2019 UCLA Grad Slam

 

Nyasha Maforo, Biomedical Physics, At the Heart of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy | The Spataru 1st Place Winner 2019 UCLA Grad Slam

 

Congratulations to Nyasha Maforo, Biomedical Physics, for winning the UCLA Grad Slam Finals on March 13. Let’s cheer her on as she competes in the UC Grad Slam Competition on Friday, May 10, 2019 to be held at the LinkedIn Headquarters in San Francisco, CA. The event will be hosted by UC President Janet Napolitano, and will be judged by a panel of leaders in industry, media, government and higher education. The first place winners from each of the 10 UC campuses will compete for the systemwide title and their share of $10,000 in prize money.

Tune in on Friday, May 10 at 10:30 am via live stream at: https://gradslam.universityofcalifornia.edu and don’t forget to cast your vote for our very own Nyasha Maforo for the Audience Choice Award.

Robin L. Garrell
Vice Provost, Graduate Education
Dean, Graduate Division
Professor of Chemistry

Michael D. Skiles
President, UCLA Graduate Students Association
Graduate Chair, UC Council of Student Body Presidents
Ph.D. Candidate, UCLA Department of Philosophy

 

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Overview, Eligibility, and Registration

Overview

Graduate education is the heart of every great university. Graduate students come to UCLA to make creative contributions and research discoveries that advance human knowledge.

Grad Slam is a campus and UC-wide competition that showcases and awards the best 3-minute research talks by graduate students. Think TED Talks on steroids. The competition aims to strengthen graduate students’ presentation and networking skills, as well as their ability to distill down and articulate their research concisely and effectively to a non-specialist audience.

Grad Slam was comprised of preliminary and semi-final rounds, culminating in a final competition and reception that was held on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. A recorded livestream video of the event can be found here.  There were information sessions, public speaking workshops and small group coaching sessions provided to students to help them prepare for the competition.

Special Thanks To Our Sponsors

– Graduate Division – Robin L. Garrell, Dean, Graduate Division & Vice Provost for Graduate Education
– UCLA Student Fee Advisory Committee
– Startup UCLA
– Anne-Marie & Alex Spataru
– Randi & Jerome Greenberg
– Van Schultz
– California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI)

Open the Grad Slam Outreach Flyer

2018 Grad Slam

2017 Grad Slam

2016 Grad Slam

2015 Grad Slam

Am I Eligible?

Am I Eligible?

  • The competition is open to all currently registered and enrolled UCLA Master’s and doctoral graduate students.
  • Students must be registered and enrolled during Winter Quarter 2019 and be in good academic standing in order to participate in the Grad Slam and to be eligible to receive any prize.
  • Students on an official leave of absence, paying a filing fee, or with lapsed status in Winter 2019 are not eligible to compete.
  • Students are only allowed to enter the competition individually. Joint presentations with other students are not permitted.
  • Students must meet the guiding principles of the Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research.
  • Students who competed in previous Grad Slams are eligible to enter the 2019 competition if they DID NOT win 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place. The Audience Choice winner IS eligible to participate in Grad Slam again. However, if that person also placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd, they are not eligible.
Why Should I Enter Grad Slam?

5 Reasons to Sign Up View Infographic

Who Participated in 2019? View the 2019 UCLA Grad Slam Participation – Infographic

Need a little inspiration? Watch these videos of the 2018 finals:

  • Parinaz AbiriBioengineering and Medicine – Wireless Batteryless Miniature Cardiac Pacemaker
  • Eunjoo AnNursing – Saving Lives with Mindfulness Practice
  • Viola ArdeniItalian – What Are Fairy Tales?
  • Cody ArosMolecular Biology – A Drug to Prevent Lung Cancer
  • Zachary BallardElectrical Engineering – Making Microscopes That Learn
  • Isaac BryanPublic Policy – The Price of Freedom
  • Taylor CorcoranAnderson School of Management – Eliminating Vaccine-Preventable Diseases with Tailored Immunization Programs
  • Joseph FriedmanPublic Health and Medicine – The Shocking Social Patterns of Prescription Drug Use
  • Joey Lao, Engineering – Hospital Acquired Infection: The Unknown Killer
  • Priera PanescuChemistry – Novel Materials for Sustainable Food Security
  • Marissa StevensNear Eastern Languages and Cultures – Social Identity from Ancient Egypt to Modern Times
How Do I Register for Grad Slam?

Registration for the 2019 competition is now closed. Please check back next year for the 2020 competition!

Grad Slam Stories

Grad Slam Student StoriesNeed more convincing to enter the competition?
Read the Grad Slam stories of past competitors.

Cindy LeeCindy Lee
Education
English Learners and Oral Language Anxiety: An Approach Using Lego Storystarter

“I’ve always had a fear of public speaking, and get anxious and self-conscious just from standing in front of a room full of people. Despite this, I learned that it’s such an important skill to succeed in graduate school, and in life. When I saw the Grad Slam flyer, I thought to myself, “Hey! This couldn’t be that bad, since it has to be under 3-minutes!” Then I consulted with my academic advisor, who encouraged me to enter the competition. She believed that it would be interesting given that my research centers on children who are less comfortable speaking. One of the greatest things about Grad Slam is that they offered free workshops on presentation skills, visual designs, and small group coaching, which are wonderful resources not only for the competition, but also for future conferences and presentations! It was such a valuable experience and I look forward to bragging about it to my (future-if-any) grandkids.”

Nicholas MatiaszNicholas Matiasz
Bioengineering
Building the Brain of a Robot Scientist

“I study medical informatics because, as an engineer, I value efficiency, and improving efficiency in medicine is sure to reduce suffering. To accelerate scientific discovery, I’m designing software that can help researchers to find all the valid interpretations of their evidence and to design experiments that would be most informative.I competed in Grad Slam because my work is only as good as my ability to communicate it. This competition helps you to distill your message for a general audience and to deliver that message with poise. Change happens when ideas spread, and that always requires a story—even in technical fields like mine. Grad Slam helped me to hone my story.”

Taylor CorcoranTaylor Corcoran
Anderson School of Management
HIV vs Hypertension: Optimizing Drug Approvals

“I chose to participate in Grad Slam after a stressful conference presentation in which I presented an early version of my grad slam research to a small room of professors and students. I was petrified and shaking throughout my entire talk, and I couldn’t wait to finish the presentation. Even though I was passionate about the work I was doing, I wasn’t able to convey it to others because of how nervous I was. I knew that I needed to overcome my fear of public speaking, which is why I chose to compete in Grad Slam — and it worked! By the time I reached the finals, I was actually excited to get on stage.”

Gary YeungGary Yeung
Electrical Engineering
Making Electronic Personal Assistants Listen to Children

“Scientific researchers like myself spend much of their time trying to understand problems. This is accompanied by a disconnect from society. While we might pat ourselves on the back for finding an interesting solution, we often ignore what the solution could imply for humanity. The reality is that science without an application is useless, and technology for the mere purpose of innovation is sometimes disastrous. Science can only make a meaningful impact if it is properly understood by the public. I entered the Grad Slam competition as it aligns with my beliefs that effective education and communication of science shapes research just as much as the science itself. I encourage others to participate in Grad Slam to reflect on how their research will affect society.”

 

 

Grad Slam Preparation and Competition

Presentation Guidelines & Rules

UCLA’s Grad Slam challenges graduate students to present a compelling presentation of their research in just 3 minutes using language appropriate for a non-specialist audience.

  • In cases of collaborative research, the presenter’s contribution to the project must be salient and clearly specified.
  • We strongly encourage Humanities and Social Sciences students to enter the competition.

Expected Participation

  1. Last minute cancellations are strongly discouraged.
  2. On the day of your scheduled presentation, plan to arrive at the venue 10-15 minutes before the event start time to allow for check-in.
  3. Presentations during each round will be in random order.
  4. You must be present for the full duration of your scheduled round.

Presentations/Slides – GUIDELINES & LIMITATIONS

  1. Presenters are limited to a maximum of three (3) PowerPoint slides. No other formats (Prezi, PDFs, etc.) are acceptable.
  2. Slides are optional. If you choose NOT to use slides, please inform the organizers in writing in advance of your designated presentation so we can make a note of it.
  3. Please include a plain white fourth slide that includes 1) your presentation title, 2) your name, and 3) your area of study. We will import this information on to a standard Grad Slam cover slide for you and put at the front of your presentation.
  4. Use the 16:9 aspect ratio slide size for your presentation.
  5. No animations are allowed. This includes on-click animations that make information or images appear or disappear on a slide at your command or in a timed sequence. However, if there is an animation contained within an embedded video it may be used. Embedded audio and/or video clips will be allowed (clips may contain GIF animation).
  6. All work on the slides must be original to the student and cannot be generated by a professional.
  7. All presentations will be pre-loaded on the laptop on the day of the competition. You will be required to upload your PowerPoint presentations to a designated site the day prior to your scheduled competition. Specific upload instructions will be sent to each student presenter.
  8. Props are allowed, but need to be cleared by the Grad Slam program director, require minimal set-up and not produce a mess. Please email gdevents@grad.ucla.edu if you plan to use props.
  9. The room will be set-up with a laptop, projector, remote slide advancer, laser pointer and lavalier microphone. There may or may not be a podium in the room, depending on the venue. However, use of the podium is strongly discouraged.

Additional Tips

  • Grad Slam is about effective COMMUNICATION– engaging your audience in key aspect of your research that excite you, that tell the best story to people outside of your field.
  • Think about what sets your research apart from what has already been done already. What makes your work unique and valuable to your field?
  • Think about commonplace references you can make to relate to your audience and draw them into your subject. Humor is often a good tool, as are rhetorical questions.
  • The images you use on your slides should complement or illustrate what you are communicating verbally. Make sure they are relevant to your message.
  • Do not fill your slides with data, charts, or graphs that require a lot of explanation.
  • Do not fill your slides with so much content that the audience will be spending time trying to it all figure out what, rather than listening to what you are saying.
  • Stay away from acronyms unless they are well-known or you can quickly explain them. Same with jargon and complex terms. You will need to briefly define them.
  • Practice, practice, practice so you know all of your content by heart.
  • Slow down and relax. Don’t speak too fast. Clarity and being comfortable with your content is key.
  • Practice presenting in front of your roommate, friends or family members — people are are not greatly familiar with your topic/research. They are great sounding boards.
  • Have fun with this! Your work is valuable and YOU are the expert. You have a lot to teach the rest of us and we’re here to listen.

Audience

The audience may be comprised of graduate students, faculty, staff, campus leadership, alumni, donors, friends and family of the presenters, and members of the general public. We encourage all the students participating in the Grad Slam competition to invite colleagues, mentors, friends and family to your competition round.

An official photographer and/or videographer may also be present at some of the preliminary and semi-final rounds and at the final competition. As stated in the competition registration, any videotape footage, photographs, film and/or audio recordings will be used for UCLA archival and marketing purposes. No commercial use of the recordings are intended or will be authorized.

Members of the media may also be present and covering the competition.

The final competition on March 13th will be broadcast live online.

How Do I Prepare? Workshops

The Graduate Division is very pleased to provide the following prep workshops for Grad Slam entrants.  The workshops are open to ALL graduate students, as well.

Grad Slam Workshops

Grad Slam 101GRAD SLAM 101: HOW TO GET STARTED
Wednesday, January 23, 2019  |  5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
314 Royce Hall – RSVP 

You signed up for Grad Slam, but what’s next? Not quite sure where to start? Join us at our Grad Slam brainstorming session to:

– Choose/refine your presentation topic
– Start outlining your ideas
– Take a close look at the guidelines and rules
– Brainstorm with past Grad Slam finalists and fellow 2019 Grad Slam participants

Grad Slam Alumni Facilitators: Former Grad Slam competitors and winners TBA
Gary Li, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (1st Place, 2016)
Jean Paul Santos, Electrical Engineering (1st Place, 2015)

Staff facilitators:
Sonya Gavin, Director of Operations & External Relations – Graduate Division
Latricia Rogers, Events Administrative Specialist – Graduate Division


Crafting a Compelling PresentationCRAFTING A COMPELLING PRESENTATION
Tuesday, February 5, 2019  |  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Weyburn Terrace, Village Room – RSVP

As a graduate student, you’ve made countless sacrifices in order to pursue your dream of making an impact in your field of study. But to truly make an impact, you need support and a following of people who care about the work you are doing. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to craft a compelling presentation that inspires your audience and promotes your research in an authentic way. The principles you’ll learn can be applied in any setting but the activities will be tailored to include Grad Slam best practices.

Megan Eigenbrod

Megan Eigenbrod, MS
Training and Career Development Coordinator, UCLA Campus Human Resources

Megan Eigenbrod is the Training and Career Development Coordinator for UCLA Campus Human Resources. Megan fosters the professional development of UCLA administrative staff by providing training in leadership development, communication skills, and presentation design and delivery. Megan received her Master’s in Counseling and a Graduate Certificate in Career Counseling from California State University Northridge. She has presented at several conferences including the Strengths in Educational Leadership Conference hosted by the Gallup Organization.

Kelsey DuffKelsey Duff
Training and Career Development Coordinator, UCLA Campus Human Resources

Kelsey Duff is a Training and Career Development Coordinator for UCLA Campus Human Resources.  She coordinates the Staff Enrichment program where she offers career coaching, facilitates workshops on presentation skills, design and visual thinking, and more. Kelsey is UCLA graduate and a career UCLA employee with a background in academic advising, student support and professional development for others in student support positions. In 2018, she managed the recruitment and selection of conference presentations for the UC Academic Advising Conference, where she also presented for the third time.


Basic Presentation Skills: How to Resonate with Your Audience

BASIC PRESENTATION SKILLS: HOW TO RESONATE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 |  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Gayley Center, Suite 394 (1145 Gayley Avenue) – RSVP

This workshop will help you articulate your information and content in a manner that is well received by a “non-specialist” audience increasing retention. By the conclusion of the workshop you will improve your understanding of how adults prefer to take-in, process, and synthesize new knowledge allowing your presentation to resonate with a disparate audience. You will learn your own primary, secondary, and tertiary preferences for taking-in new information, thereby mitigating subjectivity in your delivery, ensuring your presentation is relevant to an audience outside your career field. These workshops are open to all UCLA graduate students.

Reg RandlesReginald (Reg) Randles, MOL, SHRM-PC
Lead Senior Organizational Development Specialist, UCLA Health Human Resources CORE

Reginald designs and develops workshops for skill improvement and facilitates talent and leadership development courses. He is a Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI®) Certified Practitioner, a qualified DiSC® Classic facilitator and the UCLA Health Sciences appointee to the University of California, Office of the President Talent Management Consortium. A published author, a seasoned keynote speaker and a Society of Human Resources Certified Professional, Reginald holds a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University, an Executive Certificate in Public and Non-Profit Leadership from Chapman University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Communication from California State University, Los Angeles.


Design Principles For Visual Presentations

DESIGN PRINCIPLES FOR VISUAL PRESENTATIONS
Thursday, February 7, 2019 |  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Weyburn Terrace, Village Room – RSVP

The content of any presentation is critical, however, if you want your audience to understand, retain, and recall your message, powerful and complimentary visual aids will help you achieve those goals. This interactive workshop will introduce the audience to universal design principles that can be applied when creating visual presentations using any platform, such as PowerPoint, Prezi, and Haiku Deck. In preparation for the 2019 Grad Slam competition, the audience will practice applying these principles within the context of the PowerPoint rules and examples from previous finalists will be shared.

Megan EigenbrodMegan Eigenbrod, MS
Training and Career Development Coordinator, UCLA Campus Human Resources

Megan Eigenbrod is the Training and Career Development Coordinator for UCLA Campus Human Resources. Megan fosters the professional development of UCLA administrative staff by providing training in leadership development, communication skills, and presentation design and delivery. Megan received her Master’s in Counseling and a Graduate Certificate in Career Counseling from California State University Northridge. She has presented at several conferences including the Strengths in Educational Leadership Conference hosted by the Gallup Organization.


Small Group Coaching SessionsSMALL GROUP COACHING SESSIONS
Participating students must come prepared with a draft of their presentations. These small group sessions will give students the opportunity to present before the group and receive feedback both from the coach and Grad Slam peers who will also be in attendance. These sessions are for Grad Slam participants only.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 |  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
1237 Murphy Hall, Graduate Division Conference Room  –

Grad Slam Alumni Peer Coaches:  Zachary Ballard, Electrical Engineering (Audience Choice winner, 2018); Jean Paul Santos, Electrical Engineering (1st Place, 2015)

 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 |  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
1237 Murphy Hall, Graduate Division Conference Room

Grad Slam Alumni Peer Coaches: Priera Parescu, Chemistry (Finalist, 2018); Gary Li, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (1st Place, 2016)

 

Friday, February 15, 2019 |  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
1237 Murphy Hall, Graduate Division Conference Room

Grad Slam Alumni Peer Coach:  Jean Paul Santos, Electrical Engineering (1st Place, 2015)

 

Other Preparation Resources

Online Resources

How to Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo, article by Guy Kawasaki
Giving an Academic Talk by Jonathan Shewchuk, Associate Professor in Computer Science, University of California at Berkeley
Don’t Be Such a Scientist by Randy Olson
The And, But, and Therefore of Storytelling by Randy Olson
Giving Oral Presentations from English Communication for Scientists by Jean-luc Doumont (ed.), Nature (2010)
Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea, from TED’s in-house expert by Aaron Weyenberg
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
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 Sydney Three-Minute Thesis Finals
The Secret Structure of Great Talks by Nancy Duarte at TEDxEast


Recommended Reading

Storytelling
Narrative Impact: Social and Cognitive Foundations, edited by Melanie C. Green, et al. (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates © 2002)
The Story Factor, by Annette Simmons (Perseus Publishing © 2001)
Tell Me a Story: Narrative and Intelligence, by Roger Schank (Northwestern University Press © 1990)
Wired for Story, by Lisa Cron (Ten Speed Press © 2012)

Language & Culture
Metaphors We Live By, by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (University of Chicago Press © 1980)
The Way We Talk Now, by Geoffrey Nunberg (Houghton Mifflin Company © 2001)
In Other Words: A Plea for Plain Speaking in Foundations, by Tony Proscio (Edna McConnel Clark Foundation © 2000)
When Words Fail, by Tony Proscio (Edna McConnel Clark Foundation © 2005)
Compassion Fatigue, by Susan Moeller (Routledge © 1999)
Tales of a New America, by Robert Reich (Times Books © 1987)

Writing
The Sense of Style: The Thinking Persons Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, by Steven Pinker (Penguin Books © 2015)
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, by William Zinsser (30 Anv. Rep Ed. © 2006)
Telling True Stories, Edited by Mark Kramer and Wendy Call (Plume © 2007)
Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Non-Fiction, by Jack Hart (University of Chicago Press © 2012)

Competition Schedule

View the 2019 UCLA Grad Slam Participation – Infographic

View the Grad Slam Preliminary Rounds A-D Schedule

Preliminary Rounds

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

  • Round A: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm, Charles E. Young Research Library, Room 11360
  • Round B: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, 159 Boyer Hall

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

  • Round C:  10:00 am – 12:30 pm, Charles E. Young Research Library, Room 11360
  • Round D:  2:30 pm – 5:00 pm, Charles E. Young Research Library, Room 11360

 

Semi-Final Rounds

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

  • Round E:  10:00 am – 12:30 pm, Charles E. Young Research Library, Room 11360 – Schedule
  • Round F:  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, 2033 Young Hall – Schedule

 

Final Competition & Celebratory Reception

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
5:00 pm – 7:30 pm, UCLA California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI)  |  Program  | Acknowledgements

Final Competition & Celebratory Reception Invitation  |  2019 Webcast/2019 Live Stream

 

University of California Grad Slam

Friday, May 10, 2019

San Francisco, CA

The UCLA campus winner will travel to San Francisco to compete in the UC Grad Slam competition at LinkedIn. Attendance is by invitation only, but will be broadcast live via video stream. There will also be an online People’s Choice vote. So mark your calendar so you can tune in!

 

Competition Results – Updated 3/15/19

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 UCLA Grad Slam!

The Spataru 1st place ($5,000) – Nyasha Maforo, Biomedical Physics – At The Heart Of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

The Greenberg 2nd place ($3,000) – Allison Daly, Molecular Biology – Your Immune System, Your Best Friend Or Worst Enemy?

3rd place ($2,000) – Joseph Friedman, Medicine – Ending Medical Segregation In LA

Audience Choice ($1,000) – Xiaofei Lin, Biochemistry – Decrypting The Immune System Code

2019 UCLA Grad Slam Winners
Hosts Vice Provost and Dean Robin L. Garrell (left) and GSA President Michael Skiles (right) with the 2019 UCLA Grad Slam winners: (from second to the left to right) Nyasha Maforo, Allison Daly, Joseph Friedman and Xiaofei Lin

2019 Finalists

  • Karime Parodi Ambel, Spanish – Bias Against Women Victims Of Sexual Assault In The Chilean Legal System
  • Eunjoo AnNursing – Shouldn’t We All Be Practicing Mindfulness?
  • Allison Daly, Molecular Biology – Your Immune System, Your Best Friend Or Worst Enemy?
  • Joseph Friedman, Medicine – Ending Medical Segregation In LA
  • Aleksandr GorinImmunology – Designing An HIV Vaccine
  • Xiaofei LinBiochemistry – Decrypting The Immune System Code
  • Nyasha Maforo, Biomedical Physics – At The Heart Of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
  • Samantha  Morse, English – A Dreadful History
  • Alexander  Sercel, Molecular Biology – Recharging The Batteries Of Life
  • Allyson Terry, Pharmacology – Securing The Health Of Organ Transplant Recipients
  • Emily Towner, Social Sciences and Psychology – Curiosity And Learning: Curiosity Did Not Kill The Cat

2019 Semi-Finalists

  • Ife Akinyela, Education – Can Hip Hop Save My Education
  • Karime Parodi Ambel, Spanish – Bias Against Women Victims Of Sexual Assault In The Chilean Legal System
  • Eunjoo An, Nursing – Shouldn’t We All Be Practicing Mindfulness?
  • Alina Arseniev-Koehler, Sociology – What Are We Teaching Our Algorithms?
  • Katherine Bay, Chemistry – Breaking Bonds To Generate Liquid Fuels
  • Tsang-Kai Chang, Electrical and Computer Engineering – Autonomous Robots Inspired By Brains
  • Allison Daly, Molecular Biology – Your Immune System, Your Best Friend Or Worst Enemy?
  • Joseph Friedman, Medicine – Ending Medical Segregation In LA
  • Aleksandr Gorin, Immunology – Designing An HIV Vaccine
  • Symone Gyles, Education – Unnatural Disasters: The Reframing Of Science Education Through A Community-Based Environmental Justice Approach
  • Lionel Levine, Computer Science – What Happens When Your Life Becomes Part Of A Computer Game?
  • Xiaofei Lin, Biochemistry – Decrypting The Immune System Code
  • Nyasha Maforo, Biomedical Physics – At The Heart Of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
  • Teruko Mitsuhara, Anthropology – “Feminism Failed Me” Understanding Women’s Conversion To Fundamentalist Religion
  • Samantha  Morse, English – A Dreadful History
  • Jennifer Ngo, Biochemistry – Rejuvenating The Human Battery
  • Pavlo Pinchuk, Astronomy – The Search For Technosignatures At UCLA
  • Christopher Rorke, Ethnomusicology – Musical Sincerity And Modern Life
  • Catherine Schweppe, Neuroscience – Rewiring The Brain After Stroke
  • Alexander  Sercel, Molecular Biology – Recharging The Batteries Of Life
  • Allyson Terry, Pharmacology – Securing The Health Of Organ Transplant Recipients
  • Ayantu Tibeso, Information Studies – To Discover Yourself Not Existing: Archival Erasure In Ethiopia
  • Emily Towner, Social Sciences and Psychology – Curiosity And Learning: Curiosity Did Not Kill The Cat
  • Deniz Turan, Electrical and Computer Engineering – Bringing Terahertz Waves From Laboratory To The Public
  • Ken Zhao, Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences – Oceans Melting Greenland From Below
Judging

Judging panels for the preliminary and semi-final rounds will be comprised of faculty, academic deans, administrative staff, alumni, postdoctoral scholars, donors and elected officials.  Great effort is made to select judges that represent diversity in discipline, as well.

Presenters will be judged on the clarity and delivery, and their ability to provide context and engage with a non-specialist audience helping others understand and appreciate their research.

Each judge will award up to 35 points based on the following criteria:

  1. Clarity
  2. Organization
  3. Delivery
  4. Visuals
  5. Appropriateness
  6. Intellectual Significance
  7. Engagement

Judging Score Sheet

Timing of each presentation will commence from the moment the student begins the presentation. The presentation begins at the moment the student engages with the audience. Thus 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 alternative engagement, the clock starts when the student begins speaking.

Should the presentation go longer than 3 minutes, points will be deducted from the final score, beginning with a 1 point deduction at 3:03, and 1 point being taken off for every 2 seconds the speaker continues after that:

3:03 – 3:04 1 point
3:05 – 3:06 2 points
3:07 – 3:08 3 points
3:09 – 3:10 4 points
3:11 – 3:15   5 points
Speakers will be cut off at 3:30 (15 point deduction)

Judges will not be allowed to ask any questions of the presenters following their presentation.

Prizes

First, second and third prizes will be awarded during the final competition, as well as an Audience Choice award. If the Audience Choice awardee is the same as the first, second or third place winner, both awards will go to that person.

All Presenters

  1. 2019 Grad Slam gift(s)

All Semi-Finalists

  1. $50 gift card to the UCLA Store

All Finalists

  1. Grad Slam Finalist certificate
  2. $100 credit on Bruincard/student account

We are very pleased to announce that this year we are able to increase our prize amounts to the following!

1st Prize

  1. $5,000 stipend
  2. Dinner with Vice Provost & Dean Robin Garrell and other VIP leadership in April
  3. Paid, round-trip travel expenses to compete in the UC-wide Grad Slam competition on May 10, 2019 in San Francisco, California

2nd Prize

  1. $3,000 stipend
  2. Dinner with Vice Provost & Dean Robin Garrell and other VIP leadership in April

3rd Prize

  1. $2,000 stipend
  2. Dinner with Vice Provost & Dean Robin Garrell and other VIP leadership in April

Audience Choice Award

  1. $1,000 stipend
  2. Dinner with Vice Provost & Dean Robin Garrell and other VIP leadership in April

Students must be registered and enrolled during Winter Quarter 2019 and be in good academic standing in order to participate in the Grad Slam and to be eligible to receive any prize.

The prize money is a stipend and is considered income. It will be taxed and a student’s financial aid eligibility may be adjusted, as a result.

2019 University of California Grad Slam Championship

The system wide competition will feature the first place winners from each of UC’s 10 campuses who delivered their 3-minute research talks. The event will be hosted by UC President Janet Napolitano.

Nyasha Maforo - 2019 UCLA Grad Slam Winner

Nyasha Maforo, Biomedical Physics – At The Heart of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy –– will represent UCLA on May 10, 2019 in San Francisco.

 

2018 University of California Grad Slam Competition

Marissa Stevens - 2018 UCLA Grad Slam Winner

Marissa Stevens, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures – Social Identity from Ancient Egypt to Modern Times –– represented UCLA in the 2018 UC Grad Slam Competition.

 

Photos/Videos, Social Media & Sponsors

Photo & Video Galleries

2019 UCLA Grad Slam Final Competition – Photo Gallery
2019 UCLA Grad Slam Final Competition – Video Presentations 

  • Karime Parodi Ambel, Spanish – Bias Against Women Victims Of Sexual Assault In The Chilean Legal System
  • Eunjoo AnNursing – Shouldn’t We All Be Practicing Mindfulness?
  • Allison Daly, Molecular Biology – Your Immune System, Your Best Friend Or Worst Enemy?
  • Joseph Friedman, Medicine – Ending Medical Segregation In LA
  • Aleksandr GorinImmunology – Designing An HIV Vaccine
  • Xiaofei LinBiochemistry – Decrypting The Immune System Code
  • Nyasha Maforo, Biomedical Physics – At The Heart Of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
  • Samantha Morse, English – A Dreadful History
  • Alexander Sercel, Molecular Biology – Recharging The Batteries Of Life
  • Allyson Terry, Pharmacology – Securing The Health Of Organ Transplant Recipients
  • Emily Towner, Social Sciences and Psychology – Curiosity And Learning: Curiosity Did Not Kill The Cat

2018 Photos and Video Presentations

2017 Photos and Video Presentations

2016 Photos and Video Presentations

 

Publicity & Social Media
Sponsors and Campus Partners

Thank you to our 2019 Sponsors

UCLA Student Fees Advisory Committee

California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI)

StartUp UCLA

Anne-Marie & Alex Spataru
Randi & Jerome Greenberg
Van Schultz

The Graduate Division is also grateful for our friends and partners who assist with outreach, venues and communications:

  • Graduate Student Resource Center
  • Career Center
  • UCLA Development
  • UCLA Foundation
  • Women & Philanthropy at UCLA
  • Gold Shield
  • Faculty Women’s Club
  • Office of Residential Life – Graduate and Family Housing
  • Office of Media Relations
  • Alumni Affairs
  • Government & Community Relations
  • Dashew Center
  • Graduate and Family Housing
  • Residential Life
  • Charles E. Young Research Library
  • Chemistry & Biochemistry

 

 

Contact Us

Map & Directions

Grad Slam Venues Map

Driving Directions to UCLA
Locate UCLA by zip code (90095) or by street address (405 Hilgard Avenue). Call 310-825-4321 for recorded directions. UCLA’s main campus is bounded by Sunset Boulevard. on the north and Le Conte Avenue. on the south; the east border is Hilgard Avenue and the west border is Gayley Avenue.

Visitor parking at UCLA | Public Transit | Metro Trip Planner

Contact Us!

gdevents@grad.ucla.edu – please include “Grad Slam” in the subject line

310.206.6086

Meet the Grad Slam Team

Sonya GavinSonya Gavin, Director of Operations & External Relations

“My favorite thing about Grad Slam is the opportunity to meet all the Grad Slam competitors and watch and work with them as they create outstanding presentations about their incredible research!  I also love seeing them supporting each other and getting to know fellow grad students outside of their disciplines.”

Jacqueline SueroJacqueline Suero, Operations Administrative Specialist

“It is quite rewarding to be involved in putting together Grad Slam this year. It is a truly empowering and inspiring experience to be able to provide a powerful platform where we can witness brilliant minds articulate and showcase their amazing research into a 3-minute TED talk style presentation.”

Aliana ClarkAliana Clark, Operations Administrative Specialist

“I m looking forward to watching all of the Grad Slam competitors flourish during this process! I am eager to learn more about their areas of research and the impact that it carries.”

Diana TaweelDiana Taweel, Interim Events & Engagement Administrative Specialist

“As a new member of the Grad Slam team it’s truly remarkable to be a part of such an exciting event and a fabulous team. The presentations puts you right in on the ground floor of the innovations and research of our immediate future. If you’re looking for the inside scoop on what’s really “Bruin,” with a supportive and educational platform to grow from, this is the event you won’t want to miss.”