2022 Penn Grad Talks

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Penn Grad Talks is going hybrid! The event, going on its sixth year, features TED Talk-style presentations by Penn Arts & Sciences graduate students representing the Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Professional Master’s programs.

Now accepting applications for 2022! EXTENDED DEADLINE: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26 AT 9 A.M. ET


Build your professional portfolio and get a shot at a $500 cash prize.

Apply Now

What is it?
A series of TED Talk-style presentations by Penn Arts & Sciences graduate students representing the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and professional master’s programs. Up to five finalists in each category will be selected to record an 8-minute talk in front of a limited audience, per University guidelines, which will be released to the public online during the week of March 21. Judges will select winners in each category for a $500 cash prize. There will also be one $500 prize for the overall Audience Choice Winner selected by online votes. Winners will be announced at an Award Ceremony and Reception on Friday, March 25.

Who is eligible to enter?
Students who are currently enrolled, or planning to be enrolled in the spring of 2022, in a doctoral or master's program through the School of Arts & Sciences Graduate Division, or in a master's program in the School of Arts & Sciences College of Liberal and Professional Studies. Why would I do this? This is a great opportunity to see if you can describe your work so that your grandmother would understand you. You will get an edited recording of your talk and feedback from our panel of judges made up of a Penn faculty member, communications staffer, and a fellow grad student from another discipline. Did we mention there are cash prizes?

When and where does it take place?
Finalists from each category will record their presentations at one of the scheduled recording sessions on February 22 or February 23, in front of a limited audience, at Irvine Auditorium, Café 58 (3401 Spruce Street). Presentations will then be released by category on the Penn Arts & Sciences social media accounts and website throughout the week of March 21.

On March 25, a celebratory reception and awards ceremony will also take place at the Irvine Auditorium per University guidelines.

How do I enter?
Interested students should submit abstracts (no more than 200 words) describing their proposed topic no later than close of business on Wednesday, January 26 using the entry link above.

Up to five finalists will be selected from entries in each category to record a video presentation for the event. Selected finalists will be notified on February 1. Finalists will be asked to attend one of the two recording sessions on February 22 or February 23. All applicants will need to indicate that they agree for their talks to be posted online.

Click HERE for more information on Penn Grad Talks, including winning presentations from previous years.

Please email any questions to events@sas.upenn.edu

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