The rules

Rules for the competition

  1. The competition is open to early career researchers working in any physics-related subject i.e. a researcher (including those in industry) who are within the first 12 years of their career (allowing for career breaks) following the award of a first degree.
  2. A participant may register for one national (Scotland or Wales) or regional heat (England) only.
  3. Participants will register their interest to compete via the 3 Minute Wonder website.
  4. The number of participants invited to present their work per nation/region will be limited to 10.
  5. The 10 participants invited to the live event will be chosen by the nation/region’s branch committee. Participants will submit an abstract (50 words maximum) detailing their research. The abstract should be engaging and explain the topic in layman terms. The branch committee will use these abstracts to shortlist 10 speakers.
  6. There should be a panel of 4 judges. If possible, this panel should represent a diverse range of science related professions; for example teaching, journalism, research and industry.
  7. Each presentation will be scored immediately after with a mark out of 10 from each judge - in a “Strictly Come Dancing” style. Maximum score = 40.
  8. In addition to the panel, the presentation will be timed by a timekeeper.

    After an initial buffer of 5 seconds either side of 3-minutes, 1 point will be deducted for each 10-second period that the speaker finishes above or below 3-minutes. For example, a talk finishing between 2:55-3:05 will receive no penalty, between 2:45 -2:55 or 3:05-3:15 a 1 point deduction will be made, between 2:35 -2:45 or 3:15-3:25 a 2 point detection will be, and so on…

    The timekeeper will not mark the talks. Time-keeping points will only be deducted after all the presentations have been given.
  9. The presentations must be the participant’s own research.
  10. The focus of the competition will be on science communication, not so much the science itself. Is the research bought to life by the speaker for the general public?
  11. As part of the presentation the speaker may choose to use:
    • 1 PowerPoint slide
    • A video clip (that the presenter has made)
    • As many props as the speaker wishes.
  12. The winner of each national/regional heat will be invited to IOP HQ in London in early 2014 for the live final.
  13. In the event of a tie the audience will be asked to decide upon the winner.
  14. The decision of the judges and timekeeper’s is final.