What is an academic research poster?
Much like an abstract, an academic poster is a summary of your research project, with the very important difference that the poster should be visually engaging as well as academically sound. Descriptive text must be brief—this is the opportunity to highlight your methods and results as well as give the context of your research.
How do I prepare an academic research poster presentation?
Your poster should include all of the pertinent information about your project you describe in your abstract but with more detail and with eye-catching examples, including charts, tables, figures, footnotes, references and other supporting information.
Most people choose to work with PowerPoint (.ppt) files scaled to the size specified by the large-format printer. Portable Document Format (.pdf) and Joint Photographic Experts Group (.jpeg) files are also acceptable.
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee our ability to accommodate files formatted for Macintosh systems. If your files are for a Mac, we suggest converting them to a high resolution .pdf file when utilizing the Office of Undergraduate Research printing services. We may be able to assist you with converting Mac files to print your poster, but please allow extra time to explore this possibility when scheduling your printing appointment.
- Change the size of your slide to poster dimensions by selecting Page Setup from the File menu. Choose dimensions according to the specific large format printer to which you will be printing. If you plan to use the OUR for printing services, please note that OUR posters must be sized 34 inches X 44 inches (landscape or portrait orientation are both acceptable). If you are NOT printing in the OUR, make sure to check the dimensions required for the location where you are printing.
- Use high resolution photos and graphics whenever possible. A photo or graphic that looks clear on a standard (8.5 inches by 11 inches) page may look grainy or pixilated when enlarged for a poster. To correct this problem and avoid associated costs for multiple prints, examine your file carefully using Print Preview options AFTER increasing the dimensions of your page to poster size. If the quality is poor in Print Preview, replace those components of your poster with higher resolution elements.
- Before printing, double and triple check your file for errors such as spelling mistakes or overlapping images.
- Save your file on a USB portable data storage device to bring to your printing appointment.
Finally, along with your poster, you should prepare a two-minute presentation of your poster that you will be able to deliver to anyone viewing your poster at the symposium. Even though you will be standing with your poster to discuss your research with viewers, the poster should be able to stand on its own with a clear, logical presentation of your research.