The California State University Grad Slam showcases and celebrates a wide array of graduate student research and creative activities across the CSU. Participating CSU campuses nominate two graduate students to compete for a chance to win cash prizes and bragging rights. During the competition, participants are allowed 3 minutes and one PowerPoint slide to present their research to a non-expert audience.

California State University, Long Beach will be hosting the Fourth Annual CSU Grad Slam on May 3, 2024 via Zoom from 10:00am to 2:30pm. 

if you have any questions, please email CSU-Grad-Slam@csulb.edu.

  • Competitors must be currently enrolled in a graduate program at a California State University campus.
  • Competitors must be nominated by their CSU campus Grad Slam liaison, typically as a result of a campus competition.

  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes. The timer will begin immediately when the presenter starts speaking.
  • Competitors who exceed 3 minutes are disqualified.

A single, static PowerPoint slide using the 2024 Grad Slam Template. 

  • The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No slide transitions, animations, or electronic media (e.g., sound or video files) are permitted.
  • If photos, graphics, graphs, or illustrations are included on the slide not solely created by the presenter, a reference to the original source must be included at the bottom of the slide.
  • No props (e.g., costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.

Please include a signed release form. Use this link to access the CSU General Photography, Visual image Release

The CSU Grad Slam is a research communication competition; it is not a research competition. Accordingly, competitors in the CSU-wide Grad Slam are scored in two general areas: “Comprehension & Content” and “Engagement & Communication.” More detail is provided in the subheadings and downloadable rubric below.

Clarity:  Did the speaker provide adequate background knowledge to make the talk and the importance of the project understandable?

Organization: Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?

Language matches audience:  Was the topic and its significance communicated in a language appropriate to an interested, but non-specialist audience? (For example, did the speaker avoid or explain discipline-specific jargon?)

Significance:  Did the presenter explain why the project mattered, addressing the impact and results of the research?

Delivery:  How was the delivery, including pace, enthusiasm, confidence, body language, and dynamism of vocal delivery?

Visual:  Did the slide enhance the presentation and help to emphasize the primary points of the talk?  Was the slide well designed, clear, legible and concise?

Engagement:  To what extent did the talk speak to your intellectual curiosity?  Did it make you want to learn more about the topic?


The following prizes will be awarded to competitors at the live event in May 2024:

  • First Prize: $1,500 cash award
  • Second Prize: $1000 cash award
  • Third Prize/People's Choice: $500 cash award

  • Download our detailed Event Guide [PDF] for instructions on how to have the best virtual Grad Slam experience. 
  • Want to connect via mobile phone?  Here's how.

Each campus must either add their Grad Slam competitors' names and email addresses to the GoogleSheet sent to them or email it to CSU-Grad-Slam@csulb.edu by 11:59pm on Friday, April 19, 2024.

The graduate student competitors will receive an email invitation to register for the competition. They must register by 11:59pm on Wednesday, April 24, 2024. The invitation will provide additional details regarding their headshot, the signed CSU media release form, and their one PPT slide using the template provided.

Judges will be preregistered for the event. If you are a judge and have not received a preregistration email, please contact, Dr. Dina Perrone, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at CSULB via Dina.Perrone@csulb.edu

All audience members/guests must register for the competition via this link by 9:30am on Friday, May 3, 2024.