You could win cash prizes and state-wide recognition while you take your professional development to the next level!

Calling all doctoral and master’s students in all disciplines! Are you engaged in original research? Have you been meaning to practice the “elevator pitch” for your project? Are you interested in sharing your amazing work with a wider audience? Enter the Grad Slam 2018 competition, and you could win cash prizes and state-wide recognition while you take your professional development to the next level!

Info Sessions

Not sure how to craft an elevator pitch? Have questions about the competition? Find out more at one of these information sessions:

  • Humanities and Social Sciences Info Session: Thursday, January 18, 1 – 2 pm, 309 Sproul Hall
  • General Info Session (all disciplines welcome): Monday, January 29, 4 – 5 pm, 309 Sproul Hall

Enter the Contest

Once your pitch is ready to go, the first step in the multi-phase competition is to submit a three-minute video, using the Grad Slam guidelines. Record the video yourself, or just show up to a fun and free recording session in 309 Sproul the week of February 12, hosted by Graduate Professional Development. All you need to bring is your pitch — staff will take care of all the technical aspects of filming. Contact Graduate Professional Development for more information. Deadline is Monday, February 19, 2018 (11:59 pm Pacific Time).

Win Prizes

In early March, ten semi-finalists will be selected from the video submissions to participate in a live campus competition on Wednesday, April 4. Three finalists will win cash prizes of up to $3,000, and all semi-finalists will receive $100!

Winner Competes System-Wide

The winner of the campus competition will represent Berkeley at the UC systemwide competition on Thursday, May 3, 2018.  Held at LinkedIn headquarters in San Francisco, this ten-campus competition will showcase the research of one graduate student from each campus. Each student will give a three-minute presentation pitched to a general audience and will have a chance to win an even bigger cash prize.

Aside from the prizes and glory, there’s another reason to take advantage of this opportunity: learning to make research accessible and engage the public is a critical skill for all scholars. Stephanie Mack, one of last year’s UC Berkeley semifinalists, put it this way: “It’s unbelievably important for researchers to learn how to communicate effectively with non-specialists — not just the nuts and bolts of our individual research, but how it fits into the larger picture… whether with legislators or journalists, or in those unexpected conversations standing in the grocery line where you only have a few minutes.”

For detailed information, please visit the Grad Slam website.


Categories: December 2015, December 2016, December 2017, January 2016, January 2017, Professional Development
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