Spring Research Festival
May 1 & 2, 2019
May 1 & 2
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Judging/Poster Guidelines

Judging and Poster Guidelines

Poster Guidelines

Tack boards (48 x 72 inches) and thumb tacks are provided to display your poster. Note maximum poster size!


Helpful Hints for Poster Preparation
  • Title text should be bold, approximately 1 to 1.25 inches high (100 to 125 points); names and affiliations in bold, approximately 0.75 inches high (65 to 85 points). We recommend using a simple, sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica for titles.
  • Headings should be bold, 20 to 48 points high, so that they stand out from the body text. Using a contrasting color for headings tends to look good.
  • Body text should be 18 to 24 points high, in a basic, legible font like Times New Roman, Arial, or Helvetica. Where body text is used at a small size, use a sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica so that it is more readable. It may even be necessary to make very small text bold.
  • Figure legends can be in the same size as the body text, or slightly smaller (14 to 18 points). The title of the figure should be bold.
  • One-piece posters: In general, use light or white backgrounds. Avoid using the background images available in PowerPoint; they don’t print out well.
  • Multi-piece posters: Plan how you want the pieces to be arranged within the space available. Sometimes a custom page size (up to 11x 17) will work better than letter size pages.

Judging Criteria

Research Concept
  • Is the hypothesis or the problem clearly stated and easily understood?
  • Is the project innovative or does it look at a question in a new way?
  • Does it represent new/novel technology or a new application of existing technology to the hypothesis?
Experimental Quality
  • Are the experimental design and methods appropriate to the objective?
  • Are the results meaningful and relevant?
  • Do the conclusions adequately and concisely interpret the results?
Display Attributes
  • Lettering size and quality: Can the information/data flow be easily followed? Is there too much text?
  • Tables/figures/photos: Should be simple in design for clear and quick understanding. What is represented should be identified.
  • Use of color: Provide credit if the color adds value to the poster.
Overall Poster Quality and Presentation
  • Is the poster neat, attractive, and informative?
  • Is the research concept adaptable to the poster style?
  • Are the main conclusions obvious after a short scan of the poster?
  • Is the poster self‐explanatory? It should not contain any unfamiliar terms that need interpretation.
  • Organization: The poster display should be well organized and clearly show the flow of presentation either by using appropriate headings (methods, results, and conclusions) or by the use of arrows or connecting lines.


Each poster will be judged by at least 2 people. We will endeavor to match a judge’s expertise with the poster topic. However, due to the large number of posters, this might not always be feasible. Also, we feel that a judge’s overall impression of a poster is more important than having specific knowledge of the topic.

We encourage you to interview each of your assigned poster owners; especially if the person standing beside the poster is a student. This conversation will help the student learn the most from the experience of publicly presenting their research. Ask in depth questions about their research and provide direct feedback. You are not requested to pointedly comment on the science behind the poster (although constructive ideas are always welcome), rather please provide feedback on the general poster presentation (e.g. is it too crowded with data, is the abstract too long, is it lacking conclusions, etc.).

Judges will need to print the Judging Score Sheet for each of their assigned posters. This document contains criteria to assist with scoring, as well as provide a convenient place to quickly jot down your impressions of the poster.

  • If you have an obvious conflict with one of your assigned posters, please contact the Spring Research Festival Administrator
  • Judges are to score the poster; not the presentation of the poster by the owner. Please do not score every poster high as awards should only be given to posters that are truly outstanding.
  • Scores will be officially recorded electronically. Judges should enter their scores by clicking Here.