GPS-BIOMED, an NIH-funded program for UCI graduate students and postdocs in the biomedical sciences, hosted their annual elevator pitch competition at the Cove on November 21st. The purpose of the event was to teach graduate students how to: communicate the broad implication of their work, publicize their cutting-edge research to the public, and tell their story in an authentic and engaging way. The competition also served the larger mission of the UCI Graduate Professional Success (UCI-GPS) Initiative which strives to help scientists for a variety of careers within the biomedical research workforce.
Participants were encouraged to speak on the topic of their choice. Content spanned the gamut of research focuses, causes, or post-graduate plans. The event was the culmination of a series of workshops that helped participants refine their message and distil their personal brand. Judges for the competition included Mallory Hinks, a Ph.D. student in chemistry and 2016 GradSlam Champion, Neda Moayedi, Graduate Career Counselor, and Ryan Foland, Communications Craftsman. Graduate student Yasemin Sarigul-Klijin took first place in the competition for her pitch centered on her personal story and motivation for founding her startup, Red Lion Robotics.