Student Poster Competition Information

Evaluation & Judging

Students who present posters in the Student Competition will be evaluated in the following areas:

  • Scientific Content - 50% (10 points each)

    • Introduction and background with pertinent literature cited
    • Objectives clearly stated and concise
    • Materials and methods (study design) clear and concise
    • Results and discussion clear, concise, and accurate
    • Significance of results to field of study
  • Poster Display - 50% (10 points each)

    • Organization
      • Logical order, minimum redundancy, effective space use, good transition between sections
    • Text, Figures, Tables
      • Legible with large fonts, color contrast, no conflicting backgrounds
      • Text without grammatical errors; not excessively wordy
      • Effective use of figures and/or tables, coordinated with text
    • Other
      • Overall quality/appearance, other positive features, poster flow, informative information, etc.

Suggestions for Posters

Poster design can significantly enhance or severely diminish the effectiveness of your presentation. The following guidelines are general considerations:

  • Focus of attention: The focus of attention must be on the subject content. If the design overshadows the subject matter, the message is likely to be lost.
  • Size and selection of visuals: Larger visuals attract more attention. Visuals not relevant to the content will distract the viewer.
  • Density of visuals and text (labels): Too many visuals (pictures) and text (labels) in a small space decreases readers’ attention, because each object is in competition with the others. Minimize these to prevent stimulus overload! Generally, a maximum length of 50-75 words per label results in a higher probability of people reading it.
  • Ability to read text: Letters should be large so that they can easily be read from 2-3 feet away. Letters should be easily read (avoid Old English and other "fancy" fonts).
  • Poster layout:
    • Use a consistent layout with heading and subheading font and size standardized;
    • Use bulleted lists to facilitate reading;
    • Relate the content of the text to the picture it describes;
    • Reduce competing stimuli - Avoid placing a large number of labels and visuals next to one another; and
    • Provide good contrast between the text and background (avoid white on white, blue on navy, etc.).

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