PhD Students

MT180 © 2023, Alain Herzog / EPFL

Kristina Makasheva presents her Thesis during the 6th Edition of the EPFL Final of the Competition "Ma thèse en 180 secondes" © Alain Herzog, EPFL 2022

EPFL Candidates for the Competition

Information and documentation to register and get ready for the competition !

Competition Phases

EPFL Final
(in English and French)
Registration 1 to 30 September
Coaching October / November
Selections January / February
EPFL Final
End of March
Swiss Final (in French) Organized by CUSO May or June
International Final (in French) Organized by AUF Automn

Information on the Competition

Each participant has three minutes to present his or her research, in plain language, to a non-specialist audience and a jury made up of researchers, journalists and business people.

The challenge: make your thesis topic easily understandable in clear, concise and convincing French or English – and with the help of only one slide! During the selections, participants are be filmed under competition conditions, and a multidisciplinary jury chooses finalists based on the videos, rating each participant’s performance according to the criteria in the official rules.

Participants also have a unique opportunity to take part in a day of training in public speaking given by media professionals. Their aim is to help you present your work effectively.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three presentations in the final. A special audience award will also be given.

The aim is also to inform the general public about the wide and exciting range of scientific research being carried out. Last but not least, it is an opportunity for participants to meet PhD students working in other fields and learn about their work.

Since 2016, the course is recognized by the EPFL Doctoral School. Participants in the MT180 competition may receive an ECTS credit towards their doctoral degree.

Conditions to receive credit are:

  1. To participate in one of the training course in English or in French.
  2. To participate in the selection process and obtain a score of 4/6 or higher.

Media professionals will provide advice on word choice, body language and intonation – the sort of feedback that will also prove useful in your future career.

Participation in one of the training session, in English or in French is one of the two conditions to receive an ECTS credit.

Courses are limited to 8 participants per day. Since places are limited to a maximum of 40 people, doctoral students nearing the end of their thesis are given priority.

At EPFL 14 PhD students are selected each year to participate in the final and present their Thesis in 180 seconds, either in French or in English

The jury for the final is made up of representatives from the scientific community and broader science world, the business world and the media.


1st place:  CHF 1000
2nd place: CHF   700
3rd place:  CHF   400
Audience Prize CHF   400

The best EPFL finalists will have the opportunity to compete in the Swiss Final organised by CUSO, which takes place every year in May or June in its French-speaking version

My Thesis in 180 Seconds” competitions  are implemented in several countries, with French-language versions taking place namely in Canada, France, Belgium and Morocco.

MT180 was inspired by “Three Minute Thesis (3MT®),” which was first held at the University of Queensland, Australia in 2008.

The best finalist in Switzerland can compete in the international final organized in French by the  Agence universitaire de la Francophonie.