About Grad Slam
Grad Slam is an annual contest in which master’s and Ph.D. students across UC campuses – in disciplines ranging from hard sciences to the arts humanities – compete to sum up their research for a general audience. Students should present the significance and fundamental points of their work at UC Davis in a clear, direct, and interesting manner. Participants are judged on how well they engage the audience, how clearly they communicate key concepts and how effectively they focus and present their ideas—all in three minutes or less.
Rules and Requirements
- All graduate students currently enrolled in UC Davis master's or doctoral graduate programs are eligible to compete in Grad Slam.
- In cases of collaborative research, the presenter’s contribution to the project must be salient and clearly specified.
- Presentation and Visuals
PowerPoint slides are allowed but optional; no Prezi, Google drive or other presentation formats.
- Maximum of 3 slides
- Title slide template to be generated by the Graduate Studies
- All work on the slides must be original to the student and cannot be generated by a professional
- Embedding of audio and/or video clips is allowed, but no other animations
- Props are allowed, but need to be cleared by the program coordinators, require minimal set-up, and not produce a mess
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 pointSpeakers will be cut off at 3:30 (total 15 point deduction).
- 3:05-3:06 2 points
- 3:07-3:08 3 points
- 3:09-3:10 4 points
- 3:11-3:12 5 points
- 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).
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.
Participants who advance to the final round in the UC Davis Grad Slam competition will compete for the following prizes:
- First Place: $2,500
- Second Place: $1,500
- Third Place: $750
- People's Choice: $500
The first place winner at the campus level will have the opportunity to compete for the grand prize of $5,000 at the UC Grad Slam final contest.
This year's Grad Slam Qualifying Round will take place on February 7, 2019. Expect a fast-paced, competition much like American Idol...only with thrilling graduate research.
A panel of judges will assess the quality and clarify of the 3-minute presentations. The top ten presenters will be announced the following day and will be given instructions and tips for the UC Davis Final Round. All participants will also receive their scores, judge feedback, and a headshot that can be used on their LinkedIn profiles.
UC Davis Grad Slam - Davis Qualifying Round
February 7 | Student Community Center, Room D
UC Davis Grad Slam - Sacramento Qualifying Round
February 8 | Education Building Room 1204, Sacramento Campus
Qualifying Round Participant Information and Instructions
- All rooms will be equipped with a laptop, projector, slide advancer remote, laser pointer, and microphone.
- Please arrive at the venue at least 15 minutes before your scheduled round to allow for check-in and other prep.
- You must send your PowerPoint slides to Kathryn Raley, firstname.lastname@example.org at least 1 week prior to your scheduled presentation date. (See Rules on slide design.) They will be pre-loaded onto a Graduate Studies laptop for display during your presentation. Slides should be set to 4:3 aspect ratio in order to ensure proper display during your talk. A remote will be available to advance through your slides.
- Photography and Videography
- By entering the competition, you agree to allow UC Davis Graduate Studies to use the resulting photographs and/or video from Grad Slam, which may include your image or presentation, for publicity surrounding the contest and/or in other contexts, such as promotional materials, website, etc.
Come and watch the top ten UC Davis Grad Slam finalists compete for the top spot in at the University of California Championship. The finalists will be announced and profiled following the Qualifying Round on February 7.
Last year's final round sold out, so be sure to register early!
UC Davis Grad Slam Final Round
March 13 | UC Davis Conference Center