Grad Slam Judging Criteria


  1. There are two sets of judges: screening judges and final judges. The screening judges will review the video entries submitted by the deadline and choose the 7-10 finalists. The final judges will review the live presentations at the Grad Slam event in April and will choose the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners from among the finalists. The judges' choices are final and binding.
  2. The winner of the people's choice award will be determined by electronic voting by members of the live and remote viewing audience. Each audience member will be allowed to vote only once. In the event that the "people's choice" award winner is the same as one of the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd prize winners in the contest, that individual will receive both prizes.
  3. In the event any of the final judges are not able to be present at the April event, the remaining judges will decide on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners.
  4. The Graduate Division reserves the right to replace any judge who has to withdraw from judging the award with another qualified individual.

Judging Criteria

Basic Criteria

Comprehension and Content

Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?

Was the dissertation topic and its significance communicated using language appropriate to an educated, but non-specialist audience?

Engagement and Communication

Did the presentation make the audience want to know more about the research?

Finer Points

The judges may also consider the following factors...

Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?

Did the presentation clearly describe the speaker's contribution to the research in terms of idea generation, methodology, research approach, or findings?

Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?

Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?

Was the presentation well-paced?  Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation, or did they rush through some elements?

Was the presenter careful not to over-generalize their research?

Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?

Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?

Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?

Did the speaker's slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?