Submit Your Intent to participate by June 16. The live event will be held on Thursday, September 21, 2023

Important Dates:

  • June 16, 2023 - Submit Your Intent Deadline

  • July 17, 2023 - Video Submissions Due

  • August 1, 2023 - Finalist Selection

  • September 21, 2023 - Live Event

  • October 2023 - Bay Area Research SLAM


Any current employee who will be in an active appointment through October 2023 and has received their PhD between January 2016 - December 2022.

How to Enter

Participants will submit their intent to enter the contest, no later than 11:59pm on June 16, 2023. To declare to enter, they will complete a short online google form. By June 29, 2023 all eligible participants will be notified of their confirmed eligibility and given instructions on how to submit the video for the competition. All video submissions must be received by 5:00 PM July 17, 2023 to be considered. If chosen as a finalist, the contestant will give a live presentation of their research on the final competition date, September 21, 2023 in order to be eligible to win the competition.

Video Submissions

The specific link for video submissions will be sent to participants that met the intent to submit deadline and received confirmation of their eligibility. The file format must be supported by google form. Videos will be judged for content and not video quality.

Rules for Final Live Presentations

All winners (First prize, Second prize, Third prize, and the People's Choice award) be decided at the live event.

Only ONE, single, static PowerPoint slide is permitted (for a virtual event, this will translate to a Zoom background). Your slide does not need to have your name on it; Berkeley Lab will create a slide that includes the finalist's name, division, and title of the presentation. Ideally, your slide will enhance your presentation, but the slide is not the focus of the contest.

  • No slide transitions or animations of any kind are allowed.

  • The slide is to be presented from the beginning of your talk.

  • No additional media (e.g. sound or video files) are permitted in the slide.

  • Contestants will select a short clip of a song they would like played as they are introduced.

  • No props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.

  • Presentations will be limited to three minutes. Competitors exceeding three minutes will lose points on their presentation.

  • Presentations are to be spoken word (i.e. not sung or otherwise performed).

  • Presentations must be made on the stage (or virtual stage), in person, at the live.

  • The judges' decision is final.


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 10-12 finalists. The final judges will review the live presentations at the Slam live event and will choose the winner and runner-up from among the finalists. The judges' choices are final and binding.

The winner of the people's choice award will be determined by a voting form only to members of the audience at live or virtual event. Each attendee will be allowed to vote only once. In the event that the "people's choice" award winner is the same as the winner or runner-up in the contest, that individual will receive both prizes. In the event any of the final judges are not able to be present at the September event, the remaining judges will decide on the winner and runner-up. In the event of a tie, the chair of the judges will make the final decision. Berkeley Lab reserves the right to replace any judge who has to withdraw from judging the award with another qualified individual.

Judging Criteria

Comprehension and Content

  • Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?

  • Was the research 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?

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

The judges may also consider the following factors...

  • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?

  • 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?

Videotaping of Live Event

The 2021 Slam live event will be photographed as well as videotaped. By entering the contest, you agree to allow Berkeley Lab to use the resulting photographs and/or video, which may include your image or presentation, in publicity surrounding the contest and/or in other contexts, such as websites, promotional materials, etc. (The initial video entries will not be shared with anyone except the screening judges without your express, written permission). Berkeley Lab reserves the right to cancel this contest if fewer than 20 entries are received.