Poster presentation & judging

  • Student poster presenters will be expected to bring posters to the Friday Conference Center for setting up on Wednesday, March 27, between 7 to 9 a.m. No posters will be accepted after 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 27.
  • Easels, foam core board (40″ x 30″), binder clips and thumbtacks will be provided for presenters to secure and display posters.
  • Posters will be displayed during Conference hours on Wednesday, March 27. Poster presenters are requested to stand by their posters during breaks and are required to stand by their posters during the afternoon poster session from 2 to 3 p.m., to meet and discuss project work with conference attendees.
  • The designated presentation and judging period for posters will take place from noon to 3 p.m. that day.
  • Student poster winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 27, in the closing session. The top three winners will receive a prize. 
    • First Place - $1,000
    • Second Place - $500
    • Third Place - $300

For any questions, contact Courtney Blake at

Authors should bring

  • A single (40” x 30”) sheet poster, made of heavyweight poster paper or similar material.
  • Heavy duty fasteners or tacks (as back up to the binder clips and thumbtacks provided by conference staff), tape, or other materials as determined necessary.
  • Optional: Additional written material, of a non-commercial nature, that supplements the material presented on the poster. This material can be distributed or for display on site.
  • Business cards. This will be a GREAT networking opportunity.

Poster session guidelines

  • Commercial advertising of products or services is not permitted.
  • There are no provisions for printing posters at the conference.
  • Do not tack individual pages of a Power Point presentation or a text manuscript onto a poster board.

Tips on developing a stellar research poster

  • Shorten your text lines: Long lines of text are more difficult to read, which is why magazines and newspapers always break up their text into narrower columns. With a landscape orientation, consider breaking your text into four columns.
  • Justify the right way – to the left: While justifying text on both the right and left (i.e., full justification) makes for very neat-looking columns, it can cause distracting vertical “rivers” of spaces down the page. Left justifying text makes for an easier read.
  • Consider your font: You don’t have to stick with just one. Adding a little variety, and even downloading a font that isn’t available on PowerPoint, can make your poster stand out. But never use more than two or three fonts.
  • Bigger is better: In low light conditions, or when the audience is reading over other people’s shoulders, larger fonts are essential.
  • Banish the legend: Legends or keys to multicolored line graphs give a viewer one more thing to interpret. If possible, annotate your data with labels directly on the image.
  • Declutter: Use graphs rather than tables; avoid cluttered figures; arrange experiments to tell a story, not in the order they were performed; include enough data to defend your hypothesis; keep about a 50/50 ratio of graphics to text.
  • Visibility is key: Check for readability at 6 feet; print out a small copy to better judge your layout choices; use a ruler to make sure all columns are aligned; stick with black as the text color.
  • This resource provides additional guidance: How to design an award-winning conference poster

What to do before you print

  • Give it a test run: You often find mistakes when you’re standing in front of your poster at the conference. To save yourself the embarrassment, project your poster on the wall of your lab and run through your presentation.
  • Check your message: Once you’ve made your poster look its best, give it one more read-through to make sure that it presents the point of your research in the most convincing light.
  • Color check: Make sure the colors you’ve chosen are readable in low light. It’s hard to predict where your poster will be placed, so make sure your choices work in different settings.
  • Check dimensions: Although this should really be the first thing you do, not the last, it’s a good idea to make sure your poster conforms to the meeting’s size and orientation specifications.

PhD Posters is a printing service students can use to print their posters locally.