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. Registration to participate is open from December 2016 to February 17, 2017.
- Competition Dates and Schedule of Speakers
- Grad Slam Awards
- Competition Format
- Competition Rules
- Judging Criteria and Scorecard
- Resources for a successful Grad Slam
- Inspiration for Grad Slam
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 email@example.com for more information.
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
- 1st Place Prize: $3000
- 2nd Place Prize: $2000
- 3rd Place Prize: $1000
- 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.
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.
- 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
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.
- Workshops and Information Sessions - Click here for a full schedule and listing of topics.
- View the presentations of previous Grad Slam Finalists at the Grad Slam Videos Page.
- Tech Launch Arizona's First Pitch Fridays - Want a practice your presentation? This is one place you can practice and get feedback, especially if your project has potential for commercialization.
- Video: Panel on Engaging Academic and Non-academic Audiences featuring Director of Communications Stephanie Balzer of the UA Foundation, Assistant Bob Logan of the College of Science, and Vice Provost Tom Miller (link is external)
- How to Give a Killer Presentation: Lessons from TED by Chris Andersen, Harvard Business Review, June 2013
- Giving an Academic Talk by Jonathan Shewchuk, Associate Professor in Computer Science, University of California at Berkeley
- Giving Oral Presentations from English Communication for Scientists by Jean-luc Doumont (ed.), Nature (2010)
- Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
- Making the Most of Your Three Minutes for 3MT: The Three Minute Thesis by Simon Clews, Director, Writing Centre, University of Melbourne
- 10 Hints for Improving Presentations for the Three Minute Thesis Competition by Danielle Fischer, Charles Darwin University
- TED Talks: Approximately 3-minute talks on “ideas worth spreading”
- PhD Comics Two-Minute Thesis: PhD Comics challenged graduate students to explain their work in two minutes – the best have been turned into videos!
- 3 Minute Thesis Competition Presentations: Top presentations from a multi-university thesis competition in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the South Pacific