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Oklahoma State University

Poster Presentation Information

Simply stated, a poster presentation is a tabletop display of your research enhanced by your being available to further expand the information in direct response to questions posed by those viewing your poster.

Research presented at the OSU Research Symposium is considered to be for the purposes of disseminating generalizable research systematically gathered and intended for publication.  As such, presentations are expected to abide by all pertinent research policies, such as biosafety, animal safety, radiation safety, and use of human subjects (including surveys, questionnaires, and the like).  A useful resource in determining the circumstances under which review of the research by the appropriate committee is necessary can be found at  At this site, OSU students can also determine OSU's research review procedures (e.g., Institutional Research Board [IRB] review).  Students from outside OSU should ask their advisor about their home institution's procedures for research review.

Students considering submitting a presentation that originated from a "classroom project" are welcome to register.  However, for the purposes of presenting at the OSU Research Symposium, such "classroom projects" are considered as having been conducted for the purpose of disseminating the results to a larger body of individuals and, therefore, the appropriate approvals from the home institution are required.

OSU reserves the right to request proof of institutional research approval for all Research Symposium presentations.

All submitted abstracts will be posted on the Graduate College web site after the submission deadline. All presenters will be notified when abstracts are available to review online.  An abstract of the poster is not the same as the pdf of the poster needed for pre-session judging.

Click here to view abstracts from previous years

You will be assigned to a poster sessions based on your presentation area. Each session will last for an hour and a half. You should be in attendance during the entire poster session time.

All poster presentations will be in the Student Union.
Presenters will be notified by email in January about their assigned day.
If your scheduling conflict is due to a class that you are enrolled in or teaching duties, please ask your instructor or faculty supervisor if you can be excused for your presentation.  If you are unable to present at the assigned time, we need to know as soon as possible to reschedule you. 
Please look at the schedule of available times posted on the symposium web page after these have been released and in an email to the Graduate College ( an list open time that fits your schedule.  Changes are allowed for a limited time; after the schedule change deadline, changes in presentation schedules can not be made.

To present your poster, you must bring your own poster board and poster stand.  Because the needs of presenters are so varied, we leave the planning of the size and materials for the poster to you.  We will provide a 6x4 table. Your only limitation is that your poster must fit in the space provided (using the table is optional) and it must stand independently with materials that you bring.

You should bring your poster and whatever equipment you will need for your poster to stand independently (e.g. easel, poster stand, poster board, thumb tacks, etc.).  Presenters in the past have used poster stands to set up their poster.  Others have borrowed professional poster stands from their department.

Electricity cannot be provided.  The Student Union is a wireless area on campus for student internet connectivity.

If you would like to use a poster easel and don't know where to get one, they may be rented for around $7 a day through:
     Classroom Technology Support
     100 Telecommunication Center
     (Note: Easels need to be reserved in advance).

Poster boards for presentation can be purchased from office supply stores such as Staples.  The OSU Student Union Bookstore sells a tri-fold cardboard product that is perfect for poster presentations and costs around $12 and is called a 'Project Display Board'.  Most of the duplicating services on campus can provide assistance in turning PowerPoint slides into color posters.  Please contact them to discuss how to do this and the cost.

Again, you must bring your own poster and poster stand to present your poster.

This is very much an individual decision. You should work with your faculty advisor and get his/her thoughts on what information he/she thinks should be presented. The content of the poster presentation should mirror your written research reports, but with much greater brevity.

Yes. Instructions will be sent by email after the research symposium on how you can request the comments of the judges.

Decisions about awards are still being decided.

The purpose of the research symposium is to provide professional presentation experience to students. Poster presentations are a mixture of visuals and research information. You are encouraged to read the pdf file "Effective Research Presentations" for further hints and suggestions.
Click here to see pictures of posters from previous Research Symposiums. Use these pictures as examples of how other students presented their posters.

Communicating Your Research and Results through a Poster Presentation**
A visitor to a poster does not necessarily want to read the entire poster, but following an opportunity to scan your poster, they most likely will want you to walk them through it. Thus, the key to creating an effective poster presentation is visual simplicity achieved without loss of information content.

  • Make the title brief and descriptive.
  • Provide a brief abstract to orient the viewer.
    • Note that the printed program will typically contain each presenter’s abstract, but the poster should also display the same or updated text.
  • Plan a story for the viewer:
    • The context - what, why, how
    • The results and analysis
    • The importance of the results
  • Use telegraphic language and bulleted outlines.
  • Construct easy-to-interpret graphs and tables for information and comparisons.
  • Include a visual image to illustrate your project and/or results.
  • Make it easy for the viewer to determine the flow of information.

Poster sessions have become a significant communication style for presenting research results in professional association meetings in all disciplines of the natural and social sciences. Visitors to poster sessions see and hear more presentations than in the equivalent time dedicated to presented papers; moreover, the opportunity for close conversation between presenter and visitor is one of the most important ways that information can be shared among scholars.

Examples of Poster Layouts

One of the simplest arrangements for a poster in landscape orientation with individual poster elements in portrait orientation. The 32 x 40" poster board used in Visible Thinking accepts eight 8.5x11" printed sheets plus a title and author banner. For variety and contrast, colored papers can be used to frame the printed sheets; colored paper will be available during set-up.
Variation of landscape poster format. The most common problems in fitting the poster elements to the board size are (1) not planning enough space for the title and author banner and (2) mixing individual poster elements in portrait and landscape orientations without taking into account the overall poster dimensions.
Landscape poster with a more complicated arrangement, but one which might work well when multiple small items such as photographs will be displayed. Such a poster works best when it is at least partially pre-assembled on poster board (thin cardboard) which can be pinned or clipped to the hard board backings available during set-up.
A poster in portrait orientation. Note the flow of information indicators and illustrations.
How to Make a Great Poster from the American Society of Plant Biologists

Poster Printing Options on and around the OSU Campus

FedEx, 307 North Perkins Road

  • Contact: 405-743-0806
  • Copies, oversized prints, poster prints

OSU Cartography Services, 313 Murray Hall

  • Contact: 405-744-7344,
  • Maximum Size: One side must be 36 inches or less
  • Rate: $3.50 per square foot (Color, Glossy)

OSU Human Sciences, 032 Human Sciences

  • Contact: 405-744-2488,
  • Maximum Size: One side must be 36 inches or less
  • Rates (based on longest dimension):
  • Black and White (Matte): $2 per foot
  • Black and White (Glossy): $6 per foot
  • Color (Matte): $10 per foot
  • Color (Glossy): $15 per foot

Staples, 616 N. Perkins Rd.

  • Contact: 405-624-8256
  • Maximum Size: One side must be 42 inches or less
  • Rates: Starting at $4.99 per square foot and up
**The pictures of poster layouts presented on this web page were originally on a web page hosted by Duke University's Undergraduate Research Support Office.
Each presentation will be judged by one or two judges.

NOTE: You are expected to provide to the judges copies of your abstract.