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Grad Slam

“The communications course at UCI’s Graduate Resource Center (GRC) was instrumental in helping me win the inaugural Grad Slam competition, because it taught me about different aspects of speaking and engaging with the audience and I highly recommend the course for all graduate scholars.”-Ashley Fong, 2015 Grad Slam Winner

Congratulations to Mallory Hinks, Chemistry, UCI’s Grad Slam winner! Her research focuses on understanding how aerosols interact with sunlight in the atmosphere.  She receives $2,500 and will face off against champions from our sister campuses in the system-wide competition at the LinkedIn headquarters in San Francisco on April 22. 

Our second place winner is Andre White, Neurobiology and Behavior who receives $500 and in third place is Jessica Hsieh, Biomedical Engineering winner of $250.  Congratulations to all the winners and best of luck to Mallory.

A very special thank you to our wonderful judges including Greg Campbell, Dean’s Leadership Council member; Ashley Fong, 2015 Grad Slam Champion; Melissa Beck, CEO Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Orange County and Inland Empire; and Bryan Starr, Senior Vice President, Orange County Business Council.  We look forward to seeing you again next year.

Grad Slam is a systemwide competition that showcases and awards the best three-minute research presentations by graduate scholars. This competition will not only highlight the excellence, importance and relevance of UCI graduate scholars and their research, but it is also designed to increase graduate students’ communication skills and their capacity to effectively present their work with poise and confidence. It is an opportunity to share accomplishments with the campus, friends of UCI, the local community, and the broader public.  Last year, UCI Ph.D. candidate, Ashley Fong brought home the big win for UCI and we hope to repeat this year. 

General Information Contact:  Dean’s Office Assistant, Megan Story
Media Inquiries: Communications Director, Wida Karim

SCHEDULE

  • Application and video submission deadline: January 15, 2016
  • Semi-finals: February 25, 2016
  • Finals: April 1, 2016 – Newkirk Alumni Center

PRELIMINARIES

Fill out the Grad Slam Application Form and include the URL to your video by January 15, 2016.

Video Instructions:

  • Record a three-minute video of yourself explaining your research and its significance as if speaking to an audience of people without academic experience in your field. Consider the video a rough draft, letting the judges get a sense of your research and the impact you believe it may have. The video will not be judged on production value.
  • The video should be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo and available for judges to view January 15 – February 25. The video will only be shared with internal UCI judges and will not be shared beyond that without consent from the contestant.
  • At the beginning of your video, please state your full name, graduate program, and title of your video. The time it takes to do this will not be counted against the three minutes you may take to present your research.
  • Videos may be recorded on your cell phone/personal video device or using equipment from the Multimedia Resource Center at the library.

SEMI-FINALS

Students gave their three-minute research presentations in front of a panel of judges during the semi-finals on February 25,2016.

The top contestants who will be moving on to the campus finals on April 1 are as follows:

Jeremy Eaton       Physics

Mallory Hinks       Chemistry

Jessica Hsieh       Biomedical Engineering

Xiang Li               Biomedical Engineering

Elena Liang          Biomedical Engineering

Suman Mitra        Transportation Science

Johannes Rebelein   Molecular Biology & Biochemistry

Andre White          Neurobiology and Behavior

Congratulations and good luck at the finals!

FINALS

Finals will be held on April 1, 2016 in the Newkirk Alumni Center at 2 PM. Contestants will give their three-minute research presentations in front of a panel of judges and a live audience. Students may use up to three PowerPoint slides, with rules governing their use listed under the rules tab below.

All are invited to attend, but audience members will be expected to stay for the entire event.

The winner will go on to represent UC Irvine at the UC systemwide finals on April 22.

Our campus finalists are:

Jeremy Eaton       Physics

Mallory Hinks       Chemistry

Jessica Hsieh       Biomedical Engineering

Xiang Li               Biomedical Engineering

Elena Liang          Biomedical Engineering

Suman Mitra        Transportation Science

Johannes Rebelein   Molecular Biology & Biochemistry

Andre White          Neurobiology and Behavior

Congratulations and good luck at the finals!

RULES

Eligibility

All graduate students currently enrolled throughout the time of the competition in UC Irvine Master’s or doctoral graduate programs.

Presentation

  • Slides are optional, but strongly encouraged.  
  • Presenters will be limited to a maximum of 3 PowerPoint slides, exclusive of the title slide.
  • No Prezi or other presentation formats will be permitted.
  • Embedding of audio and/or video clips is allowed (clips may contain animation).
  • No PowerPoint animations are allowed (see PowerPoint animation tab).
  • All work on the slides must be original to the student and cannot be generated by a professional. Images must be properly attributed.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • All presentations will be pre-loaded on the laptop on the day of the competition. You will be required to email your PowerPoint presentations to storym@uci.edu no later than 9:00 a.m. PST one day prior to your scheduled competition.
  • Props are allowed, but need to be cleared by the program coordinators, require minimal set-up, and not produce a mess.
  • The room will be set-up with a laptop, projector, remote slide advancer, and laser pointer.

Timing

Timing will commence from the moment the student begins her/his presentation.  The presentation begins at the moment the student engages with the audience (if s/he starts with a hand clap, a gesture, an audio or video clip or any other such engagement, prior to speaking, the clock begins at that time; if there is no such engagement the clock starts when the student begins speaking). Points will be deducted from the final score, beginning with one point at 3:03, and one point being taken off for every two seconds the speaker continues after that.

RESOURCES

PowerPoint Template

Please make sure to use the UCI GradSlam PowerPoint template, available here.

Campus Resources

Bri McWhorter from Activate to Captivate will be hosting public speaking workshops in advance of the semi-finals and will provide coaching to our campus finalists. She successfully coached our 2015 campus winner, Ashley Fong, as she won the systemwide competition.

Public Speaking Workshops:

February 8, 2016 from 6-7pm in the GRC

February 16, 2016 from 11-12pm in the GRC

The Graduate Resource Center offers several events intended to boost participants’ communications skills.

Online Resources
How to Talk like TED by Carmine Gallo, Article by Guy Kawasaki
How to Give a TED-Worthy Talk by Dorie Clark, Forbes
10 Tips on How to make Slides that Communicate your Idea, by TED Staff
10 Most Common Rookie Mistakes in Public Speaking by Terry Gault, Managing Partner and Vice President of the Henderson Group
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
Top Ten Tips for Writing and Delivering Very Brief Speeches by Bill Cole, Founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants

Need some inspiration?

TED Talks (up to 6 minutes in length): Brief 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 Winners: Winning presentations from a multi-university thesis competition in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the South Pacific.

2014 University of Western Sidney Three-Minute Thesis Finals

Previous Grad Slam videos

UC San Diego 2014 Grad Slam
UC Santa Barbara 2014 Grad Slam Finals


Grad Slam Photobar