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Poster Presentations  

Last Updated: Mar 9, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Sample Posters to Evaluate

Iowa Space Grant students will evaluate these samples during the spring 2017 training session on poster presentations.



There are many software programs for creating posters. Check with your program to determine preferences or if they have a template. Note that some programs may offer extra features, storage, etc. if you use your .edu email address.


Logos for Download

PowerPoint template, UNI, and Iowa Space Grant logos are available for download here.



Triple check spelling, grammar and punctuation before printing. It should be reviewed/approved by your advisor/mentor. More reviews are better!

For Iowa Space Grant posters:

  • If you have any questions about your poster/format, size, etc., contact Neal Pruess,
  • Save your final copy as a pdf (or contact Neal about other formats allowed).
  • When the file is ready, send an electronic copy to:
  • Include the dimensions of the poster in my email so that they tech can double check.  They will NOT proof your poster.
  • A tech will print your poster and email you when it is ready. Pick-up is in Wright Hall 339 (may be unstaffed) and if you have problems, you can go to Wright 206.

Sample Poster (sciences)

The template below shows typical section arrangement for a poster in the sciences. For more examples, see:

Poster Sample


Poster Content

  • INCLUDEfunding source, scholarly references, image citations, dept. name, and other specifications provided by your dept. and/or funding agency.

  • MINIMALISM: Minimize text - use a combination of text and images. Keep text elements to 50 words or fewer. Use phrases and bullet points rather than full sentences. Don't try to be comprehensive like you would in a paper--just give highlights.

  • LANGUAGE: Use plain language. Avoid jargon and acronyms unless you're really positive your audience will understand. Check with an advisor about using 1st-person (I/me we/us); in some venues 1st-person is discouraged as a way to help objectivity.

  • HEADER: Title should be informative and interesting. Include authors' names in order determined by researchers, with institutional affiliations.
    • Some departments  may require UNI LOGO to be included, usually in in the upper left corner of the header; Programs, departments, and funding agencies (such as Iowa Space Grant) may require their logos be included, usually in header or acknowledgment. See Logos for Download box.

  • CITATIONS: Cite any information and images that aren't common knowledge in the field. Not sure? Ask an advisor. It's better to cite too much than not enough. Format according to 

Visual Elements/Graphics

  • FONT: Use a standard, simple font such as Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial. Use large font & make section headings bold and/or a bit larger. Stay consistent – double check that all headings (30-34pt), body text (22-28pt), and graph and photo captions (18pt) are the same.

  • JUSTIFY: Left-justify text; avoid centering and right-justifying text. Check that lines don't break in the middle of words.

  • COLOR: Dark text on light background is best. It is easiest to read and uses less ink when printing.

  • FIGURES: Try to keep tables, graphs, and other images 4x6 or larger. Be sure to caption each image. Include image source using citation style conventions (see Citing Sources box).

  • ARRANGEMENT: Standard arrangement is boxes in columns followed top to bottom and left to right. See examples provided.
  • BALANCE: Have a good visual balance of figures and text, separated by ample white space. Balance occurs when images and text are mirrored (at least approximately) across a central horizontal, vertical, or diagonal axis. Symmetry is key.


            • PRESENT: Poster presentations are a conversation between the presenter and attendees who stop by your poster. Usually the presenter shares a very short summary and attendees ask questions. 

            • PREPARE: Be ready to give a very short (1-2 minute) summary of your research to attendees. Use notecards if necessary but it's best to practice enough that you don't need them; it's nice to have your hands free to gesture to relevant sections of your poster as you talk. Prepare responses to questions attendees are likely to ask.

            • PRACTICE: Do a practice run with friends, classmates, and/or advisors. They can help you predict some questions attendees might ask.

            • WEAR: Professional attire is usually recommended. Be comfortable yet professional. Minimize jewelery, makeup, and perfume/cologne/other scented products. Specific conferences/programs may have specific attire trends, and it's always fine to ask what's acceptable.

            • MORE TIPS: For tips including video examples, see this guide.


            Your Librarian

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            Anne Marie Gruber
            Contact Info
            (319) 273-3711
            Spring 2017 Office Hours: most Mondays 1:30-3:30 outside McCollum 201; Tuesdays/Wednesdays 8am-10am in Rod Library 270
            Send Email

            Literature Reviews

            All high-quality research projects start with a thorough literature review; researchers search scholarly journals to find out what has been done on the topic previously, then they build on that prior research.

            • Rod Library Databases by Subject
              Rod Library has about 100 subscription databases. You can also see the entire list alphabetically here.
            • Research Guides
              There may be one or more librarian-created research guides with tips and suggested databases relevant to your major, topic, or course. Additional guides available upon request.
            • Liaison Librarians
              There is a librarian assigned to each academic department at UNI. Feel free to contact this person for one-on-one research assistance.
            • Ask Us
              Librarians and library assistants are here to assist with your research. You can contact us in person, via email, chat, etc.

            Citing Sources

            Be sure to cite your sources, both in-text and in a bibliography box on your poster. You also need to cite any images/charts you reproduced. If you created images/charts using data from a source, cite that source. Need help? Ask a librarian!


            Sharing your Work

            UNI shares student and faculty work through our institutional repository, UNI ScholarWorks.


            • You have an electronic version to share with potential graduate schools/employers.
            • Download counts and readership maps are provided. You can include this information in a resume.
            • Materials are available all over the world and are configured to show up at the top of Google search results.
            • Works included are used and cited by other researchers more often.

            Faculty advisors can contact UNI ScholarWorks staff in Rod Library to request inclusion of student projects: (319) 273-3739 or


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