Launched in 2013, Grad Slam is an award-winning campus-wide competition for the best three-minute talk by a graduate student. Students present the central points of their project in a clear, direct, and interesting manner for a diverse audience comprised of students, faculty, and community members.
There are three rounds of presentations – preliminaries, semifinals, and finals – and prizes are given at each stage of advancement. Participants are judged on the basis of having a clear and effective presentation that is geared for a general university audience and has demonstrable intellectual significance. The competition also features a People's Choice component, where audience members select their favorite presenters in each of the preliminary rounds (see Rules and Judging below for more details).
For more information on each year's Grad Slam competition, click below:
INFORMATION FOR PRESENTERS
Venue: Grad Slam rounds will take place in many different venues across campus. You will be notified of your presentation time and venue.
Equipment: All rooms will be equipped with a laptop, projector, slide advancer remote, laser pointer, and microphone.
Day-of: Please arrive at the venue at least 15 minutes before your scheduled round to allow for check-in and other prep. Presenters will have assigned seating at the venue.
Slides: You must send your PowerPoint slides to Robert Hamm at least 1 week prior to your scheduled presentation date. (See Rules and Judging below for more stipulations on slide design.) They will be pre-loaded onto a Graduate Division 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 the UCSB Graduate Division to use the resulting photographs and/or video from the 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. If you have questions or concerns about making your presentation publicly available, please contact Robert Hamm.
RULES AND JUDGING
Eligibility: All graduate students currently enrolled in UCSB Master’s or doctoral graduate programs are eligible to compete.
Collaboration: In cases of collaborative research, the presenter’s contribution to the project must be salient and clearly specified.
Visuals: PowerPoint slides are allowed but optional; no Prezi or other presentation formats.
- Maximum of 3 slides, exclusive of title slide to be generated by the Graduate Division
- 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: 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 two faculty members and one staff member 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).
People's Choice: During each of the preliminary rounds, attendees will have the chance to vote for their favorite presenter via anonymous ballots. The winner of the People’s Choice from each preliminary round will advance to a special semifinal round, where they will compete against other People’s Choice winners for two spots in the final round. Note: Audience members must be present for all the talks in a given round in order to vote for People's Choice.
Winners: There will be 3 winners from each preliminary round (2 Judges' Choice and 1 People's Choice) that advance to the semifinal rounds. In the first two semifinal rounds (which are composed of Judges' Choice winners), 4 winners will advance to the final round. In the third semifinal round (which is composed of People's Choice winners), 2 winners will advance to the final round. All of the presenters that advance from the semifinal rounds to the final round will be selected by that round's judging panel.
Scorecard: To download a PDF of the scorecard that judges will use, please click here.
Contact Robert Hamm, Director of Graduate Student Professional Development at UCSB.