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Research Conference Help (URC & GRC)

Tips and resources to help you create an effective research poster and prepare to give an oral presentation at the URC or GRC

Layout and Dimensions

Your poster should have clear sections that are easy to see and follow a logical order. Remember that most of your audience reads from left to right, top to bottom - so your sections should follow one of these reading patterns.

Specifications for dimensions:

The All Colleges Undergraduate Research Symposium:

  • Recommended poster size 32" X 40" or 36" X 48"; posters not to exceed 36" X 48"

Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Symposium:

  • Posters should not measure larger than 36" X 48"


  • Posters should measure either 36" X 44" OR 44" X 36"

Tools for poster design:

Choosing Colors

Choose colors that fit your topic. Some color associations are widely recognized (e.g. blue for water, green for sustainability) and some colors have a certain tone (loud, quiet, warm, cool). Colors relay a message, so think about what your colors are saying about your research.

Some basic tips:

  • Keep it simple - choose a main color and an accent color
  • Make it accessible - make sure there's enough contrast and avoid using red and green together (red-green is the most common type of color blindness)
  • Complement your work - choose colors that are appropriate for the subject and tone of your research topic
  • Be consistent - if you include a chart, infographic, or photograph, you can use the colors in your image as your color palette inspiration (or vice versa - update the colors in your graphic to match). The more consistent your colors are the more professional it will look.

Headings & Text

  • Write clear, short headings for each section.
  • Use large text for headers - your poster should be readable from someone standing 6 ft away. Some guidelines:
    • Title - 85 pt
    • Authors - 56 pt
    • Headings - 36 pt
    • Body Text - 24 pt
    • Captions - 18 pt
  • Choose a font that is simple and easy to read - sans serif fonts are easier to read than serif fonts.
  • Make sure your font color has enough contrast with the background color to be easily seen and read.
  • ​Left-aligned text is easier to read than centered text.

Images & Visuals

Poster Tips