)
  6. Contain a 3MT PowerPoint slide (examples: top right corner/right or cut to)
  • A single static slide is permitted in the presentation (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description). This can be visible continuously, or ‘cut to’ (as many times as you like) for a maximum of 1 minute.
  • The 3 minute audio must be continuous – no sound edits or breaks.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment and animated backgrounds) are permitted within the recording.
  • 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 within the video recording.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  • Submissions via video format to Event Administrator. Files sent in other formats will not be accepted.

Please note: competitors *will not* be judged on video/recording quality or editing capabilities (optional inclusions). Judging will focus on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and 3MT PowerPoint slide.

Judging Criteria

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

  • Presentation provided clear background and significance to the research question;
  • Presentation clearly described the research strategy/design and the results/findings of the research; and
  • Presentation clearly described the conclusions, outcomes and impact of the research.
  •  The oration was delivered clearly, and the language was appropriate for a non-specialist audience;
  • The PowerPoint slide was well-defined and enhanced the presentation; and
  • The presenter conveyed enthusiasm for their research and captured and maintained the audience’s attention.