This competition has been temporarily suspended. We hope to resume this competition soon. 

The Grad Research Competition was held every spring at Lehigh University. This competition celebrated the exciting research conducted by graduate students and cultivated their academic, presentation, and research communication skills.

The competition supported graduate students' capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

The Grad Research Competition is an opportunity for Lehigh graduate students to showcase and promote their research, publicly acknowledge themselves as researchers, and add an impressive line to their curriculum vitae. Not only does this competition benefit graduate students, but it also benefits Lehigh University as a whole.


Not to mention, there are monetary prizes for the winners! Spring 2023 Prizes - 1st Place - $300; 2nd Place - $200; 3rd Place - $100;  People's Choice - $50


Any Lehigh University graduate student working on an academic research project who wants to practice their presentation skills and ability to succinctly and clearly explain their work to others.

Nope. For our competition, we welcome any Lehigh graduate student at any graduate level. 


  • The GWS will host an informational session for any interested competitors on Thursday, March 9th at 5:00pm in Packer House.
  • Deadline to register to compete is no later than end of day March 16th.
  • The GWS will host a practice session / workshop for all registered competitors on Thursday, March 30th from 5:00pm - 7:00pm in Rauch Business Center 085.
  • The Grad Research Competition will be held on Thursday, April 6th from 5:00pm - 7:00pm in Rauch Business Center 085.
    • ​Family and friends are welcome.
    • Light refreshments will be served.

Yep. There are a few opportunities for practice and feedback. 

  • Schedule a consultation with any Graduate Writing Consultant in the GWS.
  • Schedule a coaching appointment with Ali Erk in the CCPD.
  • Attend the practice session / workshop on Thursday, March 9th from 5:00pm - 7:00pm.
  • You will have access to the Big Interview platform, which you can use to practice your talk. Big Interview will give you immediate feedback about the strength of your presentation, and you can opt to send a copy to me for review and feedback. 

Competitors will be judged on two broad categories:

Comprehension & Content

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  • Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation - or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?

Engagement & Communication

  • Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or 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 PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?

In order to compete, you must register no later than TBD (click here to register to compete). To register you must provide

  • Name
  • LIN
  • Department
  • Name of Faculty Advisor / Sponsoring Professor’s Name
  • Your Mobile Phone Number
  • Research Topic
  • Draft 3MT Title
  • 100 Summary of Presentation
  • Draft of Your Slide

You can email the Graduate Writers' Studio at

2023 Graduate Research Competition Winners

First Place: Syrmalenia Kotronaki, Biological Sciences

Second Place: Husamettin Taysi, Civil Engineering

Third Place & People's Choice: Robson Junior, Teaching, Learning, & Technology