Conference Posters

Like a scientific talk, a poster focuses on the big picture of your research.  Stress what your research goals are and their significance.  Don’t worry if your project is still a work in progress, just state whatever results you have now and describe prospects for future work.  Leave out unnecessary details.  The poster should be a concise and self-explanatory presentation of your work.  After the conference it will be displayed in LC hallways for others to admire and learn about your research. 

The key to an effective poster is to use mostly visual information.  Build your poster around the photographs, graphs, and tables you need to tell your story.  Each such figure should have a concise caption that explains what you want the reader to get out of the figure. Many of the slides you developed for your talk can be adapted for use in your poster.

The deadline for free poster printing at LC is Monday, September 13 After this date you will be charged for printing, so don’t procrastinate!  The large-format printer is in the Resource Lab in the basement of Watzek Library.   Tell them to charge the printing to the “Rogers Science Program.”  Carefully proof-read your poster before printing it because the Rogers Program will cover the cost of only two large-format print outs. 

The maximum dimensions of your poster should match the size of the foam boards we use to display the posters:

  Vertical = 30 inches
  Horizontal = 40 inches 

(While it is possible to increase the size of your poster by a few inches, the larger it is in comparison with the foam board base, the more curling you will see on the sides of the poster paper.)

Look over the posters in the halls of Olin and Bodine for ideas of how to format your own poster.  Talk to some of the veteran interns for tips on poster design.  There is a lot of helpful advice on the web for how to make an effective poster.  Adam Smith’s presentation covers the technical issues of poster design and has several links to open-source software for making your poster.

I will leave it up to you to decide the best way to tell your story.  The basic elements that you need to consider are as follows:

  • TITLE.  Use a really big font so the title acts as a banner.
  • AUTHORS’ NAMES.  Students’ names should be followed by their expected year of graduation (for example, Lisa Simpson ’99); the project director’s name comes last after the students’ names.
  • AUTHORS’ AFFILIATION.  In most cases this will simply be Department of xxx, Lewis & Clark College.  Use the project director’s department.  For off-campus projects, list LC (for you) and the school or institution where you did the work.  Format the title, authors, and affiliation as a unified banner at the top of your poster.
  • INTRODUCTION.  Set the stage for the reader.
  • METHODS.  Brief; may be part of figure legends.
  • RESULTS.  Key figures that highlight your findings.
  • CONCLUSION.  Summary of results and their significance; future plans.
  • LITERATURE CITED.  If applicable.
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.  List funding sources for your project.  For example, National Science Foundation, Research Corporation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  Ask your professor for the funding details.  Every poster should acknowledge support from:
       John S. Rogers Science Research Program
       James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation

Your finished poster is meant to be viewed from a distance.  Use large type (at least 14-point, double-spaced) for the text and arrange the information so that the viewer’s eye travels naturally in the desired sequence.  If there is any chance for confusion, number the different sections sequentially.