The Rebel Grad Slam

The idea is to explain who you are, what you study, why you study it, what your research question is, how you're analyzing it, and — most importantly — why it matters to folks outside your field using 1 PowerPoint slide and less than 3 minutes!

Hear from past Rebel Grad Slam participants – Austin McKenna (2017), Henry Castillo (2015), LaToya Burdiss (2019), and Jason Avedesian (2019) – about why they participated, their experience, and tips for future competitors.

Rebel Grad Slam 2017 Winner
Rebel Grad Slam 2015 Winner
2019 Rebel Grad Slam participant LaToya Burdiss
2019 Rebel Grad Slam participant Jason Avedesian

2020 Winners

  • 1st Place
    • Kendra McGlothen, School of Integrated Health Sciences
    • Harjiv Singh, School of Integrated Health Sciences
  • 2nd Place
    • Andrew Ortiz, Graduate College
  • 3rd Place
    • Shaimaa Abdelhaleem, College of Sciences

Watch the Vides Finals Program

The Rebel Grad Slam 3-Minute Thesis Competition is an opportunity for graduate students to showcase their research and scholarship in an engaging way. This is a fast paced research rumble to highlight the innovative and impactful work being done by UNLV graduate students. Come out to cheer on your friends, students and colleagues!

The Rebel Grad Slam challenges students to a 3-minute/1-slide presentation to showcase their research to the audience and judges in a condensed and compelling way. Participants will be evaluated on how well they explain and communicate the most significant parts of their scholarship/research. Winners of the Preliminary Rounds will progress to the Semi-Finals. Winners of the Semi-Finals round will compete in the Grad Slam Finals.

A panel of UNLV faculty, staff, and community members will judge each round of presentations using a standard scoring rubric. UNLV faculty, staff, and students, as well as family, friends, and the community are all invited and encouraged to attend the virtual Semi-Finals and Finals rounds.

This is a medallion-qualifying event for UNLV graduate & professional students. For additional information, please see the Graduate College Medallion Program website. The Rebel Grad Slam Finals Round & Reception also fulfills the major campus research event requirement for the Grad Rebel Advantage Program. Please see the event website for additional information.

Register to Participate in RGS by Nov. 2

Preliminary Rounds

Each student only participates in one round.

  • Monday, November 9: 12-1 p.m.
  • Monday, November 9: 5-6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 10: 12-1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 10: 5-6 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 12:  12-1 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 12: 5-6 p.m.

Semi-Finals Rounds

Each student only participates in one round (if you advance to the semi-finals).

  • Monday, November 16: 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Monday, November 16: 1:30-3 p.m.
  • Monday, November 16: 3:30-5 p.m.

Finals Round & Reception

  • Wednesday, November 18: 4-5 p.m.

Upcoming Events

This event has passed, but please check out details from our past event.

Rules and Regulations

  • Contestants must submit the authorized Rebel Grad Slam PowerPoint to by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 2. Please label the PowerPoint document: LastName_RGS2020. Prior to submitting your slide, please review the Rebel Grad Slam PowerPoint and Presentation Requirements. Presentations that do not follow the guidelines will not be accepted.
  • You cannot modify your PowerPoint slide between rounds.
  • You may only use your 1 PowerPoint slide: no music, performances, props, note cards, etc.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps, or songs)
  • The 3-minute presentation maximum will be strictly enforced; any contestants exceeding 3 minutes will be disqualified from the competition. A time clock will be made visible for contestants to monitor.
  • All judges' scoring and decisions will be final.
  • Contestants must log-in to WebEx 10-15 minutes prior to the start of the competition for check-in.
  • Business casual is encouraged.

Why You Should Compete

All competitors will receive gifts for participating. For the preliminary rounds and semi-finals:

  • 1st place wins $200
  • 2nd place wins $150
  • 3rd place wins $100

The final three overall winners will also win scholarships. But this is not just an individual event; competitors will also represent their Colleges.

The overall 1st place winner's College will be awarded the Rebel Grad Slam 'Stach Award to keep & display for the academic year. So sign-up, prepare, practice, and compete to gain professional skills, to show off your research & scholarship, and to represent your College at the Rebel Grad Slam event!

In addition, we are once again participating in the Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) 3MT Competition and the Southwest Showdown 3MT Grad Slam. Finalists of the UNLV Rebel Grad Slam competition may have the opportunity to compete in these regional competitions. Additional information forthcoming. 

Great Prizes

All participants will receive a Rebel Grad Slam T-shirt and Grad Rebel swag package.

The College with the most Grad Rebel participants wins a free lunch! The Grad Slam Champion's College wins control of the Rebel 'Stache Trophy.

The finalists will be awarded scholarships:

  • 1st place wins $1,000
  • 2nd place wins $750
  • 3rd place wins $500

Tips for Success

  • Use limited text on the PowerPoint slide.
  • Use visuals on the PowerPoint slide. Optional visuals include: original charts, graphs, illustrations & photos.
  • Practice, practice, and practice!
  • Time yourself; Practice not exceeding 3 minutes.
  • Speak to your audience, make eye-contact, speak clearly and confidently.
  • Avoid jargon: present your ideas in an accessible way.
  • Be engaging: make the audience feel something.
  • Show up 15 minutes early to the event in which you are competing.
  • Watch other 3MT presentation videos for guidance & inspiration.
  • Be aware of the scoring rubric to help you prepare your presentation and earn the points you need to win your round.

Recaps from Past Rebel Grad Slams


2019 Winners

1st Place
Nam Hoang, College of Sciences

2nd Place
Jason Avedesian, Graduate College

3rd Place
Johanna Andrews, Public Health
Michael Wong, Graduate College


2018 Winners

1st Place
Trevor Pollom, College of Liberal Arts

2nd Place
Henry Castillo, College of Education

3rd Place
Bhagya de Silva, College of Sciences


2017 Winners

1st Place
Austin McKenna, College of Sciences

2nd Place
Celine Ayala, College of Liberal Arts

3rd Place
Lorena Samentar, College of Sciences



2016 Winners

1st Place
Karli Nave, College of Liberal Arts
Jacqueline Phan, College of Sciences

2nd Place
Wynn Tashman, College of Education

3rd Place
Stephanie Devine, College of Education


2015 Winners

1st Place
Henry Castillo, Greenspun College of Urban Affairs

2nd Place
Kaiyang Wu, Lee Business School

3rd Place
Chris Hardy, College of Sciences


2014 Winners

1st Place
Erica Marti, College of Engineering

2nd Place
Katelyn DiBenedetto, College of Liberal Arts

3rd Place
Chris Hardy, College of Sciences

Please be advised that your participation in the Rebel Grad Slam event may amount to a public disclosure which could jeopardize your ability to obtain patent protection in certain jurisdictions. As a student, prior to participating and openly sharing the details of your project, you may want to seek legal counsel. Regarding faculty, staff member or employee of the University of Nevada Las Vegas, please contact the Office of Economic Development regarding any disclosure you plan to share or otherwise present to ensure compliance with NSHE policy and to best advise you on how to protect any intellectual property that may arise from your project.