3 Minute Thesis / Ma thèse en 180 secondes

“The 3MT helps you learn how to share your research to large diverse crowds of people in the most digestible way possible. This is likely one of the best skills you will ever learn!”

Kashif Khan wins both 1st Place & the People's Choice Award at the 3MT Eastern Regional in 2017Program Description

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is a global competition, founded by the University of Queensland in 2008, that cultivates graduate students' academic, presentation and research communication skills. Graduate students have 3 minutes to present a compelling presentation of the impact of their thesis to a non-specialist audience, using one static slide. 3MT competitions are now held in over 350 universities in 59 countries around the world.

Le MT180 s'inspire de 3MT, et a été repris en 2012 au Québec par l'Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas) qui a souhaité étendre le projet à l’ensemble des pays francophones.

Calendar of Events

December 2017 - January 2018: Call for submissions
January - February 2018: Training for all applicants
February - March 2018: Competition heats to select finalists for McGill competition
March 20, 2018: McGill 3MT/ MT180 Competition
April 18, 2018: CAGS Eastern Regional 3MT
May 9, 2018: ACFAS MT180

2018 Finalists

Name Faculty and Department Presentation Title

Hannah Alsdurf

Medicine/Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health

What does it cost to prevent people from developing active TB disease?

Scott Bell

Medicine/Integrated Program of Neuroscience

Turning waste into scientific wealth: Making stem cells from urine

Aren Bezdjian

Medicine/Experimental Surgery

Conduction Osseuse, la Révolution de l’Audio !

Michael Dahabieh

Medicine/Experimental Medicine

Perish of the peroxisome: my discovery and destruction of a hub in cancer metabolism

Fannie Dionne


Il était une fois... l'histoire de manuscrits huron-wendat

Rami Ghanem

Engineering/Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics

Developing the Pressure Tension Test

Gabrielle Houle

Medicine/Human Genetics

Stupeur et tremblements : Décoder la signature génétique du tremblement essentiel

Mark Kaji

Agricultural and Environmental Sciences/Parasitology

Real life vampires and how to kill them

Matthew Laaper

Science/Integrated Program in Neuroscience

Usability Testing on Blended Learning Initiatives (BLIs)

Sheri McDowell


The spread of breast cancer: obesity prepares the soil for the seed

Jay Olson


Placebo machines to treat disorders

Surashri Shinde

Medicine/Experimental Surgery

Trapping Cancer in Webs

Karena Volesky

Medicine/Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health

Infections….cancer, is there a link?

Robert Wu

Science/Earth and Planetary Sciences

Using light to cap mine waste


2018 Judges

Didier Jean-FrancoisDidier Jean-Francois, Principal, DJF Consult Canada
Didier holds a B.Sc in Biology from McGill and an MBA from the University of Notre-Dame. He is a specialist of the Biotech-Pharma space with his core experiences in R&D Alliances, Licensing, CMO, Marketing, Strategy, Branding & Identity, Corporate Communication, CRM and Sales. He has a broad experience in the health-sciences space with R&D platforms, therapeutics development in Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines, including: small molecules, upstream and downstream processes around Biologics and the development of Biomarkers. In addition to this he has some non-negligible experience in Medical Devices, CPG, Destination Based Entertainment, Sports Team management, and such areas as Basic Materials, Pulp & Paper, Aerospace, Fisheries, Food & Supplements and Publishing mainly through his management consulting experience with McKinsey & Co. Finally he is an accomplished Entrepreneur and Investor. On the investment side he focuses on long-term plays around real estate, stocks, and currencies. As an entrepreneur, he owns several companies, based out of Montreal PQ Canada including BLDG MWS, a real estate play; the SAF Entertainment Group Inc. vintage swing music and dance performances for television, movies, corporate functions, festivals & weddings as well as a vast array of services including dance lessons. He also runs several events such as the Canadian Swing Championships which he has been administering for the last 2 decades

Making pointed science meaningful to the masses is key to not only funding of research, but to development, diffusion of innovation and ultimately impact and the betterment of the human condition ideally in balance with our environment! I hope to be able to assist in whatever small way towards the attainment of such goals and ideals.

Valérie PatreauValérie Patreau, Montreal City Councillor, Joseph-Beaubien District, Borough of Outremont
Elected in November 2017, Mme. Patreau has a degree in aeronautical engineering and a professional background in sustainable development in innovation and research. Mme. Patreau is also Director of operations and technological transfer at Polytechnique Montréal’s CIRAIG (International Reference Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services). An active community member and member of Outremont’s Citizens Association, Mme Patreau is also part of the management team for of La Foulée des Parcs, an urban race bringing runners of all ages into the parks of Outremont with more than 2000 runners, 200 volunteers and 35 sponsors and partners.

Susan PollackSusan Pollock, Product Training Leader, CAE Inc.
Susan Pollock manages the product line for Boeing commercial flight simulators at CAE Inc, a market leader in civil aviation training.  She has more than 15 years experience in software and simulation, including AI for computer generated forces in simulation.  Ms. Pollock holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University and an Executive MBA from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business, as well as Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute.  She is an active member of the McGill Women’s Alumni Association and a representative for Centraide during its annual giving campaign.  

I look forward to hearing the students describe their own research, and getting their perspective on a subject they are passionate about.

Judith Ritter, Journalist and Independent Producer
Judith Ritter (judithritter.com) is an award-winning independent radio and print journalist whose reports from Canada, China, India, Europe, the Caribbean and the U.S. cover travel, science and technology, business, entertainment and international development. Her stories have aired on public radio at the national level in the U.S. and in Canada. Her print stories have appeared in numerous outlets including The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Boston Globe, South China Morning Post, Singapore’s Straits Times and many magazines. She has introduced audiences to the work of bomb squads, big rig drivers, longshoremen and tugboat captains and she has covered far-ranging issues such as labor abuses in China, the plight of homeless children in India and trends in higher education. She is a fearless traveler and hopes to brighten the world one story at a time.

I feel privileged to participate in the competition because I learn so much from each presentation and secondly, because the commitment, depth of knowledge and originality displayed by each candidate gives me hope for a future that advances knowledge and is truly international.

Dr. Laura Weiner Dr. Laura Winer, Director, Teaching and Learning Services (McGill)
Laura Winer (PhD, Educational Technology) is the Director of Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) at McGill University in Montreal. TLS oversees many University-wide initiatives, including the design and redesign of classrooms and teaching labs, faculty development programs, online education, student professional skills development, the appropriate and effective use of technology in teaching and learning, and policy development. Before coming to TLS she was in the Office of the Provost, as Special Advisor to the Provost. She also spent four years in the Office of the CIO as the Senior Educational Technologist and began her career at McGill in 1999 in the Centre for University Teaching and Learning, the precursor to TLS. She has taught in the Faculties of Education at McGill, Université de Montréal and Concordia University, conducted research on educational and training applications of information and communications technology, most recently in the field of medical education, and published and presented nationally and internationally on faculty development issues and integrating ICT into teaching and learning.

I am excited about learning about new research from new researchers.

Cathy WongCathy Wong, Montreal City Councilor, Peter-McGill
Diplômée en droit, Cathy Wong est devenue la première femme présidente du conseil municipal de la Ville de Montréal, et conseillère de ville dans le district Peter-McGill (centre-ville de Montréal) en novembre 2017. À l’âge de 27 ans, Cathy devenait la plus jeune présidente du Conseil des Montréalaises depuis sa création, et a occupé le poste d’agente de développement jeunesse pour les YMCA du Québec. Après avoir présidé le Jeune Conseil de Montréal et le Forum jeunesse de l’île de Montréal, Cathy a aussi siégé comme membre du conseil d’administration de la Société du 375e anniversaire de Montréal, du c.a. de Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec, du Théâtre Jean-Duceppe, ainsi que des comités consultatifs d’Élections Canada et de MaTV. Jusqu’en 2017, Cathy était chroniqueuse pour le quotidien Le Devoir. On a aussi pu l'entendre aux émissions Pas de midi sans info, Médium Large, PM et Plus on est de fous plus on lit, sur les ondes d'ICI Radio-Canada. Elle a également co-animé les émissions Les Oranges Pressées et Droit de cité sur les ondes de CIBL. Elle fut l’une des concurrentes de l'émission télévisée La Course Évasion autour du monde en 2011. Entre 2012 et 2016, elle a contribué aux efforts de reconstruction du YMCA d’Haïti à Port-au-Prince. Ses nombreux engagements lui ont valu en 2009, le prix Hommage Bénévolat-Québec remis par le ministère de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale, le prix Femmes de mérite du Y des femmes de Montréal (2014), ainsi que le prix «Personnalité de la diversité 2014» de l’agence de presse Médiamosaïque. En 2016, elle fut récipiendaire du Prix Reconnaissance dans la catégorie « Jeune professionnel » de la Young Chinese Professional Association (YCPA) et le prix des Administrateurs de la relève dans la catégorie « Administrateur de la relève » du Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce du Québec (RJCCQ). Elle reçut aussi le Prix de la relève du Conseil des diplômés de l'UQAM en novembre 2016.


Eligibility for participation

  • McGill’s 3MT competition is open to all Masters and Doctoral students who wish to present in English (Winners in the final competition represent McGill at the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies (CAGS) 3MT Eastern regional finals).
  • The Ma thèse en 180 secondes (MT180) McGill competition is open to Masters and Doctoral students who wish to present in French. (Winners in the final competition represent McGill at Concours d'association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS). Please note only Doctoral students can qualify to advance to ACFAS)
  • Students of all disciplines are encouraged to apply.
  • Students must be registered in an active Master’s or PhD program at McGill (including thesis under submission). The student’s program must include a significant research project (i.e., thesis, major research project, or dissertation) that is expert-reviewed in order to complete the program. *Note: Master’s programs that are entirely course-based are not eligible.
  • Submissions for proposals to present can be in English and French.


Rules of the competition

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description; the slide should clearly supplement the talk or be presented throughout the talk).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound or video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts his/her presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.

Training Workshop Information

Graduate students who submit to the 3MT/ MT180 participate in an intensive communication and presentation skills training program that prepares them to compete in preliminary heats. From the heats, a small group of finalists are selected to advance to the University-wide 3MT/ MT180 competition. Finalists also receive one-on-one training prior to the final competition.  

Participants can participate in two training sessions. Training sessions will allow participants to practice their presentations and receive constructive feedback prior to competition Heats. Upon registration to the McGill 3MT, participants may sign up for one training session the first week and return a week later, after having made amendments to the presentation, to practice a final time prior to the heats.

Training Dates Options
(Upon registration, you may choose which options suit your schedule)

Training Session 1 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
4:00 - 6:00pm
Bronfman 046

Wednesday, January 31, 2018
2:30 - 4:30pm
Bronfman 045

Thursday, February 1, 2018
10:00am - 12:00pm
McLennan Library Building, MS-55

Training Session 2

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
4:00 - 6:00pm
McLennan Library Building MS-55

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 
2:30 - 4:30pm
McLennan Library Building MS-55

Thursday, February 15, 2018
10:00am - 12:00pm
McLennan Library Building MS-55


Register to attend the McGill final competition, March 20

Click here to RSVP

You can watch a live stream of the McGill 3MT competition here



McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. McGill honours, recognizes and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which we meet today.