Why participate Judging criteria
Competition timeline Resources
Rules and criteria FAQs

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


Dates for 2023 TBC


Competition timeline and important dates

  • Initial stage: dates for 2023 TBC
  • Kent Final: dates for 2023 TBC
  • UK Semi-Final: dates for 2023 TBC
  • UK Finalists announced: dates for 2023 TBC
  • UK Final: dates for 2023 TBC

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).

Rules and criteria


Active PhD and Professional Doctorate (Research) candidates who have passed their probation review (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.



  • 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 (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 either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


Judging criteria

Comprehension and content

  • Presentation provided clear background and significance to the research question
  • Presentation clearly described the research strategy/design and the results/findings of the research
  • Presentation clearly described the conclusions, outcomes and impact of the research

Engagement and communication

  • 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
  • The presenter conveyed enthusiasm for their research and captured and maintained the audience’s attention

Training and Resources

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


Watch the Vitae 3MT broadcasts of the 2021 and 2020 final: