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Grad Slam Competition

Grad Slam Competition

The Graduate Center is pleased to announce the 2021 virtual Grad Slam Competition at CSULB. Winners of the Grad Slam will receive cash prizes and gain valuable experience delivering a professional research presentation. 

This event is designed to showcase and celebrate our graduate students and their research and creative activities. Graduate students across all disciplines are encouraged to participate in the Grad Slam Competition.

What is Grad Slam?

Grad Slam at CSULB is a campus-wide competition for the best short (no more than 3-minutes) graduate student research presentation.  A panel will judge the pre-recorded video presentations on comprehension, content, engagement, and oration.  Successful Grad Slam presentations will engage a non-specialist audience, while communicating key details about their research in three minutes or less.

Who is eligible to participate?

  • Currently enrolled master’s, graduate certificate, credential, or doctoral students at CSULB.
  • Individual presenters (group presentations are not permitted at this time).

Why Participate?

Your participation in Grad Slam will not only advance the visibility of your research but serve as an opportunity for you to deliver a professional presentation while representing CSULB. Grad Slam presenters develop strong communication skills that will be key to success in any career or discipline. This experience can also serve as a valuable addition to your CV or résumé.

Winners of the CSULB Grad Slam will receive cash prizes in the following amounts:

  • $500 first-place winners
  • $300 second-place winners 
  • $200 third-place winners

Two first-place winners from the CSULB Grad Slam competition will be selected to advance to the CSU-Wide Grad Slam competition taking place in Spring 2022.

3-Minute Presentation Guidelines

  • 3-minute recording max (going over the 3-minute mark will incur a penalty by the judges).
  • Only a single slide is permitted in the presentation (no slide transitions or animations).
  • You can use any video recording platform to record your video, as long as the file you submit is in .mp4 format. We recommend using Zoom which is accessible via SSO log-in.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g., sound or video files) are permitted within the video recording. Use of any supporting materials must have pre-approval from the Grad Slam Committee (including use of any props) and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Each presentation will be judged using a common Competition Scoring Rubric.
  • Applicants must submit original research from their thesis, dissertation, graduate project, or any other research-based projects. The research can focus on the development of new ideas, methods, or products, or it may focus on the application and revision of current methods or models. Students in MFA or other creative degree programs should focus on how their creative work applies to the broader exchange of ideas and the role it plays in providing new perspective or changing attitudes.

Note: Presenters will not be judged on video/ recording quality, editing capabilities, or production quality of their video. Instead, judging will focus primarily on the presentation, ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience, and the PowerPoint slide (see Competition Scoring Rubric).

If you have any questions about the pre-recorded video guidelines or recommendations contact us at

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • Pre-recorded video submission deadline: Monday, November 1, 2021
  • Final proposal status notifications sent to students: Friday, November 5, 2021
  • Graduate Research Conference/Grad Slam: Tuesday, November 16, 2021

After Submitting Your Video

Students can expect to receive notification of the status of their video proposal on or before Friday, November 5, 2021. Students whose proposals are accepted do not need to submit a final paper to participate in the Grad Slam Competition. You do not have to be present on November 16th to participate in the Grad Slam Competition.

Spring 2021 Grad Slam Winners / Videos

First Place ($500): Tiffany Gonzalez

First Place ($500): Nicholas Matthews

Second Place ($300): Julia MacLaren

Second Place ($300): Faiyaz Omerjee

Third Place ($200): Filipe Coelho

Third Place ($200): Andrea Hammond