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Grad Slam 2022

 

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!

If  you want to participate, please view the UCR Grad Slam 2022 Competitor Orientation video above, and take the short quiz at the end. We will also have professional development workshops on January 11 and January 18 to help you formulate and prepare your Grad Slam presentation. Once you have viewed the orientation video and attended at least one of the workshops, you can find the application and presentation upload form linked in the comments of the YouTube video above. A slide deck explaining the process can be found here.

We hope to see you at Grad Slam 2022!

Grad Slam 2022 Fast Facts

Here is an overview of the different facets of Grad Slam from when & where, to eligibility, support, and prizes. Click on the category you are interested in.

  • Why should I enter Grad Slam?
    Professional Development

    Gain valuable experience in presenting your research to non-academic audiences.  

    Public Speaking

    Grad Slam provides an opportunity to hone your public speaking skills. 

    Network

    Presenting your research can open the door to new opportunities.

    Expand your CV/Resume

    Participating in Grad Slam will look great on your CV/Resume.

    Prize Money

    You could win up to a $12,000 stipend!  

  • Application & Contestant Selection

    Application

    The online application will only be available to students who have completed the Mandatory Competitor Orientation. To view the Mandatory Competitor Orientation visit: https://youtu.be/bTlmrEIxz1M.  Complete the steps below to be considered for the Grad Slam 2022 Competition. 

    1. View Mandatory Competitor Orientation video (https://youtu.be/bTlmrEIxz1M) to become familiar with Grad Slam competition guidelines.
    2. Complete the online application by January 24, 2022. Link will be available at the end of the Mandatory Competitor Orientation video. 

    Contestant Selection

    There are four levels of the Grad Slam competition.  

    Preliminary Round

    Students interested in competing in Grad Slam 2022 submit a video of their three-minute presentation. A panel of judges will score the videos and up to 16 semi-finalist will be chosen. Videos will be due by January 24, 2022.

    Semi-Final Round

    Semi-Final rounds will be held online via Zoom where Semi-Finalist will be presenting live in the comfort of their homes or environment of their choosing.  A panel of community leaders and UCR management will serve as judges and score the presentations asynchronously. Semi-Finals will take place online via Zoom on February 17, 2022.

    UCR Final Round

    The UCR Grad Slam Final will be held at UCR's Alumni Center on March 3, 2022.  The Final will be live-streamed for a wider audience. The UCR Grad Slam Final will be in front of a panel of distinguished judges, UCR Leadership and the Graduate Division Staff.  To provide a safe, Covid-aware space, no live audience members will be present.  

    UC-Wide Competition

    The UCR Final winner will compete at the UC system-wide Grad Slam event.  Details about the 2022 competition are still unavailable due to COVID restrictions.  Typically, this event is held in Northern California (Oakland/San Francisco).  If the event format is in-person, all expenses will be covered for the finalist to attend the competition.

  • When & Where

    Preliminary Round:  

    Students interested in competing in Grad Slam 2022 must submit a video of their three-minute presentation. From those submissions, a panel of judges will score the videos and up to 16 semi-finalist will be chosen.  In order to be invited to upload your video for the preliminary round, you will need to complete the Mandatory Competitor Orientation and application. The Mandatory Competitor Orientation will include rules and guidelines and go over the judging criteria. Once the training is completed, you will be given an application link with instructions on how to submit your video.  Videos will be due by January 24, 2022.

    Semi-Final Rounds: 

    Semi-Finalist will be notified by February 2, 2022 to confirm their availability and participation. Semi-Final rounds will be held online via Zoom where Semi-Finalist will be presenting live in the comfort of their homes or environment of their choosing.  The Graduate Division conference room (UOB 145) will be available for those needing a reliable internet connection. Please refer to the Video & Technical Rules tab for suggestions on how you can successfully present through Zoom. Semi-Finals will take place online via Zoom on February 17, 2022. 

    UCR Grad Slam Finals:

    Finalists will be notified by February 18, 2022 to confirm their availability and participation. The UCR Grad Slam Final will be in-person at UCR's Alumni Center on March 3, 2022.  The UCR Grad Slam Final will be in front of a panel of distinguished judges, UCR Leadership and the Graduate Division Staff.  To provide a safe, Covid-aware space, no live audience members will be present.  The Final will be live-streamed for a wider audience.

    UCOP Grad Slam Finals:  

    Date, location and format of the UCOP Grad Slam Finals are TBA.

  • 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
    • Be enrolled through Spring 2022
    • Complete the Mandatory Competitor Orientation (https://youtu.be/bTlmrEIxz1M) to indicate participation interest by January 22, 2022. To participate in the Professional Development event on January 11, 2022, please attempt to complete the Mandatory Competitor Orientation (https://youtu.be/bTlmrEIxz1M) by January 9, 2022.
    • Submit an online application along with your presentation video by January 24, 2022.
    • Be available to be present during a semi-final round (online via Zoom), the UCR Finals (in-person at UCR's Alumni's Center), and the UCOP Finals (TBD). 
    • Upload PowerPoint in accordance with guidelines and instructions by the APRO Staff during 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 2020 competition.
  • 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 and commit, APRO is offering the following workshops and feedback sessions:

    For students considering the Grad Slam 2022 Application:

    Virtual Interactive Workshop

    APRO Virtual Office Hours

    • APRO professional staff will hold office hours to provide tips, pointers, and answer any questions relating to the Grad Slam Competition. 
    • Office Hours will be from January 4th - January 23rd
      • Every Tuesday: 2:00 P.M - 3:00 P.M  
      • Every Wednesday: 11:00 A.M-12:00 P.M   

    Presenting Effectively with Visual Aids

    • TBA

    For students participating in Grad Slam 2022:

    Virtual Interactive Get Connected Workshop

    Presenting Effectively with Visual Aids

    • TBA

    Grad Slam Contestant Feedback Sessions

    • TBA

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

  • General Rules & Prizes

    General Rules

    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

    Prizes

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

    • UCOP Grand Prize: $7,000
    • UCOP First Runner-Up: $4,000
    • UCOP Second Runner Up: $2,000
    • UCOP Audience Choice Award: $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
  • Video & Technical Rules

    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. 

    Presentation/Slides:

    • Slides are optional. Maximum, 3 contestant generated PowerPoint Slides, which may not be created or edited by a professional.
    • Do not include a title slide within your presentation. We will provide the title slide and it will not be counted towards the 3-slide maximum. 
    • If you use slides, they should not be the sole element onscreen for more than 50% of the video. You, the presenter, should occupy screen-time more than 50% of the video.

    Video Recording:

    • Participants must have a strong internet connection (preferably hardwired ethernet, but excellent wifi is okay) and a suitable device (PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone with audio and camera).
    • You must be viewable on screen for the entire duration of your video.
    • 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. 
    • One video per individual may be submitted.

    Recommendations:

    • Be as brief and concise as possible when introducing yourself. Your 3-minute time block will begin as soon as you being to speak and/or engage with the crowd. 
    • Remain in a quiet, well lit area. Restrain from having echos in the background. 
    • Try to limit the amount of distractions in your background. Solid colored walls, backgrounds with minimal objects and patterns are okay. 

     

  • Judges

    Please check back to view the name and short biographies of the judges. This information will be updated as soon as possible. 

  • Scoring
    • Clarity
      • Did the speaker provide adequate background knowledge to make the talk and the importance of the project understandable?
    • Organization
      • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
    • Delivery
      • Does the student’s body language, eye contact, pace, and vocal range contribute to the presentation’s effectiveness?
      • Does the student deliver the talk without relying excessively on notes?
      • Is the student’s presentation style confident and enthusiastic?
    • Visuals
      • Are the student’s visuals (slides, images, video, props, etc.) well-designed, clear, legible, and concise?
      • Do the visuals both enhance the presentation and emphasize the primary points of the talk?
      • No visuals?
        • 5 points = I understood the presentation and it kept my attention despite the lack of visuals
        • 1 point = The presentation needed visuals to help me understand or to keep my attention
    • Appropriateness
      • Was the topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent, but non-specialist audience?
      • Did the speaker avoid discipline-specific jargon or explain it when necessary?
    • Significance
      • Does the student foreground why this project matters in his/her field?
      • If the student presents on collaborative work, was the student’s unique contribution clearly specified?
    • Engagement
      • To what extent did the talk speak to the judges’ intellectual curiosity?
      • Did it make the judges want to learn more about the topic?

     

  • Resources

    Mandatory Competitor Training video:  https://youtu.be/bTlmrEIxz1M

    UCOP Grad Slam official page:  https://gradslam.universityofcalifornia.edu

    2016 UCOP Final winner from UCR: https://youtu.be/14KtIkne68E

    UC Berkeley Professor Jonathan Shewchuk’s “Giving an Academic Talk":  https://people.eecs.berkeley.edu/~jrs/speaking.html

    Explaining Quantum Computing to Kids, Students, and Professionals: https://youtu.be/OWJCfOvochA

    How to Talk like TED by Carmine Gallo, Article by Guy Kawasaki: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140306161616-2484700-how-to-talk-like-ted/

    Giving Oral Presentations from English Communication for Scientists by Jean-luc Doumont: https://www.nature.com/scitable/ebooks/english-communication-for-scientists-14053993/giving-oral-presentations-14239332/

  • Contact Us

    Contact us:

     

    Laura McGeehan

    Director, Academic Preparation, Recruitment and Outreach

    Laura.mcgeehan@ucr.edu

    UOB 134

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    Nancy Cruz

    Admissions & Recruitment Specialist

    Nancy.cruz@ucr.edu

    UOB 136

     

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