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GradTerp Exchange FAQs

Can you persuade me that something like this is a good idea for my future as an academic?  

Communicating your enthusiasm and conveying the significance of your discipline and scholarship to mixed audiences is an essential skill for all academics.  It can launch, make, or break a career. Check out what Nature says on the idea.

Are food and drink served at the event?

Yes. For Fall 2021, with all caution, we'll provide drinks and snacks.  

What should I expect as an event attendee?

5:00pm: Doors open. Meet and mingle with your grad school and postdoc colleagues.

5:30-6:45pm: Brief welcome and presenters begin.  Each presenter speaks for about 15 minutes with 5 minutes of questions following each presentation.

6:45-7:00pm: Time for questions other questions, then program concludes, though you are encouraged to keep the conversation going!

Okay, I’m in. How long should my talk be?  

Your talk should be no more than 15 minutes, and you are welcome to speak for less time.

Will people be able to ask questions?

Yes! After each talk, there will be five minutes for questions on that specific talk, and then we’ll also have time for questions and conversations at the end of all three talks.

How would you describe the style of the talks?

There’s no strict rule here, but we suggest that you think of telling your research like a story, or at least with some narrative features. The most important thing is to engage your audience in your talk, remembering that they won’t be people in your discipline. Your delivery is important, as this TED talk underscores.

Want some ideas? Check out the way other scholars offer their engaging, informal talks for a broad audience.  

Can I use slides in my talk?

Yes, if they really help your audience understand your ideas! Slides shouldn’t be a crutch or a way to cram in extra information. You will be asked for your slides in advance of the event.

Do I have to talk about my findings?

You can but it’s not a requirement. Your talk should be about SOMETHING that you are doing in graduate school at Maryland. It does not have to be limited to the findings in your thesis or dissertation research. It could be about emerging challenges or issues related to your discipline, about the connection you see between your work and some world event, etc.

I’m a postdoctoral researcher at Maryland, not a graduate student. Can I give a talk?

Yes! We welcome postdocs to participate! We can even plan an ALL postdoc event if enough postdocs step up!

Will there be a teleprompter?

Silly question! The idea here is to offer an informal talk, one that you have composed and practiced but you shouldn’t read or even memorize. You can bring a few note cards if that helps.

Can I get help from the Graduate School Writing Center in putting together my Grad Terp Exchange talk?

Of course! Write us at and make an appointment or plan to come to one of the GradTerp Exchange Workshops this semester.

How do I apply to participate?

Great!  We want to create a balance of disciplines at each event, so please fill out this form to give us a sense of your talk and your availability.   

How will presenters be selected? (I hate rejection!)

We hate rejection too, and the idea here is to help you develop these communications skills. We’ll work to accept all applicants! We like to have a range of disciplines at any event, so no rejections, only good scheduling!

Do I really need to register to attend?

Absolutely! We ask that all attendees register in advance of the event, for planning purposes and (if you are joining virtually) to get the link.  Register for the event here


Contact Information

The Graduate School, University of Maryland

2123 Lee Building
7809 Regents Drive
College Park, MD 20742