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?

    Registration links for the competition, information sessions, and workshops are available at

    Use the links below to learn more about the competition.Femail student presenting on stage

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

    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

    April 1, 2020, to April 16, 2020

    • Preliminary Rounds: April 1 and 2, Student Union Tubac and Presidio Rooms (4th Floor), 1303 E University Blvd., 9 AM to 5:45 PM
    • Semifinal Rounds: April 9, Student Union Kiva Auditorim, 1303 E University Blvd., Schedule TBD
    • Final Round followed by reception: April 16, Student Union South Ballroom, 1303 E University Blvd, Schedule TBD

    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

    Themed Awards:

    Themed Awards information is in the process of being updated and confirmed as of December 16, 2019. More informaiton will become available in Spring 2020.


    PLEASE NOTE: All Grad Slam awards are in compliance 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.

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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. Slides must be in PowerPoint or PDF formats.
    • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
    • Audio and video is permissible, but judging emphasis will be on the presentation.
    • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
    • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
    • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
    • 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 Scorecard for more details.

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    Inspiration for UArizona Grad Slam

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    Last updated 23 Jan 2020