Submission Format and Guidelines:

This year’s Symposium will be hosted online due to COVID-19 pandemic:

All graduate students from all departments of UC campuses, are eligible to submit their work and get 7 minutes to present, accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation or a poster. Graduate students must record their presentation and submit their video (7 minutes long) by May 22nd midnight.

The videos  will be categorized based on the subjects and will be available for public view at the symposium day (May 29th) through Symposium website.  Presenters are encouraged to visit their video frequently to engage with audience and answer questions.

Speakers are encouraged to target a general audience that is not well-informed in the specific area of research. There will be one winner in each session judged on the talks’ accessibility by a general audience based on the judges’ scores and audience engagement. The judging rubric can be found here.

Video presentation rules and format:

Be sure to review the judging criteria, check out the resources to help you craft an accessible 7-minute talk, and sign up for the Symposium Prep Workshop with our presentation coaches.

Rules for Video Presentations:

  • Your presentation must be based on your own, original research.
  • Your first slide must include your name, program, mentor, and title of the presentation. Ideally, your slide will enhance your presentation, but the slide is not the focus of the contest.
  • Slides must be visible in your video presentation and be clear to the audience.
  • The slide is to be presented from the beginning of your talk.
  • In regards to additional media only one 30 seconds long video or audio is permitted during your presentation. 
  • Presentations will be limited to seven minutes. Competitors exceeding seven minutes will be automatically disqualified.
  • For general submission presentations are to be spoken word (i.e. not sung or otherwise performed). See Arts  submission exemption below
  • Presentations must be made by yourself and no other person can be in your video.
  • The judges’ decision is final.

Arts students Submission exemption:

Arts students must state their full name and the title of their presentation at the beginning and have the rest of the presentation time to present/perform. The performance/presentation must be a solo. 

Video Format: 

  1. Your video subject matter should be the same as the abstract you submitted.
  2. At the very beginning of your video, please state your full name and the title of your presentation. 
  3. You will not be judged on your skills as a videographer, and you do not need to use professional video equipment. As long as the judges can see you and your slides, and the audio is clear and understandable, that is sufficient. (You may get help creating your video if you like.)
  4. You are not required to memorize your talk for the video submission. However, if you do read your talk (off a screen or paper), remember that you are also being judged on your presentation skills and your ability to engage an audience!

Video submission: 

Students will upload their video presentation to their own youtube channel and will submit the link to the video through our video submission form which will be up soon! Please check this page back frequently for more information. 

Please check out the resources below suggested by UCI graduate division to help you craft an engaging 7 minute talk: 

Online Resources
How to Talk like TED by Carmine Gallo, Article by Guy Kawasaki
How to Give a TED-Worthy Talk by Dorie Clark, Forbes 
10 Tips on How to make Slides that Communicate your Idea, by TED Staff
Giving an Academic Talk by Jonathan Shewchuk, Associate Professor in Computer Science, University of California at Berkeley
Giving Oral Presentations from English Communication for Scientists by Jean-luc Doumont (ed.), Nature (2010)
Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
Making the Most of Your Three Minutes for 3MT: The Three Minute Thesis by Simon Clews, Director, Writing Centre, University of Melbourne
10 Hints for Improving Presentations for the Three Minute Thesis Competition by Danielle Fischer, Charles Darwin University
Top Ten Tips for Writing and Delivering Very Brief Speeches by Bill Cole, Founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants

Need some inspiration?

TED Talks (up to 6 minutes in length): Brief talks on “ideas worth spreading.”

PhD Comics Two-Minute Thesis: PhD Comics challenged graduate students to explain their work in two minutes – the best have been turned into videos!

2014 University of Western Sidney Three-Minute Thesis Finals