Poster Session

By creating a poster, you'll accomplish the following goals:

  • Learn how to summarize information and present it in a visually attractive manner;
  • Gain more sophistication in your presentation skills by concisely and accurately explaining and defending your work;
  • Demonstrate poise and mental agility before faculty and peers;
  • Discuss your educational growth and maximize your networking opportunities;
  • Become better prepared to participate in the spring University-wide Undergraduate Exhibition and develop a more complete EMSAGE application.

Research, experiential learning, creative activity, and educational experience relevant to the study of Earth and Mineral Sciences may serve as the subject of a poster entered for exhibition. This exhibition is not only for students working in a lab collecting data. Here are some additional ideas you can use to make a poster:

  • Capstone projects
  • Internships
  • Study abroad
  • Study away
  • Embedded travel courses
  • Community-based research
  • Service learning
  • Student clubs
  • Other educational experiences 

As long as the topic is EMS related, it can be the subject of your poster. It is not necessary to have completed the entire project, either. If a well-defined part of the project is complete, you can use the information to create a poster. It is also okay if the poster contains information that has been presented at other regional or national meetings.

A student must be in his/her first-year or higher of attendance as an undergraduate in good academic standing in an EMS major to enter the exhibition.

While the project to be presented may have been accomplished with the support and guidance of a research adviser or instructor, the student participant(s) must be the principal contributor(s). Individual or team projects may be entered; however, all contributors must be EMS undergraduate students.

If you have collaborated on a poster with non-EMS students during an internship or other experience, you may redesign and submit a new poster for this exhibition as long as you are ethically representing your participation in the work. No awards will be given to collaborators outside EMS.

There is no fee. The Ryan Family Student Center provides free poster printing for accepted submissions. Contestants will also be provided with free mounting materials, easels, and clips. 

Each year the number of submissions has grown. Budget and display space limits the number of entries that can be included in the exhibition. By following all the guidelines and submitting as early as possible, you improve your chances of being included. Entries are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis with preference given to upperclassmen.

In addition to the academic and professional skills you will develop, you may get some cash for your wallet!

Place Awards

  • $600 First Place
  • $300 Second Place
  • $200 Third Place

Special Awards

  • $500 Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Research Potential (First-Year & Sophomores)
  • $100 Library Research
  • $25 Student Choice

Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Research Potential
The University Fellowships Office and Undergraduate Research in partnership with Phi Kappa Phi seek to recognize first-year and sophomore students who demonstrate research excellence from a wide variety of disciplines.

Library Research Award
The Library Research Award recognizes excellence in identifying and utilizing current, accurate, and authoritative information resources. Posters will be evaluated on proper citation of images and other supporting materials, thoroughness of literature review, and relationship of the background information to your project. Be prepared to discuss your literature review process, what lessons were learned about information and the information gathering, as well as insights about the information sources used; observations about secondary and background research related to your thesis, and any legal or ethical issues related to the information gathering process.

Student-Choice Award
A Student-Choice Award is selected through a fundraising event with all the proceeds donated to an EMS student charity. A collection jar for votes using coins and currency will be placed next to each poster. The participant receiving the most votes (i.e., the most amount of money) is selected the winner.

Posters that do not follow the guidelines below will be disqualified for entry.

Please read the guidelines carefully. If you have any questions, contact Linda Spangler ( 

If the poster is not the correct size (see guidelines below), it may be disqualified. Students are encouraged to submit their entries as early as possible. Notification of acceptance of an entry will be made by November 2018.

Note: Keep in mind that the poster you submit must be complete, even if your project is not.


The presentation and the poster should be geared toward an educated, general audience.

Poster Size

A poster board area of 3 feet in height by 4 feet in width will be provided to each contestant. None of the material (labels, abstract, figures, charts, tables, summary, etc.) shall extend beyond the border of the 3' x 4' poster board surface. (Keep in mind, this means allowing for margins and the actual poster content.)

Verify the size of your poster before uploading. To do this, pull up the "Document Properties" dialogue box in Adobe Acrobat by pressing the "Ctrl" and "D" keys (on a PC) on your saved, open poster file. Note the "Page Size." It should read "36.00 x 48.00."

Poster Design

For more information on poster design, refer to the Giles Writer-in-Residence Blog.

Kimberly Del Bright has written extensively on this topic, and she’s also available to help you if you’d like to make an appointment. You can request an appointment by sending an email to Plan ahead as her appointments often book a couple weeks in advance. You can also come to drop-in hours staffed by the graduate writing tutors.

There are many free templates for poster design. By far the most common is PowerPoint. If you wish to use other programs such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, check with the Engineering Copy Center (863-1612) to make sure you do not encounter problems when printing your poster.

Poster judging sessions will be held on Wednesday, November 28, 2018. Entrants are required to set up posters between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. ET on November 28. 

There will be three judging sessions: Thursday:

  • 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. ET
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET
  • 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET

Participants are asked to indicate their preferences for session assignment. You will be scheduled based on your preferences, although you may not receive your first choice. You are required to be present for the entire judging session to which you are assigned.

Judges will evaluate posters using the Poster Exhibit Judging Form. You will need to prepare a brief (no more than five minutes) explanation of the poster including background, process, techniques, and results. The Ryan Family Student Center Poster Exhibition Committee will tabulate scores and announce the winners at the awards ceremony on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

  • Registration form, abstract, and electronic submission of poster are due. Submitting before this deadline is encouraged as entries are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis with preference given to upperclassmen. By following all the guidelines and submitting as early as possible, you improve your chances of being included. Submitting an entry does not guarantee participation in the exhibition. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 (Ground Floor of Deike Building)

  • 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.: Poster Set-Up
  • 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.: Judging Session 1
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Judging Session 2
  • 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.: Judging Session 3

Thursday, November 29, 2018 (Ryan Family Student Center)

  • 12:30 p.m.: Awards Celebration

The registration form, an abstract, and an electronic file (PDF) of the completed poster must be submitted online no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on November 8, 2018.

Abstracts are limited to 75 words and should contain a brief description of your poster. This information is used for the exhibition brochure, so write it carefully.

Please use this form to submit materials