Postdoc Speed Talk Competition

The University of Arizona announces the first Postdoc Speed Talk Competition.

This competition, inspired by the UArizona’s Grad Slam and UCSF’s Postdoc Slam, offers postdocs an opportunity to present their research to a diverse and non-specialist audience, receive feedback, and win prizes. Presentations must be 3 minutes or less and include no more than 6 slides.
Workshops designed to help you prepare your presentation for the Postdoc Speed Talk Competition will be offered in January and February 2020 (more details below).

To be eligible, you must be a full-time Postdoctoral Research Associate (or another approved job title; for approval, contact Jenny Hoit at at the University of Arizona and no more than 5 years since earning a doctoral degree.

For other questions, please contact Adriana Picoral at

How to Enter the Postdoc Speed Talk Competition

  • Submit a video of your 3-minute presentation by March 2, 2020 at 5:00 pm.

How to Prepare and Submit Your Postdoc Speed Talk Competition Video

  • Begin your video by stating your full name and the title of your presentation.
  • You may include up to 6 slides.
  • Your presentation may not exceed 3 minutes (if it does, it will be disqualified from the competition). Your presentation should be designed to communicate effectively with a diverse and non-specialist audience.
  • Your video should be submitted in MP4 or MOV format and named as follows: “yourlastname.yourfirstname.postdocspeedtalk2020” (substituting your actual names).
  • You may use Zoom to record your presentation. Instructions to record your presentations with Zoom can be found on this page.
  • Your skills as a videographer will not be rated. Nevertheless, it is important that the judges can see and hear your presentation well enough to rate it.
  • To submit your video, upload it to:
  • Postdoctoral Affairs will provide optional workshops during February 2020 to help you prepare for the Postdoc Speed Talk Competition (to be announced).

How Your Video Will Be Judged

The submitted videos will be rated by a team of judges representing different disciplines and levels of knowledge. They will be judged based on the following:

  • How understandable is your presentation? (Can a diverse and non-specialist audience understand it?)
  • How interesting is your presentation? (Did it make the judges want to know more?)
  • How effective are your slides? (Are they simple, clear, and attractive? Do they provide meaningful support for what you are saying?)
  • How are your public speaking skills? (Did you speak clearly, expressively, and at an appropriate pace? Did you appear professional and competent?)

Based on the judges’ ratings, approximately 10 finalists will be chosen to give their presentations in person. The finalists will be contacted by March 23, 2020.

In-Person Postdoc Speed Talk Competition Event Details

The in-person event will take place on the UArizona main campus on April 6, 2020 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Each finalist will give a 3-minute presentation which will be rated by a panel of judges. First, second, and third place awards will be presented immediately after the competition and light refreshments will be served.

How Your In-Person Presentation Will Be Judged

A new set of judges (that is, different judges than those who rated the videos) will be on site to rate the in-person presentations. Based on the judges’ ratings, a first-place, second-place, and third-place winner will be selected. The awards will be a plaque and a monetary prize ($2000 for first place; $1000 for second place; $500 for third place). Monetary prizes must be used toward scholarly activities or professional development.

Video Tutorial

Go to and click on the first blue Download button on the page to download Zoom. When the download is complete, open the file to install Zoom.

Once you have the app installed, you can sign in as follows:

  1. Double-click the Zoom icon or search for the “Start Zoom” desktop app.
  2. In the Zoom Sign In window, click the Sign In with SSO button.
  3. Enter “arizona" as the company domain.
  4. In the browser window that appears, log in with your UA NetID and password.
  5. If a browser pop-up appears, allow your browser to launch Zoom by clicking the Open Zoom Meetings button.

Workshops to Prepare for the 2020 Postdoc Speed Talk Competition

Several workshops will be offered in Spring 2020 to help you prepare your presentation for the Postdoc Speed Talk Competition.