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25 January 2016

Gearing Up for Canada’s 3Minute Thesis

Graduate education’s most popular – and most fun - skill development competition is gearing up for another round.

The University of New Brunswick in Fredericton is hosting the 2017 Eastern region. It is set to take place on April 20.  University of Waterloo has chosen April 12 as the big day that will see reps from Ontario schools compete for the regional champion. The Western Region will hold their event at the University of Saskatchewan on April 28.

Regional competitors are chosen from local competitions at approximately 40 schools. They are asked to present the complexities of their research in an engaging and accessible way before a live audience where they are recorded.  The videotaped presentations of the winners are then submitted to Canada’s 3MT virtual competition which is sponsored by CAGS.  The national winner will be announced the first week of June.  In previous years, winners have tackled the complexities of fighting failing eyesight, targeting aggressive breast cancer tumours, and developing technology to provide isolated communities with safe drinking water.

“Graduate schools have really stepped by using the 3MT to develop an important skill in their students,” says Brenda Brouwer, CAGS president.  “The presentations – and confidence levels – of students have improved every year.  It is inspiring to watch.”


Video recordings of 11 finalists will be profiled for a two-week period on the CAGS website. The judges’ panel will choose the national winner and a runner up based on those video presentations. Voting for the People’s Choice winner is open to the public and based on the number of likes/votes a video has received on the CAGS page.

First place winner receives $1,500 and an all-expenses paid trip to the CAGS annual conference in Quebec City.  Second place winner and People’s Choice winner receive $1,000 and $500 respectively.

CAGS also works with Association francophone pour le savoir – Acfas, to sponsor Ma thèse en 180 secondes. That competition will take place at Montreal’s McGill University on May 4, 2017.