Why participate Judging criteria
Competition timeline Resources
Submit your 3MT for judging
Rules and criteria

Why participate

Participating in the competition is a unique opportunity to develop your academic, presentation and research communication skills, and ability to explain your research to a non-specialist audience. It will also help you raise the profile of your work at Kent as the winning presentations will be made available on the Graduate and Researcher College website.

By entering the competition you will also have a chance to win 1st or 2nd prize.

1st Prize – £300
2nd Prize – £150

Prize money can be used for:

  • Travel and subsistence in relation to research including conference fees, books, consumables, survey costs or any other cost that can be shown in relation to your research.
  • Research courses and related travel and subsistence costs.

Competition timeline and important dates

  • Submit your 3MT video deadline: Monday 7th June 2021
  • Kent Judging: w/c Monday 14 June 2021
  • Kent Winners Announced: TBC  (your entry will be submitted to the Vitae UK Semi-Final)
  • UK Semi-Final: July/August (this will be hosted online by Vitae)
  • UK Final: Live virtual event in September 2021

If the winner of the University competition is successful in the UK semi-final stage, they will be in the UK Final hosted at the Vitae Conference (or as an online final).

Submit your 3MT for judging

You can practice your 3MT presentation as many times are you like. When you are ready, record your presentation in one go (no editing or breaks) and send it to the Graduate and Researcher College for judging.

All video submissions must be sent to skills@kent.ac.uk by 12pm Monday 7th June 2021. By submitting a video, you are agreeing that the Graduate and Researcher College can use your video content on the Graduate and Researcher College website (public domain) and make your presentation available to the research and University community.

If the file is too big to send directly through email, you can use WeTransfer. Please use your Kent email address and in the ‘message’ box add your full name and school.


Watch the Vitae 3MT broadcast of the 2020 final:


Rules and criteria


Active PhD and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates (including candidates whose thesis is under submission but who have not had their viva by the date of their first presentation) are eligible to participate. Graduates are not eligible.

Please note all those who go through to the University Final will be filmed and the winner’s video will be used to represent Kent in the UK Semi-Final.


  • 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:
    • Filmed on the horizontal;
    • Filmed on a plain background;
    • Filmed from a static position;
    • Filmed from one camera angle;
    • Contain a 3MT title slide; (unless submitted separately, see below)
    • Contain a 3MT PowerPoint slide (top right corner/right side/cut to) (unless submitted separately, see below)
  • 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 or submitted via email if not included in the presentation.
  • 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.

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

Judging criteria

Comprehension and content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed, while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation – or did they 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 trivialise or generalise their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?


For more information contact our Skills Team at skills@kent.ac.uk