What is Lunch & Learn?

They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. They also say that knowledge is the food of the soul. What if you could have both?

Lunch & Learn is a monthly informal seminar series that provides grad students with two important things: free lunch and a chance to socialize with and learn from their peers from across the campus.

The series is co-sponsored by the Graduate Division, the Graduate Student Association, and the Library, and each event features 15-minute talks by two graduate students – one from a STEM discipline (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and one from a SHEF discipline (Social Science, Humanities, Education, and Fine Arts).

However, unlike traditional seminars and lectures, Lunch & Learn encourages speakers to communicate their topic in whatever way they feel most comfortable, welcoming anything from PowerPoint slides to fireside chats to hands-on demonstrations.

Sounds great! When can I attend?

Lunch & Learn runs year-round (even in the summer!) and happens once a month, except in December and April. We post event dates and full event details in the GradPost Events section about 1-2 weeks prior. Currently, all Lunch & Learn events are being conducted remotely, via Zoom. In place of pizza, all attendees are entered into a raffle to win free gift cards to Target.

We ask attendees to RSVP ahead of time for each event to receive the Zoom link.

I think I'm interested in being a presenter. Tell me more!

What is it about your research that motivates you to get up every morning (even on weekends) and go in to the lab, the library, or your field site? What are the parts of your research that you may not get to talk about as much? Well, we want to know!

Lunch & Learn offers you the opportunity to present your research the way you want to a smart, friendly, and non-specialist audience of your peers. It can help you experiment with the use of interactive tools on Zoom, such as polls and breakout rooms, to help your audience engage with your research. It's also great for practicing public speaking and expanding your CV. We are currently seeking speakers for our upcoming events, so sign up today!

Need inspiration? Check out information on our past Lunch & Learns

Where can I practice? 

The Graduate Student Resource Center team is happy to help you do a dry run of your presentation on Zoom as well as to help you set up live polls and other features for your presentation.

When the campus returns to normal operations, UCSB Library also has a Presentation Practice Room available for reservation by UCSB students, faculty, and staff. Located on the 1st Floor Mountain Side (room 1506), the space allows you to practice, refine, and record oral and multimedia presentations for classes and seminars, conferences, teaching preparation, Lunch & Learn, Grad Slam, thesis defenses, and other events. Learn more here

Upcoming Lunch & Learns (2020-2021)

All events will be held virtually until further notice                   

  • Friday, November 13, 2020
  • Friday, January 15, 2021
  • Friday, February 12, 2021
  • Friday, March 12, 2021
  • Friday, May 7, 2021
  • Friday, June 4, 2021


Email Chava Nerenberg, the Graduate Programming Assistant.