Grad Slam

Grad Slam, a competition also referred to as the 3-Minute Thesis Challenge,* challenges graduate students to present years worth of academic research in a concise, compelling, three-minute talk to a non-expert audience. It encourages students to clarify their ideas and help others understand and appreciate the significance of their research or other graduate work. The contest is open to all graduate students.

Finalists for Grad Slam 2017 presented their three-minute thesis presentations at a live event on February 24 at 5:30 p.m. in the Music Center Recital Hall. This event was free and open to the public. A panel of judges chose first-place and runner-up winners, and the audience voted for the peoples choice winner. See the winners here.

The winner of the UCSC Grad Slam receives $3,000; the runner-up receives $1,500; and the peoples choice winner receives $750. The UCSC Grad Slam winner goes on to compete in the UC-wide Grad Slam in late April or early May. UCSC’s 2017 champion, John Felts, took second place at the UC Grad Slam held May 4, 2017, at LinkedIn, 222 2nd Street in San Francisco. Visit UCOP Grad Slam to view the 2017 finalists from all UC campuses and learn the first-place, third-place, and people’s choice winner of that competition.

Registration for the 2018 Grad Slam opens November 13, 2017, and ends January 14, 2018, at midnight PST. All registrants must submit a 3-minute-maximum video of their presentation via a share link entered in the registration form. A panel of UCSC staff judges will review the videos and select the finalists (10 to 12 graduate students) to compete in UCSC’s live Grad Slam on Friday, February 23, 2018, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Music Center Recital Hall, with a reception following for competitors and audience.


View video of the three awardees, and the complete list of finalists from the UCSC 2016 Grad Slam
View video of the three awardees, and the complete list of finalists from the UCSC 2015 Grad Slam


*Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a registered trademark of The University of Queensland.

See Also