Student Poster FAQs

Attention TRACS 2020 Summit poster presenters!
Please read the following, and if you have further questions, contact us via
Posters can be any shape, but a rectangle that is wider than it is high is the most common.  This allows the story to be presented from left to right, and it allows more information to be presented at eye level.  However, the maximum length or width of the poster should not exceed 36” (112 cm).  

Prior to the start of the summit, each presenter will be notified by e-mail the assigned location and time to place their poster.

To increase the exposure for the poster presentations the authors are encouraged to upload their completed posters to the Summit website.  TRACS Summit participants can thus view your posters online before, during, and after the summit. The instructions for uploading poster files will be available on the TRACS website soon.

If you are not going to be able to present your poster, please give the courtesy of informing the organizers as soon as possible (even if it is at the last minute). 
Remember that a poster presentation provides the ideal opportunity to meet and talk with colleagues who have a direct interest in your work. It offers a more intimate forum for information exchange than does a spoken presentation. The posters will be displayed in “bays,” generally containing 8-12 posters on the same topic. This layout design allows traffic to flow in the wide aisles outside the bays, while people who are interested in a particular topic can enter the bays and discuss it with the presenters.

Style Guidelines
Good posters are essentially extended abstracts with easily readable graphics to make the main points. The poster should clearly describe your research and its results without need for extended explanation. Advances in the publishing technology have allowed some researchers to print their entire paper on a single 2’ x 3’ poster, including the title, authors, addresses, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusions, acknowledgments, funding sources, permit numbers, dedication to their dog Skippy, references cited, figures and tables, and 27 eight-by-ten color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one. If you are contemplating doing this, we beg you to resist this temptation. Be selective in what you present on the poster. After all, you are there to tell the story and provide the details. Second, younger presenters should realize that even if they can read 8-point type at 50 meters, their text will be just a blur to their older, presbyoptic colleagues. Posters are meant to be viewed from a few feet away, and that means using a big, bold font size!

With these goals in mind, we offer the following practical guidelines:

TITLE: The title of your poster and the names of the authors should be large and clearly visible from 20 feet away. This means that the font should be at least 1 inch (2.54 cm, 72-point font size) in height. Affiliations and contact details (including e-mail addresses) of authors should be included. Adding a flattering picture of yourself near the Title is a nice touch, because it helps the viewers to identify you more easily.

ABSTRACT: The full text of your abstract should be included.

TEXT: Any text should be kept to a bare minimum, keeping in mind that the main points of your poster should be contained in the figures and illustrations and their captions. The text should be in at least 18-point font size to be easily read.

GRAPHICS: Graphics, such as tables, figures, and illustrations, should contain the majority of the content of your poster. They should be clear and concise and should convey their primary meaning with little effort from the viewer. They do not, however, need to be simple. Details may be included in the figure or table for the more knowledgeable and interested viewer.

All graphics should include a brief heading or caption describing their content and meaning, and expressing the primary point of the graphic. A brief figure legend should be included below the main caption in smaller type, containing a more-detailed description of the points of the graphic. The legend should include a description of the graphic as well as the conclusions derived from its content.

LAYOUT AND DESIGN: Posters can be produced by using design or presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint. The entire poster can be laid out as a single file, including text, tables, figures, and photographs. Modifications to the design can be accomplished easily until the desired layout is achieved.
Sections and graphics should be carefully arranged so that there is a comfortable ‘flow’ to the content of your poster. The most important figures and information should be positioned at eye level for the average human being. Posters that are wider than tall should be arranged in columns to allow the viewer to proceed logically along the width of the poster, rather than zigzagging back and forth. In general, the Introduction should start the poster at the upper left, with graphics arranged prominently in the middle, and the Conclusions can be at the right, preferably at eye level.

OTHER: You may also consider providing ‘mini’ versions of your poster as handouts for colleagues to take with them for further study. These are easily done if your poster is produced using presentation software. Laminating your poster in thick plastic and then transporting it in a tube can make the poster unwieldy to put up. Take some time to uncurl your poster prior to attempting to display it.

More advice on presenting posters well is readily available on the Internet. One such website is:

Poster questions? Contact us here: