Frequently Asked Questions
Eligibility Questions: Candidacy, Required Forms and Defense Dates
Are all degree candidates eligible?
To be eligible, you must be actively pursing a research-based doctoral (PhD) degree. Master's students are not elegible. For this current competition, you must have your or D3 (doctoral) form and advisor consent form on file by the stated deadline.
What is the D3 Form?
These are forms that officially document you have reached candidacy status toward earning a degree. Once you have passed comprehensive examinations, the M3 or D3 must be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies. Check with your degree program office for more information.
I've already defended. Am I still eligible to participate?
Yes. In accordance with official policy, you remain a degree candidate until the next commencement (in December), when your degree will be conferred. If you have already graduated, you are not able to participate.
I have my candidacy meeting scheduled after the September registration deadline. Can I still participate?
Yes, as long as your D3 form is turned in to the Office of Graduate Studies no later than 5 PM on the deadline.
I have plenty of research data, but I have not yet reached candidacy (i.e. no D3 has been filed). Will I be able to participate?
No, sorry. To participate, you must be a degree candidate (with a D3 form on file) by the deadline.
Eligibility Questions: Master's and International Students
Are international doctoral candidates eligible? What if English is not my native language?
Yes, international students at Mizzou who are degree candidates in research-based graduate degree programs are eligible. The three minute presentation must be made in English.
Can master's students who are pursuing research-based degrees participate?
Sorry, but no. However, due to popular demand by students, we hope to create a Master's Division in the future.
Why do I need my advisor's signature on the Consent Form?
In some disciplines, research findings must be embargoed until the study is published. This is especially true of students working in classified labs. We need to make certain that your advisor is aware, and approves, of your participation in this event. Here is the consent form that your advisor must sign.
What is the dress code?
Dress is either business casual or business attire. No jeans, please! Here's why: Mizzou 3MT® is a key professional development event for research-based degree candidates. The first place winner will receive a $500 award and the opportunity to travel to other 3MT® competitions. Because of the significance, it is most appropriate for participants to dress as a professional – no different than attending a disciplinary conference or job interview. Another consideration: professional attire can potentially enhance your stage presence, especially because all of our judges are professionals, too.
Truman's Closet is service for Mizzou students who wish to borrow business attire for special events and job interviews.
Do I have to use a slide as part of my presentation?
Yes, because the effectiveness of your visual is part of the judging criterion. Remember that the slide is static: No slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description are allowed. Also, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration. Deadline: Submit your slide as a PDF file to firstname.lastname@example.org by the published deadline. Note: If you move forward in the competition, you must use the same slide (i.e., you cannot modify your slide during the Mizzou competition.)
Do the judges "favor" presentations by STEM students over those in the social sciences or humanities?
Not at all! The competition is open to all research-based degree programs. The judges follow the official scoring criteria when making their decisions. No preference is given to one discipline over another.
Will you have separate rounds for life sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, etc.?
So far, at Mizzou 3MT, everyone competes together. In the future, if the competition grows substantially, we may offer disciplinary preliminaries.
Why are people from higher education on the judging panel?
As you know, our intent with Mizzou 3MT is to select a winner who can best describe research to a lay (public) audience. Thus, we make every attempt to find people in the local community (outside of higher education) to serve as judges. This proved to be a challenge, so we also invited faculty and administrators from inside higher education to serve as judges. That said, all judges are volunteers (not paid) and they do their best to follow the scoring criteria. Be assured that they are committed to spirit and intent of the Mizzou 3MT competition.
Will I get to see the judges' comments?
No, for several reasons. Foremost, Mizzou 3MT® is a professional development, public speaking program that culminates with a competition event. The training sessions (e.g., storytelling) we offer in the months prior to the event are designed for you to practice and receive constructive feedback in order to improve your public speaking skills. The second consideration is our volunteer judges, many of whom prefer to keep their comments confidential. One judge also pointed out that it would be near impossible to write meaningful comments on someone's performance in only three minutes. Further, the official score sheets on which the judges take notes, contain all of the contestants' information, so confidentiality could not be maintained.
Remember that the results of any judged competition is based on subjective opinion. A three minute presentation that resonates with one judge may not appeal as much to second or third judge. This fact was underscored by the 2015 judging panels: They reported that the competition was extremely close and many fine contestants did not advance to the final. This is also one of the reasons why we have different panels: to allow for a "fresh perspective" on the presentations as speakers advance through the competition.
Tip: Please seek feedback on your slide, content, and presentation style before the competition. In the past, many of the finalists took advantage of the storytelling training and/or practice session. Their success proves it pays to practice!
How was the planning committee selected?
In 2015, the Mizzou 3MT® Planning Committee is comprised of graduate students who are participating in the UM System Graduate Student Leadership Development Program. They elected to launch a 3MT® initiative as their campus leadership project.