Scientific Poster Presentation
Coordinator: Dr. Dennis Dye
The All Nations Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ANLSAMP) will host its annual Poster and Oral STEM Undergraduate Research Competition. Students may compete in either the Poster and/or Oral presentation categories. Presentations will be judged by a panel of judges and scored with prizes awarded to the top three competitors in each category.
The following Suggested Guidelines for Poster and Oral Presentations and the separate l-page Poster/Oral Undergraduate Research Competition - Registration Form is available by contacting Lee Padilla, Projects Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting the AIHEC Conference website.
ANLSAMP’s goal is to double the number of American Indians achieving Bachelor degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The National Science Foundation funds ANLSAMP.
The goal of your scientific poster is to have an organized and attractive presentation of your research findings. Posters should be self-explanatory and readable. In addition, when fabricating your poster, please consider using the following suggested guidelines.
- Title: At the top of your poster you should have a title that is both short and very descriptive of your project. For empirical studies, the title should also mention the organism(s) studied. As a rule, the title should be easily readable at a distance of about 4 – 5 feet away (words are approximately 1.5 – 2.5 cm in height).
- Name Affiliation: Directly under the title, you should have your name, your faculty sponsor’s name, and your school’s name. The name and affiliation section is usually about 20-30% smaller than the title.
- The body of the poster:
- The Abstract: This is a brief synopsis of the entire work, described in the poster. Most abstracts are one or two paragraphs in length. The abstract should be understandable without reading the entire poster and the reader should be able to decide if s/he would like to read the entire poster based on what they read in the abstract. The abstract should contain the following elements: (1) the purpose of the study, (2) a brief statement of what you did, (3) a concise statement of the major findings, and (4) the major conclusions. Do not include details of the methods.
- Introduction: The purpose of the introduction is to present the question being explored by your research and to place it in the context of current knowledge about the topic. It often works well to start with the general context and work your way down to the specifics, ending with a precise statement of the question or hypothesis being addressed by your study. The introduction should convince the reader of the significance of your study. To so this well in a poster is a challenging requirement. Be brief, but include the important points to be sure the reader sees the relevance of your work.
- Methods: In this section you should describe all procedures that you performed. Describe your methods in sufficient detail to allow a reader who works in your field to understand that you did to collect your data. Illustrations are appropriate for complex experimental design, etc.
- Results: The purpose of this section is to summarize the data. Report the results of any statistical tests here. Present all of your results, whether positive or negative. A table or figure may substitute for a written summary as long as each table or figure has a legend that explains the graphic clearly.
- Discussion: In this section you should interpret the meaning of your results with respect to the original question. You should interpret your results without repeating them. The discussion must include your conclusions about the answers to the questions that motivated your research that you described in the introduction. If appropriate, mention explanations for unexpected results.
- Literature Cited: This section is optional in the poster, unless citations are used in the text. Include only those papers cited in the text. Do not cite a paper unless you have read it yourself. Cite all your references in the text and list them in the literature-cited section using a format from a major journal within your discipline.
- Graphics, Tables, Photos, and Others: Illustrations, tables, figures, photographs, and diagrams need to have unique identification numbers and legends. In the text, use the numbers to refer to specific graphics or pictures. In your legends, include a full explanation and where appropriate, include color keys, scale, etc.
- Sample Layouts: There are an endless number of ways to put a poster together. Remember try to create a strong visual but, avoid making the poster look crowded. It is important to provide some indication of the flow of the poster (top to bottom, left to right). Some posters have numbered sections (units) to indicate the reading order.
One entire poster should take up a space no larger than 80cm by 120cm (approximately 32” by 48”). All posters will be affixed to and displayed on a vertical surface (e.g. wood, foam board, cork board). You should determine how to secure your poster to such a surface and bring whatever materials you will need to do this. You may build your poster upon a single piece of poster-board or it may be made up of several individual components that can be secured to the display surface. We encourage you to be imaginative and creative, so long as you follow the guidelines in this document. Remember that the purpose of the poster is to convey information from your research. Use care that the display does not overpower the scientific content. Also, check your text and legends for accuracy. Be sure to italicize Latin words, label graphs, tables and have several people proofread your poster.
If you decide to make each of the above components of the poster a single unit, the smallest unit should be no smaller than 17.5cm by 20.5cm (approximately 7” by 8”), except for literature cited and for the title and Name sections that are, by necessity, linear in orientation. It is fine to group more than one required element on a single unit as long as your poster is clear and readable and does not look cluttered. Unless otherwise directed in the above sections, the text font size is to be no smaller than about 3-4mm in height for an upper case letter (for example: 12 point font in Times New Roman). Times Roman is difficult to read at a distance. Helvetica has sharply delineated letters (no curlicues) and thus, is easier to read at a distance. There are many other font options for you to choose from but you must make sure they are comparable to the Times New Roman 12 point font size.