Help and Guidelines

The Research Symposium team has developed a set of tools that we think will assist you in developing an effective research poster and/or oral presentation.

Tools for Creating Effective Posters

April 6: Optional Poster Design Help Session noon to 1:30 p.m. - Workshop Materials

April 14: Optional Oral Presentation Help Session noon to 1:30 p.m. - Slides

Poster presenters are encouraged to use the Better Scientific Poster template. This resource includes formatting guidelines and links to open-source resources for generating QR codes, charts and graphs, and Better Scientific Poster graphic design elements. The principles behind this best-practices approach are explored in the video, How to Create a Better Research Poster in Less Time. Consider searching online for an infographic generator like this one.

Each student will:

  • Highlight the main research finding by stating it succinctly and in plain English accessible to a broad audience
  • Emphasize this main finding statement (or “punchline”) with larger font size and placement toward the top and center of the poster
  • Limit poster size to no more than 36" x 48" (90cm x 121cm); landscape or portrait orientation is acceptable
  • Choose a white background, limiting photos and colored backgrounds to the center portion of the poster
  • Align text left if more than two lines long
  • Ensure posters are accessible. PowerPoint resources:
  • Optional: Students are welcome to include an MP4 video explaining their posters.

Scholarships to pay for poster printing will be available to PSU students.

Virtual Workshop: Designing a Poster to Remember

Posters can be a powerful way to present your research, ideas, and findings at conferences and meetings, but designing a poster that is visually interesting and presenting it in a way that holds the attention of your audience can be tricky. That’s where our poster design and presentation workshop comes in. Attend this workshop and learn: 1) what needs to be on your poster, 2) the tested design rules and new thinking in poster design, and 3) ways to adapt a poster to your audience. In this interactive session there will be time to share and get feedback on the initial draft of your poster.

April 6, 2022: Optional Poster Design Help Session 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. - Check back for Zoom link.

Poster Content Suggestions

Your poster should present high-level answers to the following questions:

  1. What did you find?
  2. Focus on your primary research finding.

  3. Why is it significant?
  4. Emphasize any exciting potential applications or uses, as well as any surprising discoveries. How might your research change the way people live?

  5. What did you do, and how did you do it?
  6. Describe your hypothesis and your methods.

  7. What comes next?
  8. Would you like to repeat an experiment on a larger scale or with a larger sample? How does your work inform the current thinking in your field? Did your findings raise new questions worth exploring?

Virtual Workshop: Power Packing Research Presentations

An oral presentation is more than just reading a paper or set of slides to an audience. How you deliver your presentation is at least as important in effectively communicating your message as what you say. In this session presenters will share some simple tools that help you prepare and present an effective presentation, and design PowerPoint slides that support and enhance your talk. This interactive session will reserve time for participants to get individualized support.

April 14, 2022: Optional Oral Presentation Help Session 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. - Check back for Zoom link.

General Recommendations for Oral Presentations
  • Oral presentations must not exceed 15 minutes.
  • Time your presentation and practice it in advance.
  • Do not plan to read your paper or sections of your paper.
  • In your presentation, summarize your research by highlighting your research questions, methods, findings, and conclusions.
  • Each oral presentation will need to be closed captioned or have a written transcript if you decide to post a video recording of your presentation on PDXScholar. If you have a written transcript, please submit it with your prerecorded video.

Oral Presentation Help

Spend time viewing these short oral presentation tutorials.

Optional: Feedback Form

If you would like to invite feedback and questions from those who see your research with the PDXScholar portal you can include a feedback form with your submission. Use this Feedback Form Template. Copy the template, and rename it with your last name. Change questions as you like, or keep it the same. Include a link to your personalized Feedback Form at the end of your abstract. This will allow you to privately receive feedback and questions from conference participants and viewers. Here is an example of how it will look in your submission: Example Submission

Optional: Creating Videos

For those who would like to prerecord their presentation to upload to PDXScholar, we recommend using Zoom. These are the basic steps:

  • Login into Zoom using your PSU email address.
  • Click Host or Schedule meeting.
  • Navigate to your presentation or poster.
  • Click Share Screen.
  • Click Record to the Cloud.
  • When finished, end the recording and wait for it to be available.
  • In the main Zoom menu, find your file under Recordings.
  • Click download.

Watch the video in the Example Submission: How to Record and Download Your Presentation Using Zoom

15 Minutes Maximum Length for Videos

Questions? Email us at