The UC Merced Graduate Division will soon launch GradSLAM!, in which Ph.D. students will hone their public speaking skills before competing against their peers on campus in a research presentation competition. The winner will compete in the first-ever UC systemwide GradSLAM! competition.
GradSLAM! is designed to improve students’ abilities to explain their research or creative work to a general audience with poise and confidence. In the competition, students will have three minutes to present their work in front of non-specialist judges.
The winner of the UC Merced competition will receive $2,000 and the opportunity to compete at the UC systemwide GradSLAM! competition May 4 in Oakland. Two runners-up will receive $1,000 each. All participants will receive a gift from the Graduate Division, and the top 10 qualifiers will receive a $25 gift certificate to the Campus Store and an invitation to a luncheon with Graduate Dean Marjorie Zatz.
The competition is open to all current Ph.D. students in good academic standing. Qualifying rounds will be held at 4:30 p.m. March 3 in SSB 130. Finals will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. April 7 in the California Room.
Those who want to get a jump on the competition are invited to attend a public speaking workshop presented by Playhouse Merced. The workshop, designed to help students understand the dynamics of being an effective presenter, will be offered twice — from 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 10 in the California Room and from 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 11 in the Bobcat Lair (RSVP required
Each workshop will be followed by a wine and cheese social hour with the Playhouse Merced instructors, and the top 10 qualifiers will also receive personalized training from Playhouse Merced in preparation for the final competition.