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Research Posters

Welcome to the Undergraduate Research Network study guide. Within this guide you will find all the necessary content and resources to help you construct your research poster.

Hints and advice

Make a plan - be aware of your audience and design your poster to be eye-catching, informative and accessible.

Start with the basics – It’s tempting to jump in straight away with the design elements or your poster but concentrate on condensing your content first. This will help you to decide how much space to allocate to each section, and whether your poster needs to zoom in a specific aspect of your project or even a single research question. When you are ready to get creative, here are some useful websites to help make your poster stand out from the crowd:

  • Icons and imagesFlaticon offers a vast range of icons for research posters, while our go-to for vectors and illustrations is Freepik. Both of these sites require you to acknowledge the author/creator in the reference list as you would with an academic source. Pixabay and Flikr offer a good range of royalty-free photographs.

  • Design elementsPiktochart is a browser-based design tool that can be used to add alternative fonts, text boxes and images into your research posters. You can set up a free account that allows access to a reasonable range of features. Remember to make objects larger than they will appear in your poster to avoid pixilation when altering their size in PowerPoint. Alternative option - Canva

  • Snipping tool - Use the snipping tool function in Windows, or take screenshots that can be cropped, to copy and paste design elements into your poster. Make sure you adhere to copyright when doing this - taking a screenshot of an image or photograph (ie. from Google Search) without acknowledging the sources does not meet APA referencing conventions.

Less Is More - keep your content to a minimum. This goes for words and images/graphs. Everything on your poster should help to grab your audiences' attention and convey information.

Hyphenation - If you choose to use an alternative software to Microsoft PowerPoint (such as Microsoft Publisher Adobe InDesign), check ‘hyphenation’ is disabled on your text boxes. This function inserts hyphens or dashes (-) into the middle of words if they are longer than your text box. Turn this function off (sown below) to increase readability.

Proofread, proofread, proofread 
- this is a really important and often overlooked step! There's nothing worse than noticing a spelling error once your poster has been printed, so it's essential that you check your finished design multiple times for errors before sending it for printing!

Ultimately, it is important to remember that this is YOUR poster and you should design it in a way that best conveys the findings and conclusion of your research.

Tips from the experts

Hear from Sarthak as he lists his top three tips following his experience of last years Poster Showcase Event.