Tips & Guidelines for Creating a Poster

A successful poster will pique a passerby’s curiosity. It will entice them to stop and take a look. It will explain why you undertook this particular project, what your research entailed, and who was involved. Its concise summary will not only present your results, it will tell the viewer why they are important.

Design Specifications

The total poster display area at the Symposium will be 42″h × 32″w, therefore your poster must fit within these parameters. We recommend that you try to limit your poster to 42″h × 32″w. If your poster exceeds the specified measurements, you may have difficult displaying it.

The poster display boards will provide a foam core surface onto which you can tack your poster. UROP will have tacks available.

Regardless of the format you choose, keep elements of symmetry and balance in mind. All posters should include a project title, your name (underlined), your faculty mentor’s name and department, and an acknowledgment of funding sources. If you are going to use the Boston University logo, please be sure it is the most up to date logo. The red Boston University red block logo can be found here. The UROP logo can be found here. Please use UROP Poster specs to place your logos.

Limit your use of colors. It is fine to include color graphs or color photographs. Add titles like Table 1, Figure 1, for easy reference to any tables, graphs, or figures you include.

Use large, uncomplicated fonts. Print should be legible from at least three feet away. Limit the number of different print fonts that you use. Simplicity makes for better design. You can view posters from previous symposiums on our Facebook page.

Your poster is likely to include the following:

  • UROP Poster specs
  • A title that states the topic and overall conclusion of your work
  • Your name, your mentor’s name (and department), and any other authors
  • An abstract in fairly large font
  • A description of research goals and methods
  • A presentation of results (figure titles should be statements of conclusions)
  • A summary of major conclusions (with bullet points)
  • Future directions for the research
  • A (short) bibliography or list of references
  • Acknowledgments (citing any help you received or sources of funding)
  • You may have an accompanying handout for visitors to take away

On the day of the Symposium, be prepared to stand next to your poster for one hour (UROP will assign your time) between 11 am and Noon or Noon and 1 pm to explain your work and to answer questions. Professional dress is recommended. Your audience will be undergraduates, graduate students, parents (it’s Family and Friends Weekend), faculty, alumni, and possibly graduate school, corporate and foundation representatives.

Find more tips and tricks here.

Find 2023 Powerpoint slides about Symposium Prep, Posters, Presentations, and Abstracts here: Symposium Prep.

Several Poster Printing Options

FedEx Office
Contact: 115 Cummington Mall (617-358-2679)
Cost: $42.50 

PhD Posters
Cost: ~$50
Allow time for shipping

Mega Print
Cost: Varies
Allow time for shipping

Guidelines for writing your abstract

Your abstract is a short description of what you did and what you learned from your research project. It should be interesting, informative, and written for a broad audience.