My thesis in 180 seconds

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Presenting your research topic in three minutes flat with the help of a single slide: that's the challenge set by the national popular science competition "MT180s - My thesis in 180 seconds", only open to doctoral students.

Photo : Finalists of the 2022 Competition:
Finalists of the 2022 Competition: "My Thesis in 180 seconds" @ Gautier Dufau

MT180 is a competition open to doctoral students. The challenge is for students to present their research topics in simple terms in front of a diverse, non-expert audience.

Each participant must make a clear, concise and convincing presentation of his or her research project in three minutes with a single slide.

More than just a competition, it is also an opportunity for the junior researchers to learn how to communicate and popularise their passion for research.


Inspired by the concept of the Three minute thesis, which originated at the University of Queensland in Australia, the competition was started for the first time in French in 2012 in Quebec by Acfas (Association francophone pour le savoir).

The challenge was launched in France in 2014 by France Universités and the CNRS. Since its arrival in France, University of Bordeaux doctoral students have taken part every year. In 2022, the university participated in its 9th competition.

Learn more

Tailor-made training

To meet the challenge, doctoral students receive training in writing and public speaking, coordinated by the Graduate Research School, to help them popularise their research and quickly capture an audience's attention. During the latest competition, approximately 20 doctoral students from the University of Bordeaux took up the challenge.

A competition in several stages

  • The final round at the University of Bordeaux with 16 doctoral students leads to the selection of four winners: three are picked by a jury made up of representatives from the world of research, the media or scientific culture, and one winner is chosen by the public. A University of Bordeaux semi-final can be organised if there are more than twenty participants in the competition.
  • The regional final brings together the winners from the university clusters, and only two winners are selected from each cluster. The University of Bordeaux belongs to the cluster that also includes the University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour, Bordeaux Montaigne University and La Rochelle University
  • A nationwide semi-final is then organised over 2.5 days to select 16 candidates who will participate in the national final.
  • The national final determines the doctoral student representing France during the last stage.
  • The international final is organised in the autumn and brings together the winners from the different French-speaking countries participating in the competition. It is an opportunity for the participants to face other audiences, in other places, to meet other researchers and to confront the universality of research.

In 2022, Pierre Damien Fougou, a doctoral student in law at the University of Bordeaux reached the national final on 31st May in Lyon and won the prize awarded by secondary students: "Prix des lycéennes et des lycéens".

Read about him (in french)

Pierre Damien Fougou, doctoral student in law and national finalist in the 2022 MT180s © Gautier Dufau
Pierre Damien Fougou, doctoral student in law and national finalist in the 2022 MT180s © Gautier Dufau


  • Blanche Masclef

    Project Manager: Training and Career Development for Doctoral students

  • Delphine Charles

    Scientific Communications Manager