About the competition

Download the program for Grad Slam 2024! (PDF)

Grad Slam is an annual contest to communicate research. It aims to make research accessible by providing emerging scientists and scholars with the skills to engage the public in their work.

Participants are judged on how well they engage the audience, how clearly they communicate key concepts and how effectively they focus and present their ideas—all in three minutes or less.

Each of UC’s 10 campuses holds local Grad Slam contests; the first-place winners of each of those will square off May 3, 2024 for the systemwide title, and their share of prize money.

Winners will be selected by a panel of judges representing industry, media, government and higher education. Viewers will also get a chance to vote for their favorite; the winner will receive the audience choice award.

The 2024 contest will be emceed by Nathan Brostrom, UC’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, at LinkedIn’s headquarters in San Francisco. You can also tune in right here to watch the livestream on May 3 to join the action.

Diana Chu

Professor of Biology, San Francisco State University

Diana Chu is a professor of Biology at San Francisco State University whose research investigates molecular mechanisms that package and transmit DNA during sperm formation. Work from the Chu Lab has been published in Nature, eLife and PLoS Genetics and is funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. As the coordinator of the graduate program at SF State, Chu also develops and teaches courses in science communication.

Daphne Jomo

author, Cal-Bridge Scholar

Daphne Jomo is a Cal-Bridge Scholar and author majoring in Computer Engineering at San Francisco State University. Jomo is deeply committed to the advancement of technology accessibility for all. Her interests include the development of energy-efficient smart tech for underserved rural communities, the integration of technology in health care and the application of technology in infrastructure development.

Nancy Lee

UC Board of Regents

Nancy Lee was appointed to the UC Board of Regents by Governor Gavin Newsom. She is the executive vice president of international business operations and chief of staff to Robert A. Iger at The Walt Disney Company. Lee holds an M.B.A. from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. from the University of Chicago.

James A. Steintrager

Professor of English, Comparative Literature and European Languages and Studies, UC Irvine

James A. Steintrager is a professor of English, Comparative Literature and European Languages and Studies at UC Irvine and chair of the UC Academic Senate. He specializes in 17th- and 18th-century English, French and German literature, aesthetics and intellectual history, and he also writes, translates and curates in the interdisciplinary field of sound studies. He received a B.A. in French and Politics from Wake Forest University and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Stephanie Weisman

founder, artistic/executive director, The Marsh

Stephanie Weisman is the founder and artistic/executive director of The Marsh, the Bay Area’s premier venue for solo performance. The Marsh produces 500 shows a year and provides classes in performance development for underserved youth. Weisman received the Meritorious Achievement Award from Bay Area Theatre Critic’s Circle and was named A Local Hero by the Bay Guardian. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Creative Writing from SUNY Buffalo.