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Undergraduate Research

Information for Poster Presentations

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WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO USE A NEW POSTER FORMAT THIS YEAR! The new format provides an opportunity for you and your audience to focus on the main point you are trying to convey, allowing for a stronger and more informative presentation overall. You can download a Powerpoint poster template here.

Download Template

The new template (adapted from Open Science Framework) is based on supporting research, such as:

See also two informative videos from Mike Morrison, who developed this poster format:

Preparing for UGS

  • Regardless of the poster format you decide to use, your poster should be 36” high and 48” wide.
  • Adhere to Southern Miss's graphic and style standards. Do not change the aspect ratio of the USM logo or name. The correct name for our university is The University of Southern Mississippi and its preferred shortened name is Southern Miss. For more information, see 
  • If you choose to use the poster template, you can change the width of the three panels somewhat but should refrain from filling the panels with too much text. You can also customize the background colors, add illustrations that emphasize/are relevant to your research topic, and otherwise personalize your poster (see poster examples below).
  • Use font sizes as large as the ones in the template to ensure that your poster is legible from three feet away.
  • Concentrate on the main points only and avoid discipline-specific jargon that a reader outside your research area may not understand. Provide only important information that will pique the reader’s interest and lead to a lively discussion about your project.
  • Acknowledge financial support (e.g., DCUR grant, Honors College grant, mentor’s grant) if applicable.
  • Ask your mentor for advice and solicit their constructive criticism. Your mentor will be able to guide you about main points to make, appropriate language to use, poster design, etc.
  • A week but no later than three days before the symposium, convert your poster file to pdf format for printing. Signs First (4400 Hardy St, Hattiesburg, MS 39402) charges ~$45 to print posters for UGS presenters.
    • Send the file in PDF format to with the subject line: Undergraduate Research Symposium and your name
    • Include your name and phone number in the email.
    • Signs First will email a proof to the email address you provided and will NOT print until they have received your approval.
    • Payment will be required at the time you pick up the order.
  • If you plan on being reimbursed for your poster, send a print-ready proof to University Communications at for approval before sending it to your printer. 
  • Practice guiding readers through your poster in 1-2 minutes. Ask your mentor and/or friends to be the audience and request their feedback about clarity, flow, speed, etc. of your presentation; you want to have an effective discourse with the judges at the UGS. The Southern Miss Speaking Center can also help with your presentation.

On the Day of UGS

  • Dress professionally for your UGS presentation. Please consult this guide to professional dress codes. Business casual, academic casual, or academic formal attire is appropriate.
  • At the UGS, stand by your poster during the entire poster session, even if you think the judges have completed their evaluations. Look at the neighboring presenters’ posters and discuss their work with them, even if their research does not fall within your discipline.
  • Enjoy the UGS experience! UGS offers a friendly, supportive environment for your professional academic presentation that will help you gain confidence for future presentations in your field.
  • Your chances of winning a UGS presentation award are 1 in 3 to 1 in 4, but you have to be present at the awards ceremony to be eligible for a presentation prize.

Example Posters

Morgan Research Group, Southern Miss Polymer Science and EngineeringMorgan Research Group, Southern Miss Polymer Science and Engineering
Example Poster 2Example donated by @americoamorim
Poster Example 3
Example donated by @brenden0walker

Poster 4

Example by @mikemorrison

Example Poster 5Example donated by @akreutzer82

Example Poster 6Example by @mikemorrison

Example Poster 7Example by @jesshlay


Do I have to register if I submit, or is that automatically done?

Everyone needs to register by the posted deadline so that we know who will be attending the UGS and the (free!) lunch and keynote address. The registration portal opens in March; the registration deadline is typically in early April.

To register, complete simply the online registration form below.




Contact a DCUR representative:

Dr.%20Sabine%20Heinhorst or Dr.%20Rebecca%20Tuuri for all questions about DCUR

The University of Southern Mississippi
Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research
118 College Dr. #5162
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001



Undergraduate Symposium Logo

Contact a member of the UGS Planning Committee in your area of interest for questions related to conventions of presentations in your discipline.

Contact Dr.%20Rebecca%20Tuuri or Dr.%20Sabine%20Heinhorst for questions related to abstract submission or registration, UGS schedule or program, judging or moderating.

Contact Dr.%20Kelly%20Lester, Professor%20Allen%20Chen, Professor%20Jared%20Hollingsworth or Dr.%20Nicholas%20Ciraldo for questions related to the Arts Showcase.
Contact the Center%20for%20Community%20Engagement%20for all questions about community-engaged projects.