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Research Posters

Poster sessions in classes and at conferences are a way to visually convey research. This guide offers the basics in design, content, and printing resources.

What is a research poster?

A poster session or poster presentation is the presentation of research by an individual or group for a class or academic/professional conference. At a conference, the work is usually peer reviewed.

A room is reserved for poster sessions where researchers accompany a poster illustrating their methods and outcomes. Presentations usually consist of affixing the research poster to a portable wall with the researcher in attendance answering questions. Each research project is presented on a conference schedule for a period ranging from 10 minutes to several hours.

Adapted from the Poster Session entry on Wikipedia 

The basics - There are three components to a poster session:

  1. You
  2. Your poster
  3. A handout

All three components should complement, not repeat one another.

You: Prepare a 1-2 minute lightning talk about your research. This should be a unique experience or insight in simple, easy-to-understand language. Also prepare to answer questions about your research.

Poster: The poster should outline your research with interesting commentary about what you learned along the way. It should be a balance of visuals and text.

Handout: Best practices for handouts - 1) The handout should be double-sided. 2) The front side of the paper should include a picture of the poster. 3) The back side of the paper should include a literature review, cited references, further information about the topic, and contact information.

Three questions to ask when designing a poster:

  1. What is the most important/interesting finding from my research?
  2. How can I visually share my research? Should I use charts, graphs, photos, images?
  3. What kind of information can I convey during my lightning talk that will complement my poster?
  4. How can people find out more about my work?

Best reason to give a poster presentation - Learn to see your research through the lens of others. Ask new questions!