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Public Engagement at Manchester

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3MT rules and judging criteria



  • 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 are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (eg. 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

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


  • Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • 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 research communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible and concise?


  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Was the presentation engaging and make the audience want to know more (in a positive way)?

Updated 4 May 2017 in line with Vitae guidance.


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