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Presentations Guidelines for Posters

Undergraduate Research &
Creative Achievement Day

April 19 – 21, 2021

Presentations Guidelines for Posters
in the Ballroom

Displaying Your Poster

On April 19 – 21, the week of URCAD

Please plan to arrive BEFORE your allotted poster session start time. You will be assigned a poster number- keep an eye on your email for your assigned number. There will also be large TV screens in the ballroom listing your poster title and number. We will provide push pins to hang your poster on the easel.

If you are presenting in the morning session (10-11:30 a.m.), please arrive by 9:30 a.m., check in at the main desk, and pick up your name tag. Attend the 9:30 welcome session in UC 312. A light breakfast will be provided. Please place your backpack in the Ballroom before going to your poster. At 10 a.m., go directly to your poster board, put on your name tag, and start talking with visitors.

If you are presenting in the afternoon session (1-2:30 p.m.), please arrive by 12:30 p.m., check in at the main desk, and pick up your name tag. Attend the 12:00 session in UC 312. A light lunch will be provided. Please place your backpack in the Ballroom before going to your poster. At 1 p.m., go directly to your poster board, put on your name tag, and start talking with visitors.

Be prepared to give a 30-second “walk through” of your poster to viewers. Explain succinctly why the project was undertaken, how you studied your subject, what your results were, and the conclusions you have drawn from the results.

Removing Posters: You can remove your poster after the session has ended. You may have a friend remove your poster for you. Do not remove your poster early, and plan to stay for the entire 1.5 hour session.

Special Needs: Make sure you have confirmed with Dr. April Householder the need for electricity, special equipment, a table, or a larger space.

Creating Your Poster

Most effective, informative, interesting posters have the following in common:

  • Language that is easy to understand and that is free of jargon
  • Large, easy-to-read typefaces with informative subheadings
  • Legible colors and layout
  • Small “chunks” of information rather than long paragraphs of text
  • Orderly, logical progression of information
  • Informative summary statement or title for each element or panel

Elements of a Poster

Draft and format the information you want to present in each of these areas:

  • Title/Banner (Typically shorter than your formal research project title)
  • Author(s), department(s), affiliation (UMBC)
  • Overview/background of the topic area
  • Statement of the research question
  • Definitions of technical terms, if necessary
  • Methodology
  • Findings/data
  • Interpretation/discussion of findings
  • Conclusions
  • Future research suggested by findings
  • Acknowledgements of individuals/organizations that contributed to this project. This typically repeats the funding acknowledgement from your URCAD abstract.

Points to Remember

  • Use a font size of at least 28 points for text. Titles and subheadings should be even larger (36 to 48 point) so that they stand out.
  • Make your presentation understandable to educated laymen.
  • Define ALL technical terms. If certain terms are used throughout your poster, you can include a panel that lists definitions.
  • Use bullets and/or boldface to highlight the most important points.
  • Include a summary of the most important points, and a statement of the “take-home” message. This should be the last element or panel of the poster.
  • Don’t pounce on people as they approach. Let them read and ask a question.

Planning the Poster Layout

Posters will be mounted in the Ballroom on backing with the dimensions: 30” h x 40” w. Placing text in vertical columns is typically recommended, allowing a viewer to shift position after reading each column, rather than moving back and forth in front of the poster. This becomes important when several people are viewing your poster at once. You can see examples of posters from previous years on our website:

Poster Printing

Discuss with your mentor whether you will present one full-sheet poster or mount individual pages, usually print outs of PowerPoint slides. Individual pages make it easier to make last- minute changes or corrections. Full-sheet posters are expensive to print but quick and easy to put up. In order to select the full-sheet method your mentor or department must have a way to pay for the printing.

Posters Using Individual Pages

Have all content approved by your mentor before printing. Printers on campus include:

  1. Tim Ford, Biological Sciences 102,, 410-455-2257. Cost is $22.50 for the URCAD standard size poster. Must have authorization to charge an appropriate UMBC chartstring, no checks, cash or campus card. First come, first serve. Posters must be submitted by April 18th at 9:00 a.m. if you intend to present at URCAD. The file should be e-mailed to Tim Ford. Submit the file as a PDFformatted document that you have checked for any errors. Due to the enormous volume of posters due for URCAD, reprints are rarely possible. Please use your name (first or last) in the file name, for example: FordURCAD.pdf. Please do not submit posters that use large areas of light-colored or white text on a dark background as we cannot accommodate these color schemes during peak production times. Be sure to stick to your size limitation of 30”h x 40” w. Please refer to specific printing instructions at
  2. Joe School, Geography,, 410-455-2900. Cost is 75 cents per inch of length; can be paid by personal check to UMBC or by department transfer. E-mail file to Mr. School. Best times Tuesday or Thursday mornings. Last day to request is April 18 that 12 p.m. Be sure to state your size limitation of 30” x 40”. Format: PowerPoint or PDF.
  3. Commonvision,, 410-455-1884. Files can be e-mailed or brought into the office on a flash drive. Cost is calculated based on size and paper type. See online cost calculator at Payment can be via campus card, department card, or department chart string. Last day to request is Friday, April 10th at 5:00 p.m*. After this date, a late fee of $10.00 – $25.00 depending on turnaround may be charged. Be sure to state your maximum size of 30” h x 40”w.

* Dates and times are subject to change.

Additional Resources

Dr. Raimi Quiton
Department of Psychology, 5-51277

Mr. Timothy Phin
Department of Ancient Studies

Dr. April Householder
Office of Undergraduate Research, 5-5754

Mr. Devon Fick
Office of Undergraduate Research, 5-5513

Page updated 10/26/2020