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T1–T4 in 3 (Minutes) Challenge

IIMS 3rd Annual


  April 10th, 2020, 9:00AM - 10:30AM

Greehey Campus, McDermott Building, Room # 2.108 

The IIMS/Office of Research Education and Mentoring is conducting its third annual T1 – T4 in 3 (Minutes) Challenge. The T1 – T4 in 3 (Minutes) Challenge requires a presentation in three minutes or less to a lay audience, the topics of the presentations will be on the presenter’s research.  This competition challenges our Translational Science Graduate Students, TL1 trainees, and KL2/RL5 Scholars to effectively translate their research into terminology that the non-academic community will understand.

This competition is based on the ability to translate your research into layman terms and will have 4 prizes to award participants. The highest award for this competition is the People’s Choice Award ($1000), followed by 1st place ($750), 2nd place ($500) and 3rd place ($250). Participants will be competing for  travel awards for best translations as determined by the lay audience (People’s Choice) and a  panel of Community members judges (1st - 3rd).

The purpose of this exercise is to improve capacity for communications as well as to ensure that our community stakeholders have access to, and understanding of, ongoing clinical and translation research.  Further, the increased ability of our graduate students, trainees and junior faculty members to effectively communicate complex scientific concepts to the public supports our dissemination mechanisms by increasing their confidence in their ability to converse with non-specialists regarding their research.

Who is eligible to take the challenge?

Translational Science Graduate Students
(TS PhD, MSCI-TS, or Certificate in Translational Science )

TL1 Pre & Postdoctoral Trainees

KL2/RL5 Scholars

How to Compete?

  Send an RSVP to Alex Machuca ( by March 20th, 2020 to secure your spot in the competition.


The IIMS will be awarding the winners of our competition with the following:

People's Choice Award for Best Translation for: $1000 Travel Award

1st Place Award: $750 Travel Award

2nd Place Award: $500 Travel Award

3rd Place Award: $250  Travel Award


Note: Please increase your chances of winning by encouraging your mentors, friends and colleagues to attend the event and vote for you for the People's Choice Award. 

Judging Criteria

Each competitor will be assessed on the three judging criteria listed below. Please note that each criterion is equally weighted and has an emphasis on audience.

Comprehension and Content:

  • 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?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Were the 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 presenter spend adequate time on each element of his/her presentation – or did he/she elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?


  • 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 his/her research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain his/her audience’s attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient state presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation – was it clear, legible, and concise?


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration).
  • 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 designated presenting area.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts to speak.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

History of the Competition

T1-T4 in 3 (Minutes) is an adaptation of The University of Queensland’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition in which presenters must present their 80,000 word thesis in 3 minutes or less to a lay audience.