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Process Overview

How to prepare to present at SURC.


Carefully review the FAQs to your right and the guidance regarding poster design below. 


Reflect on the key points related to your project that you want to communicate to the SURC audience.


Draft and revise poster.


Request feedback on your poster from your research advisor and ask if they support adding the poster to our online SURC poster repository.


Think through how you'll summarize the project when speaking to SURC attendees and consider questions that you might receive at the event.


Invite your research advisor, other researchers, friends, and family to come to the event.


What does presenting at SURC entail?

You will be part of a large “poster session.” Presenters stand by posters highlighting their work at poster sessions while attendees circulate the room, view the posters, and engage the presenters in dialogue.


You do not need to prepare a formal talk, but we recommend you think in advance about the types of questions you might receive from attendees about your project and potential responses to those questions.


Think through a brief (1-2 minute) summary of the project in advance, as it is common for attendees at poster sessions to begin a conversation with a presenter by requesting an overview of the presenter’s project.

What topics should be covered by my poster?

Your poster should do the following:

  • Identify the core question or problem that your project engages.

  • Make clear how the project relates to the broader literature in your field.

  • Describe the methods used.

  • Share key results from your project. 

  • Comment on the implications of your results for our understanding.

What guidelines should I follow when designing my poster?

Please see the section on poster design below.


When I prepare my poster and think about answering questions from attendees, what type of audience(s) should I have in mind?

Like your abstract for the event, your poster should be prepared with an audience of specialists in your academic field in mind. In other words, the poster should be designed for an audience that knows your discipline or area of study well but may not know much about your specific research question.


The goal is for you to have the experience of developing a poster that would be appropriate for presentation at an academic conference in your field. Attendees will come from a wide range of fields; as you prepare to discuss your work at the event, you should consider how to explain your project to people from a wide range of perspectives, ranging from an expert in your field to someone with little knowledge of it. 

Who should I ask for feedback on my poster before I finalize it?

Please ask your research advisor to comment on your poster. At the time you request feedback, please also ask your advisor whether they would support its publication in our online repository of SURC posters. If they do not support the poster's publication online, you should not upload it to the repository. You can still participate in the event regardless of whether you share your poster in the repository. (You can find more information about uploading materials to the repository in the "Participating in SURC" section of this site.)

If you also worked with a graduate student or other senior researcher on your project, we strongly recommend that you ask them for feedback, too. Bear in mind that all requests for feedback should be sent well in advance of the date that you plan to finalize your poster.


General Guidelines

  • SURC posters can be one of several sizes:

    • 40" by 32" (Landscape)/32" by 40" (Portrait)

    • 42" by 30" (Landscape)/30" by 42" (Portrait)

    • 48" by 36" (Landscape)/36" by 48" (Portrait)

  • The title of the project and the names of all student research group members participating in SURC should be listed at the top of the poster. 

  • You can include your project advisor and other research collaborators not involved in SURC.

  • Your poster should focus on your work, not on reviewing the work of other researchers; when you do reference other research studies, include relevant citations.

  • Please see below if you want to start the design process with a simple poster template. 


OUR Poster Development Guide

OUR offers a detailed guide to developing research posters. Please review the guide and draw on it when working on your poster.

Google Slides and Microsoft PowerPoint Templates

SURC poster templates for Google Slides and Microsoft PowerPoint are provided below. Additional templates will be added to this site soon.


Use of these templates is optional. If you do not use a template to build your poster, please be sure to adjust the size of your document to the correct dimensions at the beginning of the process.

40" by 32"/32" by 40" Posters

Google Slides Templates


42" by 30"/30" by 42" Posters

Google Slides Templates


48" by 36"/36" by 48" Posters


Google Slides Templates

PowerPoint Templates (PPTX files)



PowerPoint Templates (PPTX files)

PowerPoint Templates (PPTX files)

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