Create a Research Poster

Research posters are used to summarize research studies in a visual format. Most conferences include poster presentations in their program. Research posters are a great way to disseminate your research findings and generate discussion at academic conferences. They typically include text and visual media such as tables, graphs, figures, and/or pictures. See below for tips on creating a professional research poster.

Research posters typically include the following sections:

  • Title: Typically, the poster title is the same as your abstract title.
  • Authors: Include your name, faculty mentor’s name, other collaborators and department and/or institutional affiliations (if required) for all authors.
  • Introduction/Purpose/Objectives
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Conclusions/Discussion
  • Acknowledgments: Include any sources of funding, or help you received in conducting your research

Tips for creating an effective research poster:

  • Check the required dimensions of your poster from the conference poster guidelines and plan accordingly. Your poster will likely need to fit into a designated space/board.
  • The title should be short and draw interest. For most conferences, the title of your poster must match the title of your conference abstract.
  • Use larger and/or bolded font for your poster title.
  • Include the author block institutional affiliation(s). This is typically located under the title of your poster.
  • Important information should be readable from about 10 feet away.
  • Avoid large blocks of text – try to use visuals (graphs, tables, pictures, figures, etc.) to communicate your work when possible.
  • Use bullet points, numbering, and headlines instead of large blocks of text when possible.
  • Text should be clear and to the point.
  • The layout of the poster should be consistent and clean.
  • Be careful with background colors. Lighter backgrounds with darker text are easier to read, and will also typically look more professional.
  • Use only two or three colors in the poster -too many colors can be distracting.

What software should I use to create a research poster?

Microsoft PowerPoint is the most widely used and simple software for creating research posters. Microsoft publisher, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign can also be used to create a research poster.

Modifiable PowerPoint templates and NCWU logos for posters are available here:

Other Resources: