Postdoc Research Slam 2023

Postdoc Research Slam 2023

February 7, 2023 

Thanks for your interest in the Postdoc Slam. This year's competition took place on February 7, 2023.

Each competitor had three minutes and one PowerPoint slide to communicate their research in a pitch-style format. Judges scored the contestants based on communication style, comprehension, and engagement.

This year's prizes

Monetary research prizes:

  • First Place: $700
  • Second Place: $500
  • Third Place: $250
Group photo of the 2023 Postdoc Research Slam finalists.

2023 Postdoc Research Slam Finalists

Back row, from left: Sedigheh Mahdavi, Connor McDougall, Meaghan Perdue, Patrick Sipila, Penny Pexman, William Ghali, vice-president (research), Kenzie Friesen, Kaue Duarte Tartarotti Nepomuceno and Youssef Allami. Front row, from left: Daniel Comadurán Márquez, Maryam Ghahremani, Mohammad Rehan, Xiao Yang Fang (Yangyang) and Michelle Hawks.

Read UToday Story

  • All participants must be current postdoctoral scholars at the University of Calgary
  • This event is for individual competitors. No pairs or groups will be permitted
  • single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration). Please note that using a slide is optional as the presentation focus is on your oration skills. Images used in the slide must be your own, or you must have permission from the owner of the photo(s) and provide proper credit(s).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment, laser pointers or note cards) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum.
  • Presentations that go over 3 minutes will have marks deducted from scoring.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations must be based on research directly related to the postdoctoral scholar’s research.
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Each of the three judging criteria has equal weight. Note that each criterion has an emphasis on the audience.

  1. Communication style:

    • Was the research topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
    • Did the speaker use sufficient eye contact and vocal range, maintain a steady pace, and a confident stance?
    • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology, and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
    • Did the speaker spend the right amount of time on each element of their presentation - or did they elaborate for too long or were they rushed?
    • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance, rather than detract, from their presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?
  2. Comprehension:

    • Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
    • Did the presenter clearly outline the nature and aims of the research?
    • Was the significance of the presenter's research clearly outlined?
    • Did the presentation follow a logical sequence?
  3. Engagement:

    • Did the presentation make the audience want to know more?
    • Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or 'dumb-down' the research?
    • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
    • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
    • Did the presentation make me want to know more about the speaker's research?

1st Place

1st Place Winner Michelle Hawks stands with William Ghali and Penny Pexman at the 2023 Postdoc Research Slam.

Dr. Michelle Hawks

Werklund School of Education

Are past math classes haunting us? Using history to explore ideas of intelligence in math

2nd Place

2nd Place Winner Daniel Comaduran Marquez stands with William Ghali and Penny Pexman at the 2023 Postdoc Research Slam.

Dr. Daniel Comaduran Marquez 

Cumming School of Medicine

Brain-controlled devices for playing sports

3rd Place

3rd Place Winner Meaghan Perdue stands with William Ghali and Penny Pexman at the 2023 Postdoc Research Slam.

Dr. Meaghan Perdue

Cumming School of Medicine

Reading isn't as easy as A-B-C: Looking into the brain to understand reading disability

Dr. Youssef Allami 

Faculty of Arts
Department of Psychology

Do predictors of remission from a gambling disorder apply equally to everyone?

Dr. Kaue Duarte Tartarotti Nepomuceno

​​​​​Cumming School of Medicine

Detecting Signs of Dementia sooner using Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Xiao Yang Fang (Yangyang)

Cumming School of Medicine

Radical Mental Health Doulas
A New Approach to Care

Dr. Kenzie Friesen

Faculty of Kinesiology

It’s common sense!: Sensors in mouthguards can be used to sense risk factors of concussion

Dr. Maryam Ghahremani 

Cumming School of Medicine

Mild behavioural impairment (MBI) in early-stage dementia

Dr. Sedigheh Mahdavi

Schulich School of Engineering

Application of Cattle Manure to Make Oil Production More Sustainable in Alberta?

Dr. Connor McDougall

Cumming School of Medicine

Optimizing Medical Imaging in Stroke Care

Dr. Mohammad Rehan

Cumming School of Medicine

Construction of Real Human Lung 3D Tissue in Lab to Study Lung Diseases

Dr. Patrick Sipila

Cumming School of Medicine

Discovery of drug resistance-informed treatment approach for pediatric malignancies

Past Competitors

1st Place: Cameron Semper, Cumming School of Medicine, Producing Meat from Cell Cultures: Helping to Reduce Costs in the Field of Cellular Agriculture.

2nd Place: Catherine Hume, Cumming School of Medicine, Investigating ‘The Munchies’; How Does Cannabis Use Alter Our Eating Habits?

3rd Place (tie):

People’s Choice: Deepika Dogra, Cumming School of Medicine, A Precision Medicine Approach to Modelling a Rare Pediatric Eepilepsy

Watch all of the videos here.

Francina Agosti: Sensory neurons at the rescue against infection

Bruna Araujo David: Maternal serum prevents newborn death by Escherichia coli infection

Sofia Backaberg: The way you move matters - now and later

Raquel Farias Franyutti: Integrating lung function and laboratory measurements to identify COVID-19 disease categories in the intensive care unit

Simona Denise Frederiksen: Rare Diseases have Many Faces: The Road to Diagnostic Success

Leigh Gabel: Skeletons on a mission: understanding bone loss on long-duration spaceflight (2nd Place Winner)

Michèle L. Hébert: Solving the Maze: Understanding the Journey and Opening Doors for Children with Disabilities and Their Family

Steven Hersch: Fighting fire with fire to kill antibiotic resistant bacteria

Catherine Hume: Is having 'the munchies' bad for our health?

Matthew Josephson: Hot or Cold? Understanding how organisms can live in a wide range of temperatures

Tiffany Prete: Surviving Colonization in Photographs (1st Place Winner)

Anu Räisänen: Young people with old knees: We KNEE-d to prevent osteoarthritis after a knee injury

Mostafa Salari: Social Distancing in passengers seat assignment

Anne-Marieke Smid: Modern dairy farming: to graze or not to graze? (3rd Place Winner)

Renata Kruger: A bike ride to thrive in assisted living care.

Liz Baker, Faculty of Social Work: Preventing Dating Violence on College Campuses

Tiffany Bell, Cumming School of Medicine: I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it: Understanding brain hyperexcitability in childhood migraine

Lauren Benson, Faculty of Kinesiology: Sport Injury Prevention with Wearable Technology

Jaime Colmenares, Faculty of Science: Once upon a time, I met Isotopes

Mahdad Eghbalian, Schulich School of Engineering: A novel multiscale model of hydraulic fracturing in tight rocks

Raquel Farias Franyutti, Cumming School of Medicine: The neuro-immune axis in the lung: understanding how our nerves communicate with our immune cells to protect us from infection (3rd Place Winner)

Eli Kinney-Lang, Cumming School of Medicine: Imagine that! Using Brain-Computer Interfaces and Imagined Sign Language to Enable Children with Complex Communication Needs (2nd Place Winner)

Brae Anne McArthur, Faculty of Arts: Identifying the "Digital Tipping Point": Understanding the Relation between Screen Time and Child Development (1st Place Winner)

Zahra Shakeri Hossein Abad, Cumming School of Medicine: A novel artificial intelligence system to protect children from unhealthy food and brand marketing in the digital age

Maria Stietz, Veterinary Medicine: Know your enemy

Ivana Vranjes, Haskayne School of Business:  #MeToo - But don't tell anyone…

Chunyang Yu, Schulich School of Engineering: Navigation for Pedestrians and Autonomous Vehicles