UA Grad Slam

Grad Slam - 1000 a minute

Grad Slam is a campus-wide competition for the best 3-minute graduate student presentation of a research or creative project. It is an excellent opportunity for students to enhance their communication skills and is an effective way of showcasing to the UA community and the public the innovative research and creative work associated with graduate education at the UA.

All disciplines are encouraged to participate. All talks must be live oral presentations. And did we mention that presenters could win an award of $3000 as well as a chance to compete at the statewide Arizona 3-Minute Grad Slam?

Use the links below to learn more about the competition.Femail student presenting on stage Registration to participate is open from December 2016 to February 17, 2017.

Grad Slam is hosted by the  the Graduate College and Graduate Center, and the Graduate and Professional Student Council.

Grad Slam 2017 Sponsors: Office for Research, Discovery, and Innovation, the University Libraries, the Institute of the Environment, and the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice.

Want to sponsor Grad Slam (an award area or the event itself) or have additional questions? Contact David Bradshaw at for more information.

Dates and Schedule

March 20, 2017 to April 4, 2017

  • Preliminary Rounds: March 20-March 24, 2017, Student Union Memorial Center, Copper Room and Agave Room
    • Morning Heats - 11 AM to 12 PM
    • Afternoon Heats - 1 PM to 2 PM
  • Semi-final Rounds: March 29, 2017, Old Main Silver and Sage Room
    • Morning Heat - 11 AM to 12 PM
    • Afternoon Heat - 1 PM to 2 PM
  • Final Round followed by reception: April 4, 2017, 5:30 PM, Student Union Gallagher Theatre

List of Presenters

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Grad Slam Awards

Female student presenting from a podium on stageGrand Prizes:

  • 1st Place Prize: $3000
  • 2nd Place Prize: $2000
  • 3rd Place Prize: $1000

Theme Awards:

  • Best Environmental Presentation sponsored by the Institute of the Environment: $1000
  • Best Social Justice and Environment Presentation sponsored by the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice: $1000

*NOTE: These awards do not conflict with Affordable Care Act rules. The awards are not counted toward work hours, and will be given to the winners either by check or disbursed through the winners' bursar accounts.

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Competition Format

Grad Slam is a tournament style competition. Students initially present in the preliminary rounds. Two students from each of the preliminary rounds will be selected to move to the semi-finals. Then, the top three students from the semi-final rounds are selected to present in the Final Round for the grand prizes. The top four finalists will qualify to compete in the statewide Arizona 3-Minute Grad Slam being hosted by the UA, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University in Phoenix on April 15, 2017.

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  • All graduate students may compete
  • All presentations must be three minutes long or less
  • Students may present on original research or creative projects they are conducting for a thesis, dissertation, terminal project, or any other project they are working on. The project can focus on the development of new ideas, methods, or products, or it may focus on the application and revision of current methods or models. Student artists should focus on how their creative work applies to the broader exchange of ideas and the role the creative work plays in providing new perspective or in changing attitudes.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word. Poems, raps, and songs in place of spoken word is not allowed, although an excerpt as part of the presentation is permitted.
  • Presentations may use supporting materials. If using slides, only 6 slides or less may be used, including the title slide.
  • Audio and video is permissible, but judging emphasis will be on the presentation
  • Previous 1st Place Winners of Grad Slam may not compete in subsequent Grad Slam competitions

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Judging Criteria and Scorecard

Prominent members of the University and Tucson community will serve as judges. Presenters will be evaluated on their ability to convey in a compelling fashion the value of their research or creative work to a non-specialist audience within the 3-minute time limit. Please download the Grad Slam Judge Criteria and the Grad Slam Scorecard for more details.

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Inspiration for UA Grad Slam

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Last updated 16 May 2017