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Grad Slam Judging

A photo of the 2018 Grad Slam judge panel.

Volunteer to Judge

Volunteers play a key role as competition judges for the Grad Slam Qualifying Round. All UC Davis faculty and staff members are invited to volunteer as a judge for the Grad Slam Qualifying round. No research experience is required, as presenters are tasked with communicating their research to a public audience. A panel of faculty and staff members will judge the preliminary round. The judges will be selected to ensure disciplinary diversity and every effort will be made to minimize conflicts of interest (e.g., a faculty advisor will not judge a preliminary round involving his or her advisee).

For more information about Grad Slam judging responsibilities, please contact Kathryn Raley, Program and Events Manager, at knraley@ucdavis.edu.

Competition Rules

  • Eligibility
  • All graduate students currently enrolled in UC Davis master's or doctoral graduate programs are eligible to compete in Grad Slam.
  • Collaboration
  • In cases of collaborative research, the presenter’s contribution to the project must be salient and clearly specified.
  • Technical
  • Please note: competitors will not be judged on video/recording quality. Judging will focus on the presentation and the ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience.

    -Participants must have a strong internet connection (preferably hardwired ethernet, but excellent wifi is also okay) and a suitable device (PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone with audio and camera).

    -The three-minute video must be continuous – no edits or breaks - and the submitted video must be of a single, unedited take. Students may not use editing software to modify any part of the video. 

    -No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted within the video recording.

    -Submissions may not contain any copyrighted material, such as licensed graphics.

    -Video submissions must be recorded in Zoom. One video per individual may be submitted. 

  • Presentation and Visuals
  • - One PowerPoint slide is allowed but optional; no Prezi or other presentation formats.

    - Maximum of one slide, exclusive of title slide provided by Graduate Studies.

    - Students must create their PowerPoint slide themselves - you cannot ask someone else to design the slide. Use of PowerPoint templates is allowed. The slide can include visual elements (charts, visualizations, photos, clip art, etc.) created by someone other than the student, as long as the slide credits the original creator.

    - Embedded audio and/or video clips (including but not limited to .gif, .avi, .mp4, .mp3, and .wmv file types) are not permitted unless they are deemed indispensable to the communication of the research topic. To request the inclusion of audio or video clip, participants must send both the presentation with the embedded media and a short statement of justification to the Graduate Studies Grad Slam Planning Committee. Requests must be sent to knraley@ucdavis.edu at least two weeks prior to the competition.

    - No PowerPoint animation effects are allowed (use of PowerPoint animation tab not allowed).

    - Props are allowed, but need to be cleared by the committee, require minimal set-up, and not produce a mess.

  • Timing
  • Timing will commence from the moment the student starts talking; points will be deducted from the final score as follows:

    - 3:03-3:04  1 point
    - 3:05-3:06  2 points
    - 3:07-3:08  3 points
    - 3:09-3:10  4 points
    - 3:11-3:12    5 points

    Speakers will be cut off at 3:30 (total 15 point deduction).
  • Judges
  • A panel of faculty and staff members will judge each preliminary round. The judges will be selected to ensure disciplinary diversity and every effort will be made to minimize conflicts of interest (e.g., a faculty advisor will not judge a preliminary round involving his or her advisee).
  • Winners
  • There will be 10 winners from the qualifying round that advance to the semi-final rounds. ​In the semi-final round the top winner will advance to the University of California final round. 

Judge Training Video