WAGS Regional 3MT Competition



WAGS 2nd-annual Regional 3MT Competition


The Palms Casino Resort
Las Vegas, Nevada

March 21st, 2018


This year, WAGS will be holding our 2nd-Annual 3MT competition on the last day of our annual WAGS conference, March 21st, at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada. We invite you to register your university’s 3MT (or similar 3-minute Grad Slam type competition) winner to compete in this regional competition. There is no charge to register your university’s nominee for this regional competition, and our 3MT Grad Slammers will be competing for cash prizes and bragging rights in the West!


Only graduate students from institutions who are members of WAGS may register for this regional competition. To become a member: http://www.uwlax.edu/conted/wags/membership/

Competitors must have won their university’s most recent 3MT or Grad Slam-like competition. If the first place winner is not able to attend WAGS, the school may enter their second place winner, or the next highest winner available. This WAGS 3MT competition is open to both Master’s and doctoral graduate students who are currently enrolled in a graduate/professional program in any discipline.


Please register your school’s 3MT nominee no later than March 9th, 2018. To register, please email WAGSofficer@gmail.com with the following information:

  • Competitor’s name
  • Competitor’s email
  • Competitor’s program and degree level (i.e. Master’s student in Sociology, etc.)
  • University name
  • How you came to nominate this person as your WAGS 3MT competitor (i.e. won the 2017 campus 3MT or similar event, was the runner-up, etc.)

Competition Schedule:

Students should arrive at the Palms on March 20th before 3:30 pm. If we have a large number of competitors we will hold a Preliminary Round on Tuesday, March 20th at 4:30 pm. If we don’t have a large number of “slammers” everyone will compete in a single finals round on Wednesday, March 21st, at 9:00 am. Competitors should arrive 20 minutes in advance of each round to review rules, get organized, etc.

WAGS will pay registration fees for our Slammers for Wednesday, March 21st. Nominating schools should plan to pay  for your student competitor’s airfare, lodging, and any meals not provided by the conference, or a student scholarship to cover these expenses. We will offer a discounted registration ($400) if your student competitor would like to attend the entire conference. Please let us know if we should expect your slammer to participate in conference activities and meals on any days other than Wednesday.


The finalists will be awarded cash prizes in the following amounts:

  • First Prize: $500
  • Second Prize: $250
  • People’s choice: $250

WAGS Competition Rules & Regulations:

The WAGS competition will be a registered competition with the Three Minute Thesis Organization.   Participants may be winners of local 3MT competitions or ones similar in structure and purpose to the Three Minute Thesis. The WAGS competition will follow the competition rules and judging criteria as laid out by 3MT, with a few additional clarifications as stated below.  


If more than 12 students, or so, are registered to compete, all WAGS Slammers will participate in a preliminary round on Tuesday, March 20th at 4:30 pm; those receiving the highest scores will be selected to move forward to compete in the championship round. If not, we will hold one round of competition to determine the winners at 10:30 am on March 21st. The WAGS 3MT winners will be announced onsite once judging is complete.

PowerPoint/Presentation Requirements:

  • All contestants must prepare 1 PowerPoint slide using the standard slide format that is provided (please keep the 16:9 aspect ratio). Failure to do so will result in the slide not being accepted. 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 props (e.g. costumes, 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 scoring and decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  • Any images, photos, graphics, graphs, or illustrations included on your slide must include a credit for the original source of the image, photo, etc. if they were not solely created by the presenter.
  • Keep all images and text within the black border of the PowerPoint slides, as images or text outside of this area will be cut off.
  • Slammers should dress in business casual or business professional attire.

Judging Criteria:

Per 3MT guidelines, the participants are evaluated on 4 different categories: comprehension, content, engagement, and communication.

1.) Comprehension (0-5 points)

  • Were the topic, key results, research significance, and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?  
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology, and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the speaker clearly understand their topic and make the audience understand something about it, too?

2.) Content (0-5 points)

  • Did the presentation provide some background about 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?
  • 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?

3.) Engagement (0-5 points)

  • Did the presenter give the audience of sense of who they are, what they study, why they study it, and how --- in relatable terminology?
  • Did the presenter engage and connect with the audience?
  • Did the orator and presentation make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?  

4.) Communication (0-5 points)

  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact, and vocal range?
  • Did s/he maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?
  • Was the research or scholarship conveyed in an understandable way?

Judging Rubric

We look forward to all of our students “slamming” it out in our 2nd-Annual WAGS Regional 3MT in Las Vegas! Please contact us at wagsofficer@gmail.com with any questions about this event. Thank you!