5-Minute Fast Track Competition

5MT Fast Track Logo_2019.png

1 Slide. 5 Minutes. Outstanding research! Cheer on UK undergraduate research students as they share their trailblazing research and compete for cash prizes in the 5-Minute Fast Track Competition. Who will advance to the finals?


The Office of Undergraduate Research will host its 2nd annual 5-Minute Fast Track research presentation competition this fall. The 5-Minute Fast Track is an academic competition that cultivates students’ presentation and research communication skills, and challenges them to describe their research within five minutes. This is a terrific opportunity for UK’s undergraduate students to learn these critical communication skills and represent the diversity of scholarly work at UK.



University of Kentucky undergraduates who have completed two full terms of faculty-mentored research or creative activity in any major are eligible to compete.

Participants must have a Sophomore, Junior, or Senior enrollment status

Participants MUST BE available to participate in the preliminary rounds AND the Championship round



The competition will include TWO preliminary rounds on Tuesday, October 15 and Wednesday, October 16 with the Top 5 students from each preliminary round advancing to the Final Championship competition on Wednesday, October 23, 2019.

Undergraduate student competitors will present their research in five minutes, using only one static slide, in front of a panel of five judges and a live audience. The goal of this competition is to improve students’ abilities to communicate their undergraduate research effectively to a general audience while creating a compelling story about their scholarly work.



  • WIN (first place) will receive $750
  • PLACE (second place) will receive $500
  • SHOW (third place) will receive $250 


  • Sept. 4, 2019 - 5-Minute Fast Track Student Information Workshop; 4:30PM-5:30PM; Room 213 Funkhouser
  • Sept. 5, 2019 - Registration Opens
  • Oct. 4, 2019 - Registration Deadline
  • Oct. 10, 2019 - Final competition slide must be emailed to UGResearch@uky.edu by 11:59PM
  • Oct. 15, 2019 - 5MT Fast Track Competition - Preliminary Round #1 (top 5 go to Final Competition on Oct. 23); 4PM - 6PM; WT Young Library Auditorium
  • Oct. 16, 2019 - 5MT Fast Track Competition - Preliminary Round #2 (top 5 go to Final Competition on Oct. 23); 4PM - 6PM; WT Young Library Auditorium
  • Oct. 23, 2019 - 5MT Fast Track Competition - Final Championship Round; 5PM - 7PM; WT Young Library Auditorium



NOTE: There are only 40 student registrations available. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis. So, mark your calendars now for September 5, 2018 (registration opens).  Confirmations will be sent to the students who successfully register for the competition.





Online registration will require the following:

  • Topic Summary (300 words maximum)
  • Presentation Title
  • Faculty Mentor Information




  1. Only 1 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.
  2. No additional electronic media, sound, or video files are permitted
  3. No additional props - costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment - are permitted
  4. Presentations are limited to 5 minutes maximum. Competitors exceeding 5 minutes will be disqualified.
  5. Presentations are to be spoken word - no poems, rap, or songs
  6. Presentations are to commence from the front of the WT Young Auditorium
  7. Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech
  8. The decision of the adjudicating panel is final. The Top 5 presenters from each preliminary round will advance to the final championship round


  • 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?


  • 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?
  • Was the research topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate for a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range, maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • 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?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?


This event is free and open to the public.