Welcome to GRAD 2018!

Cultivating Community Connections: Fulfilling the Land-grant Mission in PG County and Beyond

Abstract Submission                           Registration                         Judging                          Schedule

The Graduate Student Government (GSG) hosted Graduate Research Appreciation Day on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in the Stamp Student Union in conjunction with the UMD Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition. The GRAD 2018 Winners can be found here: GRAD_Winners_2018.

Graduate Research Appreciation Day (GRAD) provides an on-campus conference-style venue in which graduate students from all academic backgrounds can share their research or work, obtain valuable faculty and peer feedback, and hone their communication skills within the comfort of their own campus environment. GRAD fosters healthy competition among students by recognizing and awarding the best presentations from subject-themed oral, poster, and elevator-speech presentation sessions, among others.

This annual event was previously known as Graduate Research Interaction Day, but through the advocacy of graduate students, the name was changed to Graduate Research Appreciation Day. The GSG passed legislation to support the name change and a new name was chosen at the 2016 event. 

GSG encourages the submission of a summary of work from graduate students in any program (including Master's, Professional, and PhD students), in any discipline. GRAD is intended to be an inclusive space, and the GRAD planning committee will strive to make it so. If, at any point, you have a suggestion for making GRAD more accessible or welcoming, particularly to folks with disabilities and/or folks of typically marginalized identities, please contact us at gsg-vpaa@umd.edu.

GRAD is made possible by the generous support of our partners: 


Abstract Submission

The abstract submissions are open and will close on March 16th at 11:59 PM! Please use this Google Form to submit a summary of work for the Graduate Research Appreciation Day 2018.

In combination with the Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT), the Graduate School and GSG proudly announce that GRAD 2018 is focusing on cultivating community connections in our research efforts. In this spirit, we are encouraging participants to focus on the societal impacts of their research, near and far!  

Presentation Guidelines

Before you select your format, please refer to the Evaluation Sheets available here: GRAD Judging Rubric. We invite all graduate students to present their research or work in one of the following formats:

1. Oral Presentation/Performance Guidelines (10 minutes)

Participants will be given 10 minutes for their oral presentation/performance, which will be followed by a 2-3 minute question and answer period with judges and audience members.

Performance is a broad category and may include: Musical, Spoken Word, Theatrical, Dance, etc.

Oral presentations must be accompanied by a visual aid, such as a PowerPoint presentation. A laptop and LCD projector will be available in each presentation room. Out of respect for your fellow panelists, the judges, and audience members, presenters are encouraged to ensure that their visual aids are complete and ready for presentation at the start of their panel, and to be prepared to present without them should a technological mishap occur.

To facilitate the interdisciplinary exchanges at the core of GRAD, there will be enough time remaining before the end of the session to have a brief discussion of the ways the various research presentations speak to each other, how they approach similar problems from different disciplines, or how they suggest future avenues of research and collaboration.

2. Poster/Artwork Guidelines (no larger than 36"x48" or 48"x36")

Participants will be given 8 minutes to present their poster to the judges, which will be followed by a 2 minute question-and-answer period. Posters must be no more than 4 feet tall and must be set-up in the poster session room prior to the start of the poster session. Poster presenters must stand by and attend to their posters during the duration of their session in order to present to and address questions from judges and session attendees. Please note that posters must be printed prior to the conference; the GSG will not provide poster printing services. It is acceptable to use printed powerpoint slides if the printing is cost-prohibitive. 

3. Elevator Speech Guidelines (3 minutes, maximum three slides)

Participants will be given 3 minutes to present their research to the judges and attendees. These speeches are meant to be persuasive, dynamic talks, in the style of TEDTalks(TM) or the 3MT. Presenting your work in a concise and compelling manner is an important skill to foster in graduate education. 

Preparing for GRAD 2018?

The Graduate School Writing Center is offering two workshops on how to construct and deliver an engaging and persuasive GRAD presentation. Whether you are a first-time GRAD presenter or a GRAD veteran, their sessions can help you prepare for the event.

Workshops will be held on the following dates:

Friday, March 30th 1-2pm in 5100B McKeldin
Monday, April 2nd, from 2-3pm in 2124 Lee.

Register for either workshop at go.umd.edu/ReadyForGRAD


The Graduate School Writing Center is now offering consultations on oral communications. Their speech drafting and delivery coaching can help graduate students in numerous contexts, including job talks, conference presentations, class speeches, performances, job interviewing, and general speech apprehension, among others. To make an appointment, contact the Graduate School Writing Center, gradwritingfellows@umd.edu.


Registration for GRAD is free and open to all graduate/professional students and faculty. Come to GRAD to see your friends and colleagues present their work, to hear an engaging presentation at the morning keynote, to participate in thought-provoking discussions at lunch, and for the free food and swag! Please register here by Friday, March 30th.






"I plan to continue participating in GRAD in future years. I always encourage graduate students in my department to submit, and I think it is a wonderful (and rare!) opportunity for graduate students to get together across departments. It is really a wonderful event!.." - 2010 Participant 

"The whole event was great! It's wonderful that GSG puts this event together for the graduate student community." - 2013 Participant

Volunteer to be a Judge

Thank you for volunteering to be a judge! Please use this rubric to evaluate the presentations/posters.



We are looking forward to seeing everyone on April 4th! Please see the full GRAD schedule here: GRAD2018_program.

GRAD At-a-Glance: 


For more information, please contact the GRAD Planning Committee at grad.umdgsg@gmail.com.