Grad Slam 2020


Making your project matter to both other academics and your community is one of the most important professional skills to develop as a graduate student. Grad Slam is an opportunity to practice articulating your research's importance to others in a clear, engaging way while competing for prizes!

Continuing this year:

  • Participation Incentives for Humanities-Related Research

The Center for Ideas and Society is offering a $50 gift card to graduate students with research in or related to the humanities who: 1) attended an orientation; 2) participated in a preparation public speaking workshop; and 3) completed a preliminary round of competition.

  • UCR Palm Desert Exhibition

Grad Slam Finalists and Semi-Finalists will eligible to compete for a $500 audience choice award at the Grad Slam Palm Desert Exhibition on April 7, 2020.

  • When & Where

    Preliminary Rounds:

    • Round I:   Tuesday, February 11th, 3-4pm (HUB 367)
    • Round II:  Wednesday, February 12th, 10-11am (HUB 367)[
    • Round III: Thursday, February 13th, 12-1pm (HUB 367)
    • Round IV: Thursday, February 13th, 1:30-2:30pm (HUB 367)

    Semi-Final Rounds:

    • Tuesday, February 18th, 3-4pm (HUB 367)
    • Thursday, February 20th, 12-1pm (HUB 260)

    UCR Grad Slam Finals: Tuesday, March 3rd, 3:00-6:00pm (Culver Center of the Arts in Downtown Riverside)

    UCR Palm Desert Exhibition: Tuesday, April 7th, 6:00-8:00pm (UCR Palm Desert Campus)

    UCOP Grad Slam Finals: Friday, May 8th, 10:30am-1:30pm (LinkedIn Headquarters, San Francisco

  • Eligibility & Participation

    All eligible UCR graduate students are invited to apply to participate in Grad Slam.  To be eligible participants must:

    • Be registered as full-time graduate students in good standing
    • Be no more than one year beyond normative time
    • Submit a completed online application to participate (available Jan. 6, 2020)
    • Attend one GradSlam orientation and sign the video release
    • Be available to be present during one preliminary round, the UCR Finals, and the UCOP Finals (students may not miss class to present in a preliminary round)
    • Upload PowerPoint in accordance with guidelines onto the competition computer during one of the approved upload dates
    • Not have been selected as a UCR Grad Slam winner previously and not have been selected as a UCR Grad Slam 1st Runner-Up, UCR 2nd Runner-Up, or UCR Audience Choice Grad Slam winner in the 2019 competition.

    2020 Orientations will be held on:

    Wednesday, January 15th, 10-11am (Center for Ideas and Society)
    Thursday, January 16th, 2-3pm (LFSC 1425)
    Friday, January 17th, 12-1pm (LFSC 1425)
    Tuesday, January 21st, 10-11am (LFSC 1425)
    Wednesday, January 22nd, 3-4pm (LFSC 1425)
    Friday, January 24th, 12-1pm (LFSC 1425)
    Tuesday, January 28th, 2-3pm (Center for Ideas and Society)
    Thursday, January 30th, 12-1pm (LFSC 1425)

  • Application & Contestant Selection

    The online application will open on Monday, January 6th at 9am.  Applicants will be selected and scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications will be accepted through Friday, January 31st at 5pm.

    For your application, please prepare:

    •  Your tentative projected presentation title
    • A brief description of your presentation (no more than 3-4 sentences, does not have to be finalized)
    • Your availability for the orientations

    All those who attend orientation will then be invited to indicate their availability for the Preliminary rounds.

  • Preparation & Support

    Grad Slam represents an important professional development opportunity. Students have the opportunity to hone their skills in public speaking, engaging a broad audience, PowerPoint preparation, and effective use of visual aids. To help students prepare, GradSuccess is offering the following workshops and feedback sessions:

    Presenting Effectively with Visual Aids
    Tuesday, Jan. 21st at 12pm (LFSC 1425)

    Grad Slam Contestant Feedback Sessions
    Tuesday, Feb. 4th at 11am (LFSC 1425)
    Monday, Feb. 10th at at 12pm (LFSC 1425)

    To attend a feedback session, you must practice your Grad Slam presentation. Anyone who is not presenting will be asked to leave the room.

  • Rules & Prizes

    Presentations can be no longer than 3 minutes. Contestants will have only a 3 second "grace period" after the 3 minutes have elapsed; if they continue speaking past the "grace period," they will be disqualified. Contestants may use a PowerPoint presentation with up to a maximum of three slides (not including title slide, which we will create for you). PowerPoints may include embedded audio or video but may not include animation. The judges will evaluate the presentations according to the following criteria:

    • Clear and effective presentation
    • Accessible to a general audience
    • Foregrounds research's intellectual significance or creative work's impact

    The prizes are all fellowships and regular rules of financial aid apply:

    • UCOP Grand Prize: $6,000
    • UCOP First Runner-Up: $3,000
    • UCOP Second Runner Up: $1,000
    • UCR Grand Prize: $5,000
    • UCR First Runner-Up: $2,000
    • UCR Second Runner-Up: $1,000
    • Audience Choice Award: $1,000
    • Up to 8 Honorable Mentions: $100
    • Poster Presentation Winner: $500
  • Judges

    Coming Soon