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Undergraduate Research

Information for Poster Presentations

  • Please prepare a poster that is 36” high and 48” wide with PowerPoint (customize the size of your “slide” under the Design tab on the tool bar) or another graphics program.
  • Use a large enough font size so that your poster is readable from three feet away (72 pts for title, 36 pts for headings, 20 pts for body text).
  • Poster sections:
    •  Project title with your name and that of your faculty mentor at the top center; if appropriate, also name graduate student(s) who worked with you;
    • Brief introduction of the topic, including hypothesis/problem studied, and explanation of the expected contributions of the project to the field;
    • Brief overview of methods/approaches used (without any details);
    • Results/findings with visuals as appropriate (largest section on your poster);
    • Interpretation of your findings and conclusions, incl. how your findings advance the field;
    • List of references and other resources at the end (smaller font if necessary);
    • Acknowledgement of financial support (e.g. a DCUR grant, mentor’s grant).
  • Your poster should flow from top to bottom and left to right, be well organized into sections, contain limited text (< 25% of the space; bulleting works well), and display important information in Figures and Tables (consecutively numbered, with descriptive titles, with legends containing sufficient information to explain what is displayed).
  • Concentrate on the main points only and avoid discipline-specific jargon that a reader outside your discipline may not understand. Provide only important information that will pique the reader’s interest and lead to a lively discussion about your project.
  • Ask your mentor for advice and solicit her/his constructive criticism of your poster. Your mentor will be able to guide you with respect to organization, logical flow, main points to be made, appropriateness of conclusions drawn and of language used, etc.
  • At least a week before the symposium, convert your poster file to pdf format for printing. Printing costs ~$40 if you mention you are participating in the USM undergraduate symposium at:
    • Southern Miss Image Center (basement of Thad Cochran Center);
    • Signs First (4400 Hardy St, Hattiesburg, MS 39402)
  • Practice guiding readers through your poster in 1-2 minutes. Ask the listeners for feedback about clarity, flow, speed, etc. of your poster so that you will have an effective discourse with the judges at the UGS. The Southern Miss Speaking Center can help.
  • Dress professionally for your presentation. Please consult this guide to professional dress codes. Business casual, academic casual, or academic formal attire is appropriate.
  • Stand by your poster during the entire poster session, even if you think the judges have completed their evaluation.
  • Try to enjoy the experience! UGS offers a friendly, supportive environment for your professional academic presentation.
  • Your presentation will be assigned a category that will give you a 1 in 3 to 1 in 4 chance of winning an award.


Contact a DCUR representative:

Dr.%20Sabine%20Heinhorst for all questions about DCUR

Ms.%20Jo%20Ann%20Johnson for questions related to DCUR grant processes

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



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

Contact Professor%20Brianna%20Jahn-Malinowski or Professor%20Allen%20Chen for questions related to the Arts Showcase.