It's Time for GRAD SLAM!

Are you a grad student conducting research or working on a creative project at UCR?
Eager to share that work with the campus community and broader public?
Looking to get feedback on your presentation skills?

Interested in potentially winning money and competing systemwide?

If you answered yes to any of these questions… Grad Slam 2023 is for you!


[Image Description: Tim Meadows in "The Goldbergs" smiles and says, "Count me in."]

What is a Grad Slam?

Grad Slam is a UC-wide competition in which graduate students have the opportunity to showcase their research or creative projects in short, compelling talks with limited visual aids. Participating students hone their professional skills as they practice articulating the importance of their work in a clear, engaging manner. Presentations last just 3 minutes and are scored by a panel of judges that provide the speakers with feedback.

What’s new this year?

We have new rules from UCOP this year that will limit contestants to a single (optional) PowerPoint slide for their presentation. The visual aids category has also been removed from the scoring rubric. However, you WILL now be allowed to use animations in your slide should you choose to incorporate a visual presentation. As in 2022, the preliminary round of competition involves submitting a video of your talk, but we are hoping to shift to in-person competitions for the semi-final and final rounds. Our website has all of the details and updates for the preliminary round here: If you still have questions, please contact

Can you say more about the prizes?
Graduate Division awards the speaker that is highest-rated by the judges with a $5,000 fellowship! The winner will then have the opportunity to advance to the UCOP Finals for a chance to win another $7,000 fellowship.

But that’s not all! Graduate Division will also award $2,000 to the first runner-up, $1,000 to the second runner-up, $1,000 to the speaker who wins the audience choice vote, and $250 to each of up to 8 honorable mentions.


[Image Description: A smiling young woman receives a trophy as money falls from the sky.]

Pictured: #winning

This sounds cool! How do I get in on it?

The application link for the Grad Slam preliminary competition round will be on the 2023 Grad Slam website starting Monday, January 9th, and contestants must submit their recorded talk no later than noon on Wednesday, February 1st. Information on eligibility, video submission and video and technical rules are available at our 2023 Grad Slam website:

Preparation and support resources will be available to competitors during the preliminary round in the form of workshops and office hours, where you can ask questions and get feedback on your ideas. Here’s the schedule:

What if I make it past the preliminary round?

You should celebrate!


[Image Description: Elmo on Sesame Street dances with a yellow party hat on his head.]

Pictured: Get your groove on, Elmo!

Then you should prepare for the semi-finals, which will take place in late February. Since we hope to hold these in person, we’ll be providing additional presentation and preparation support at this stage. Please consult our website for more updates about the semi-finals later in January.

The UCR Grad Slam Final will take place at the Alumni & Visitors Center on Thursday, March 9th.

Don’t keep your amazing work to yourself – compete in Grad Slam and share that brilliance with the WORLD!


[Image Description: Lin-Manuel Miranda jumps out of his seat applauding at the Tony Awards.]

Pictured: Even the usually low-key Lin-Manuel Miranda is excited...