WAGS Regional 3MT Competition

The winners of WAGS Member institutions’ 3MT competitions are invited to compete in our WAGS Regional 3MT at the Annual Conference each March. Begun in 2016 in Seattle, we look forward to this 3MT growing into a larger event representative of student excellence in our region. Our 3MT competitors vie for monetary prizes and regional recognition. Then, the winner and either the audience choice awardee or the runner-up are then invited to present at the CGS National 3MT showcase at the Council of Graduate Schools Conference each December.

2016 WAGS Regional 3MT in Seattle, Washington


  • 1st Place Winner: Uzma Tahir, Northern Arizona University – “Emulating Biological Movement Using a Robotic Prosthesis”
  • 2nd Place and Audience Choice Winner: Jacqueline Phan, University of Nevada, Las Vegas – “Bile Salt Analogs as Anti-Germinants in the Prevention of Clostridium Difficile Infection”

WAGS 2nd-Annual Regional 3MT Competition

The Palms Hotel in 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, 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. If your winner isn’t able to come, you may register your 2nd-place winner or the next highest level winner available from your last 3MT 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 or professional students from Institutions who are a member 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 and professional students who are currently enrolled in a graduate/professional program in any discipline.

Registration for 2018 WAGS Regional 3MT

Be sure to sign-up your campus participant by February 28th via email to WAGSofficer@gmail.com with the following info:
  • Graduate student’s name, program of study, phone & email address
  • Title of their 3-minute presentation
  • A brief explanation of how they were selected to participate (i.e. s/he won our campus Grad Slam event or 3MT, etc.)

Competition Schedule

Students should arrive by March 20th to have a late afternoon meeting with our WAGS 3MT team to review procedures for competition. 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.


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 requirements.


If more than 10 students are registered to compete, all WAGS Slammers will participate in a preliminary round; those receiving the highest scores will be selected to move forward to compete in the championship round. If less than 10 competitors are registered, we will hold one final competition round to determine the winners. The WAGS 3MT winners will be announced at the closing lunch for the Conference.

PowerPoint/Presentation Requirements

  • All contestants must prepare 1 PowerPoint slide using the standard slide format that is provided. Failure to do so will result in the slide not being accepted.
  • Prepare your slide in a 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Any images, photos, graphics, graphs, or illustrations included on your slide must include a credit for the original source of the image, photo, etc.
  • 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.
  • Slides are not permitted to contain slide transitions, animations, or ‘movement’ of any kind. The slide is presented from the beginning of the presentation.
  • Presentations may not include any additional electronic media (e.g., sound and video files).
  • Presentations may not include any props (e.g., laboratory equipment, musical instruments, costumes).
  • Competitors may not change their slides between rounds.
  • Presentations are limited to 3-minutes, maximum. Competitors exceeding 3 minutes will be disqualified.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation.
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Slammers should dress in business casual attire.
  • All judges’ scoring and decisions will be final.

Judging Criteria

Participants are evaluated on 5 different categories: content, organization, delivery, visuals, and timing. Slammers may earn between zero and 25 points.

1.) Content (0 – 7 points):

  • 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?
  • Was the thesis/dissertation topic, key results and 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 explain the broader impacts of the project?

2.) Organization (0 – 7 points):

  • 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.) Delivery (0 – 6 points):

  • Did the oration 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?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience’s attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?

4.) Visuals (0 – 3 points):

  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?

5.) Timing (0 – 2 points):

  • Was the presentation at or under 3 minutes (but no less than 2 minutes and 40 seconds)?

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!