2022 Grad Thesis SLAM

Grad Thesis SLAM, a modified version of the Three Minute Thesis (3 MT), is a competition that provides doctoral students an opportunity to present their research to general audiences in three minutes.


All current UVA doctoral students who have passed their qualifying exams are eligible to enter the Grad Thesis SLAM competition.

Overview & Timeline

The Grad Thesis SLAM competition includes a 4-week preparation series, preliminary round and final competition. In the preliminary rounds, panels of judges will review presentations, provide feedback to students and help in selecting finalists. The top scored presentations from the preliminary round advance to the Final round.  

Preparation Series: Feb 16- March 16

Preliminary Rounds: March 28- April 5

Final Grad Thesis SLAM competition: April 21 

Competition Guidelines 

  • A single PowerPoint slide is permitted, but not absolutely required.
  • Electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted. If used, electronic media must not be longer than 15 seconds of 3 minute limit.
  • Presenter can use props to explain research. However, the prop should be necessary to explain research and must be approved by event organizers.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech or use of media or prop.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Preparation Series: Essential Presentation Skills

Students participating in Grad Thesis SLAM are strongly encouraged to participate in 2022 Grad Thesis SLAM: Essential Presentation Skills preparation series led by Amy Aines, between Feb 16- March 16, 4 pm -5.30 pm on Zoom.

 Every speaker has their own unique style and research story.  Learn how to be your best as you prepare to present your research at the 2022 GRAD Thesis SLAM. You will learn, apply, and practice essential presentation skills working solo and with other students.  Homework assignments and additional learning materials will help you build your three-minute talk.  Even if you don’t compete, join us to discover how to become a more confident, engaging, and compelling speaker.


  1. How to find, tailor & structure your research story | Feb 16

  2. How to Engage Listeners from Start to Finish | Feb 23

  3. How to Design Your Slide and Deliver Your Talk | March 9

  4. How to Handle Speaker Jitters and Prepare for Success | March 16


Amy Aines, founder of Talking STEM and co-author of Championing Science- Communicating your Ideas to Decision Makers, University of California Press, 2019. Amy is a Communications Strategist & Training helping scientists speak so they engage listeners, get hired and make a bigger impact with their work. 


Registration for Essential Presentation Skills series is now closed. However, you can still register to compete in the SLAM.  

Register here to participate in 2022 Grad Thesis SLAM Competition. 


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