McGill’s 3MT/MT180


McGill’s 3MT competition is open to all Master’s and Doctoral students. Submissions for proposals to present in English and French. The MT180 competition is open to Doctoral students.

Winners in the final competition represent McGill at the CAGS (Canadian Association of Graduate Studies) 3MT Eastern regional finals and concours Acfas (Association francophone pour le savoir)  Ma thèse en 180 secondes. The audience selects their favourite by casting a vote for the People’s Choice Award.


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


Judges should be selected from diverse disciplinary backgrounds. They evaluate presenters on the following criteria.

Comprehension and content

  • 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?
  • Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • 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?

Engagement and communication

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialise or generalise their research?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?

Timing of McGill’s 3MT/ MT180

December - January: Call for submissions
January - February: Training for all applicants
February - March: Competition heats to select finalists for McGill competition
Mid-March: McGill 3MT/ MT180 Competition
April - May: National competitions (CAGS Eastern Regional 3MT Finals; ACFAS MT180)

Training Program

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.  

As a McGill student, your participation in full to activities such as training workshops and volunteering are tracked on your Co-Curricular Record (CCR)! Having your co-curricular activities listed in one document can help you revise your CV or cover letter, prepare for interviews, and explore career options. Learn how to leverage this important document through myInvolvement, and make your training count!
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