Three-Minute Thesis

The Ma thèse en 180 secondes / Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition asks doctoral students to present their research topic in simple terms to a diverse general audience. Each student must, in three minutes, present a clear, concise and nevertheless convincing explanation of their research project. The objective is to convey your passion for your research while informing people in an accurate, creative way.

2021 EDITION - You can vote only until Friday April 23, 2021 at 6 pm.

17 students defied the stopwatch to present their thesis in a 180 seconds – also known as the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.
The Polytechnique community is invited to vote for their favourite presentation!

> You can now see their presentations - and talents!

Polytechnique hopes to repeat the exploit this year by sending its best presenter to challenge those from other participating Canadian universities at the finals held by the Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas).

Polytechnique is also taking part in the English-language Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition organized by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS). Therefore, there will be an internal competition in French and one in English at Polytechnique.

The Office of Academic and Student Affairs and the Association des étudiants des cycles supérieurs de Polytechnique (AÉCSP), Polytechnique’s graduate student association, are organizing the internal selection competition for Polytechnique students. The competition winners will be determined by a jury made up of members of Polytechnique’s faculty and Québec’s science media.

INTERNAL SELECTION COMPETITION: between April 19th and 23th
REGISTRATION DEADLINE:  February 21th , 2021


For any questions or to sign up:


You don’t necessarily need to be at the end of your doctoral process to take part. Your doctoral project must simply be sufficiently advanced such that the problem is clearly defined. It is not necessary to present results.

You must introduce your research topic and explain the concepts of ideas in accessible language (your family should finally understand what you’re doing!). Demonstrate your passion for your research topic.


The Ma thèse en 180 secondes / Three-Minute Thesis competition provides you with a unique opportunity to polish your communication skills, while also giving you the chance to talk about your research in a public space. The presentations given at the university finals will be filmed and posted online. As well, it’s an excellent showcase for the media. For example, after winning in 2015, Odile Vekemans was interwied on the show L'invité on TV5MONDE+ and on the show Les années lumière on ICI Radio-Canada. After winning in 2014, Sami Hached was able to share his passion for his research work in Québec Science magazine, Le Journal de Montréal and on the show Les années lumière on ICI Radio-Canada.

  • The presentation must be given in French.
  • You must be enrolled or have been enrolled in a doctoral research program for the current school year (2016/2017) or have earned your doctorate during this school year.
  • You must not have won a jury prize or audience choice award at a preceding edition of the national finals Ma thèse en 180 secondes / Three-Minute Thesis.
  • You must be available to come to Montréal on Thursday, May 4, 2017, to compete in the national finals and the preparatory meeting, which will take place during the 84rd Acfas conference.
  • Present a sufficiently defined PhD project.
  • If you're one of the winners selected by the jury of the national finals to participate in the international final, you must be available and present at the international final and activities connected to it during the fall 2017 in Liège, Belgique (details to come).
  • Eleven contestants from the three regional competitions will compete for the National 3MT title.
  • Competitors who are eligible on the date of their first presentation in their local competition shall remain so for Canada’s 3MT irrespective of subsequent changes to their status (e.g. those who subsequently graduate before the date of the National finals.)
  • Finalists must have been registered in an active Masters or PhD program (including thesis under submission), eligible for Tri-Council funding at a CAGS member institution.
  • Anyone undertaking a professional/named/higher doctorate is not eligible.
  • Winners of Canada’s 3MT agree to be available for publicity and media interviews in the period following the announcement.
  • Canada’s 3MT first and second place winners will be decided by a panel of three non-specialist judges. The decision of the judges is final.
  • Canada’s 3MT People’s Choice Award will be open for public voting on the CAGS website.

National Finals : May 4, 2017 at McGill University

  • 1st prize: $1,500 
  • 2nd prize: $ 1,000
  • 3rd prize: $ 750
  • Audience choice award: $ 500

International Finals : September 28, 2017 at Liege in Belgium. Details to come.


Regional Finals : April 20, 2017 at University of New-Brunswick.

National Finals : In June 2017

  • 1st prize: $1,500 
  • 2nd prize: $ 1,000
  • Audience choice award: $ 500

Details to come.