The Herb Innovation Center


3MT winners

Share your education research presentation and compete for monetary awards in the biannual 3M/5M Research Competition.

The purpose of 3M/5M Research Competition is to highlight and celebrate education research and provide an opportunity for Judith Herb College of Education (JHCOE) students to earn monetary awards to support their education and professional development. Students will have 3 minutes or 5 minutes to describe their research in person. This is an amazing opportunity for the University of Toledo (UToledo) JHCOE students to sharpen their research and communication skills and share their scholarly work.


This special event is for currently enrolled Judith Herb College of Education (JHCOE) undergraduate and graduate students, pursuing a degree or certificate.


You compete only against others in your competition and track, for the following monetary prizes:

*Early Track:

  • First: $175
  • Second: $75
  • Honorable mention: $50
  • People’s choice award: $75

*Late track:

  • First: $300
  • Second: $175
  • Honorable mention: $100
  • People’s choice award: $175

*All awards will be posted to UToledo Student accounts. The awards pay out like a scholarship. Therefore, a limited amount of money from the award will be paid out if financial aid is maxed out.

In addition to the monetary prizes, this is a unique opportunity to enrich your college experience and maximize its benefits. By participating in this event, you can:

  • Explore your interests beyond course requirements.
  • Boost your resume.
  • Receive informal mentoring from faculty without having to register for a course.
  • Practice your presentation skills in a friendly supportive environment and be more successful in your classes.
  • Test your ideas without a fear of failing and get feedback.
  • Discover your interest to get involved in research.
  • Boost your confidence and creativity.
  • Connect with faculty and peers outside of courses.
  • Discover new career opportunities that you might not have thought about.
  • Be more prepared for a thesis or dissertation work.
  • Win one or more awards and enjoy a financial benefit of up to $475 for just a 3-minute presentation (graduate students who earn first place and people's choice award) or up to $250 for just a 5-minute presentation (undergraduate students who earn first place and people's choice award).


All you need is to prepare and present 1 PowerPoint slide to a non-specialist audience.

Option 1 – Early track: Present a research project idea (i.e., no data, results or conclusions yet).

Option 2 – Late track: Present research that includes results and conclusions.


Follow these simple steps:

  • Click on the Registration tab and pre-register by April 1 to let us know you are interested.
  • Attend the orientation session (in-person or on-line) to learn about the rules and requirements.
  • Use up to 7 weeks to prepare for the competition:
    • Schedule practice sessions.
    • Connect with faculty mentors.
    • Prepare your PowerPoint slide.
  • Register for the competition and submit your PowerPoint slide by April 10.
  • Present your idea or results on April 19, 6-7pm

Pre-Registration/Session Sign-up Form Form -- Register by April 1

Registration Form -- Register by April 10

*If you pre-register right away, then you will have almost 7 weeks to prepare.

What is pre-registration?

Preregistration allows you to reserve your slot in the competition, but also allows you to sign up for up to 5 different preparation sessions where we will go over everything from idea conception, to refinement, creating your presentation, practicing, and more. 

Preregistration for a research competition serves multiple practical and logistical benefits for both the organizers and participants along with fostering a sense of community, and ensuring all participants can make the most of their competition experience. 

Estimating Participation: Preregistration provides a preliminary headcount of students interested in competing along with allocating resources, scheduling preparation events, and ensuring adequate support for all participants. 

Identifying Needs Early: With preregistration information, organizers can identify students who may need additional support, such as those looking for a research topic or a mentor.  

Tailoring Support Services: Preregistration data can inform the creation of targeted support services, such as workshops on research methods, writing sessions, or mentorship programs.  

Facilitating Matchmaking: For students seeking mentors or project partners, preregistration can act as a matchmaking tool.  

Improving Communication: Preregistration establishes an early line of communication between organizers and participants.  

Enhancing Preparation: Knowing the scale and scope of the competition in advance, organizers can set up preparation sessions tailored to participants' needs (e.g., initial concept development to final presentation skills). 

Answering Questions Promptly: This ongoing dialogue helps to clarify expectations, provides guidance, and builds a supportive community among competitors. 

If you do not see the answer to your question below, please contact the Herb Innovation Center at

What types of research methods are accepted for this competition? 

All topics related to education and types of research methods are welcomed (e.g., qualitative, quantitative, mixed-methods, survey simulation, experimental, single-subject, action research, historical, philosophical, reflective-descriptive, and interpretive research).

What makes a presentation competitive? 

A competitive submission will cover three specific domains within their presentations.

  • Significance. The student should explain the importance of the problem or describe the critical barrier to progress in the education field that is being addressed in the research. For example, explain how the proposed research or completed project will improve scientific knowledge, technical capabilities, and/or clinical practice related to education.
  • Innovation. The student will explain how their current or proposed research is innovative. For example, explain how the work seeks to shift current research or current educational practice paradigms.
  • Broader Impact. The student should discuss the broader impact of their research. For example, in what ways might their research improve education, mental health, well-being, contribute to society, and/or improve social justice outcomes?

What are the requirements for the PowerPoint? 

  • The PowerPoint should include 2 slides:
    • Title slide
    • Presentation slide
  • Title slide should include:
    • Your name (e.g., First, Middle Initial, Last)
    • Degree program and level (e.g., Curriculum and Instruction, MA), and
    • Title of the presentation
  • Presentation slide requirements:
    • A single, static PowerPoint slide
    • Statements of significance, innovation, and broader impact
    • No slide transitions
    • No animations or “movement” of any kind
    • No additional sound or video
    • No additional props (e.g., costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment)
    • Text and/or visuals can be used, but be sure to not be text-heavy and avoid complicated visuals

Can more than one presentation be submitted? 

No. Students may submit only one entry to either the early research track or late research track. Competitors submitting multiple entries to a single track or a single entry to multiple tracks will be disqualified.

How long is the presentation and are notes allowed? 

  • Presentations are limited to 5 minutes for undergraduate and 3 minutes for graduate students.
    Competitors exceeding their minutes will be disqualified.
  • Undergraduate students (both early and late track) and graduate students (early track only) are allowed one 3x5 notecard with handwritten notes on one side only.
  • Graduate students late track are not allowed any notes.

What are the requirements for the style of presentation? 

  • Presentations are to be spoken-word prose (e.g., no poetry, raps, or songs).
  • Do not read from a script during the presentation.
  • Be clear in their delivery and project their voice to the audience.
  • Use nontechnical terms for a non-specialist audience
  • Be engaging and show enthusiasm/passion

Check out YouTube for previous winners of 3MT at various universities (Example1Example2) to see what the final presentation will entail.

How are the presentations judged? 

  • Judges will consist of faculty/staff who have a background in research and do not have a student mentee participating in the event.
  • Judges will use the UToledo 3MT Judging Sheet to judge all presentations.
  • The decision of the judges is final.

Does the presentation have to be in-person? 

No. Each presenter will have the option to compete either in-person (preferred) or synchronously (via Teams). 

Will the presentation be videotaped? 

Yes. Each presenter will be video recorded during the duration of their presentation.

Who will I be competing against?

Presenters will compete exclusively with students of their own level and track. For example, early-track undergraduate students will face competition solely from other early-track undergraduates.

What happens if I win?

All awards will be posted to UToledo student accounts. The awards pay out like a scholarship. Therefore, a limited amount of money from the award will be paid out if financial aid is maxed out. 

Are you interested in research but unsure about how to get plugged in? Fill out the linked form below and the Herb Innovation Center will reach out to you with next steps.

Mentor and Research Information Request


  • Colleen Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.
    Areas of research interest:  Exploring the complex and interactional role the context of a classroom, school, district or state plays in how teachers and students experience teaching and learning social studies in grades 6-12.  Within this, she has a particular focus on how teachers teach and students learn about religion in social studies classrooms.

  • Lynne Hamer, Ph.D.
    Areas of research interest:  Historical foundations of education/historical intersections between schooling and marginalized populations; life writing/educational biography and oral history
  • Edward Janak, Ph.D.
    Areas of research interest:  Historical foundations of education/historical intersections between schooling and marginalized populations; life writing/educational biography and oral history; pop culture/mass culture and education

  • Natasha Johnson, Ph.D.
    Areas of research interest:  Chemistry education; multicultural science education; STEM interest, access, and persistence

  • Revathy Kumar Ph.D.
    Areas of research interest:  Social and cultural processes involved in constructing a sense of self and identity among adolescents and young adults in culturally diverse societies, the role of teachers, teacher-education programs, schools, communities, and families in facilitating minority and immigrant adolescents’ development, learning, and motivation

  • Sekhar Pindiprolu, Ph.D.
    Areas of research interest:  Teaching and learning strategies, computer-assisted instruction, designing instruction, program evaluations

  • Dale T. Snauwaert, Ph.D.
    Areas of research interest: Justice, education for peace and justice, democracy, democratic education

  • Robert A. Schultz, Ph.D.

    Areas of research interest:  Gifted/Talented education; Social and Emotional Needs; Creativity; Curriculum Theory and Philosophical Foundations of Education; Assessment and Evaluation; Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research Methods; Parents and Parenting

  • Mark Templin, Ph.D.
    Areas of research interest:  Science instruction, science teacher education, activity theory

  • Falynn Thompson, Ph.D.
    Areas of research interest:  Components of whiteness in education, scale development and validation, antiracist pedagogy

  • Michael Toland, Ph.D.
    Areas of research interest:  Sense of belonging, developing surveys, undergraduate research, applied statistics, applied measurement

Last Updated: 2/26/24