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Three minutes. Eleven of Canada's best minds. The power of the spoken word

That's the formula for Canada's Three Minute Thesis Competition. It is a friendly but intense contest where graduate students present the complexities of their research in an engaging and accessible way before a live audience. In 2017, 42 of Canada’s graduate schools used the competition to refine the communication skills of students. Workshops, writing seminars, and practice sessions with mentors are part of the 3MT experience and contribute to the confidence and skillset of participants.

Students, future employers and the Canadian community all benefit from graduate students who communicate clearly and effectively. It is important that Canada and the world knows about the important work these students do. They are an important asset to this country. That’s why CAGS is proud to sponsor this project.

Getting to the national level requires winning at the regional events. In 2017, the University of Waterloo, University of Saskatchewan and University of New Brunswick hosted regional events. Videos from those events went live on the CAGS website for two weeks of public voting for the People’s Choice Winner. A national judges’ panel: Rob Baker (Tragically Hip), Nicola Luksic and Tom Howell (CBC Radio), and Ian Baines (engineer/entrepreneur) chose the top presentation.

CAGS sponsors the first place prize which includes $1,500 and an all-expenses paid trip to the CAGS annual conference. In 2017, the $1,000 second place prize was sponsored by Caisse Desjardins. And the People’s Choice award was sponsored by MITACS and included a $500 cheque. “It is so much more than a competition – it is a skill-building program that helps profile the ingenuity, academic rigour and passion of Canada’s graduate students Canada-wide 3MT project,” says Sally Rutherford, CAGS executive director.

Organizers agree.

“We were so energized by the sense of community that emerged among the competitors, and by the support and encouragement the competitors received from coordinators across all institutions,” says Angela Rooke, Manager, Professional Skills and Postdoctoral Affairs at the University of Waterloo. “They all deserve immense credit for making this competition such a positive experience.”

We encourage you to take part in this amazing initiative in 2018.

Contact us for more details

And for francophone students who want to compete, we encourage you to contact our sister organization ACFAS for information about ma-these-en-180-secondes. CAGS collaborates on this event each year as it profiles the best in graduate research and communication.

Watch 2017 3MT Videos


Canada’s 3MT: From Coast to Coast

Local competitions are the backbone of Canada’s 3MT

Canada’s 3MT competitions at individual schools are more than just contests. Participating grad schools hold workshops, organize individual coaching and practice sessions.
more info . . .


Canada’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Winners: Clarity, Savvy and Making a Difference

Ottawa - A PhD candidate working on the development of a pharmaceutical treatment as an option to delicate surgery is Canada’s Three Minute Thesis champion. Gah-Jone Won is a doctoral student at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science and the Department of Biology. His work focuses on the crystalline lens, a structure within the eye that changes shape in order to focus on nearby objects.

»»» more info


A Message from 2015 National Champion – Elizabeth Watt.

“Canada’s 3MT is just one example of excellent professional development opportunities offered to today’s graduate students. The idea that researchers need to present their ideas and results to the public is gaining traction. The speeches that I had the opportunity to hear at every level of the competition covered a vast range of topics.”
more info . . .


Advice from a former Canada 3MT winner

What will it take to win the 2015 Canada’s 3Minute thesis competition?
more info . . .

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.


3MT How-To Video