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Share your work with a research poster!

The Engineering Research Open House is coming up! For those of you who are presenting, here are a few tips to ensure your poster makes a good impression:

  1. Think about your audience: Think about who is present at the event you are at and who you want to come talk to you. While a picture of your cute cat might get people to look at your poster but unless your cat was a central part of your research that’s not what you want to talk to people about.
  2. Less Is More: Think of your poster as a business card for your research, not a full article. Find a balance between visual interest and big points to pull people in.
  3. Find a balance between negative and positive space: Design your poster to look full but not cluttered. This is a difficult and important balance to hit. Too much negative space and your poster will look incomplete but if your poster is too full it will look busy and cluttered. 
  4. Templates are your friend: Using a template is a great way to make poster making much easier. Templates for the University of Iowa can be found here, but if you’re presenting at a conference make sure to check their poster rules to make sure your poster is the correct size.

Want more information on making an effective poster? Come to our upcoming workshop: Creating a Research Poster on Thursday, March 30 at 3:30 in the Engineering Creative Space. The workshop is FREE but you need to visit this page to register. This workshop will help you make your poster presentation more effective. Learn to think about the prospective audience, poster content, and design considerations in a poster layout. Presented by Dr. Michelle Scherer. University of Iowa Distinguished Chair and professor of civil and environmental engineering, & Director of the Hanson Center for Communication (HCC). 


“Research Guides: How to Create a Research Poster: Poster Basics,” n.d.

“Research Poster Content & Context – Purdue OWL® –  Purdue University,” n.d.

Stuckey, Matthew, and Tammy Hoyer. “How to Make an Effective Poster.” University of California Davis, n.d.