Postdoc Slam 2018


What is it?

UCSF's third annual Postdoc Slam competition — modeled on the highly successful Grad Slam — will challenge postdocs to present a compelling presentation of their research in three minutes or less, using language that not only their peers but also non-specialists will understand. The intention of Postdoc Slam is not to dumb-down or trivialize research; rather, it is meant to incentivize postdocs to clarify their ideas and to help others understand their work and to appreciate its significance.

Postdoc Slam Live Event

The 2018 Postdoc Slam contest will take place on Wednesday, September 26, 4 - 6 p.m., at the UCSF Mission Bay campus in Genentech Hall Auditorium. The event will also be live-streamed to Parnassus (HSW 301) for those people unable to join us at Mission Bay. Audiences at both locations will cast "people's choice" ballots and enjoy a reception following the talks.  Following closely on the heels of Postdoc Appreciation Week, the contest will be a celebration not only of the finalists and contest winner, but also of postdoc research at UCSF and of scientific enquiry.


The first place winner of the 2018 Postdoc Slam contest will receive a $3,000 cash prize. The second place prize will be $1,500, and - new for 2018 - the third place prize will be $1,000. The "people's choice" winner will receive $750. Non-prize-winning finalists will each receive a $100 Amazon gift card.


There are two sets of judges for the contest, comprising distinguished scientists, science communicators, and communications professionals. A panel of screening judges will review the initial video entries. These judges will choose the 7-10 finalists who will compete in the live event on September 26. A separate panel of five judges will choose the prize winners at the live event. The people's choice winner will be decided by audience vote at the live event.

Why enter?

First of all, being able to present your research in a concise way to a non-specialist is a crucial skill for all scientists to have. Having such a presentation "in your back pocket" will help you with eventual job interviews and will help you to network at conferences and other events. It may even help you get funding for your ideas, and it will make you a better advocate for research, science, and education.

Being a finalist or winner of the Postdoc Slam contest will also look great on your CV! The Postdoc Slam competition will be well publicized, so finalists and awardees may get media attention as well. And each finalist in the live event will receive a professionally edited video of their presentation to use as they wish.

Finally, that prize money could help you get to a conference you want to attend. It'll be yours to spend as you wish.

How to Enter

Step 1: Declare your intent to enter by July 17, 2018 by completing this simple online form. Step 2: Submit a video of your 3-minute talk by August 14.  Preliminary judges will select 7-10 finalists in late August. See the contest rules for guidelines, eligibility, judging criteria, and other important deadlines. And check out our list of resources. Note that the contest is open only to current UCSF postdocs (appointed in a UCSF postdoc title code).

View the Postdoc Slam Info Session slide presentation.


Questions may be directed to Erik Rotman, communications coordinator in the Graduate Division.

More Information

Postdoc Slam Rules
Helpful Resources for Postdoc Slam Participants
Past Postdoc Slam Events
Postdoc Slam Info Session slide presentation


(Photos above by Susan Merrell, except for headshots of 2018 contestants, which are courtesy of the finalists.)