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Graduate Studies

USRA Poster Session

The annual Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) Poster Session provides McMaster undergraduate students the opportunity to share their summer research experience with peers, faculty members, staff and the broader Hamilton community. The session highlights the work done by Undergraduate Student Research Award winners, who spent this past summer working in the labs, libraries, and in the field. Their hands-on research experience gives them an opportunity to get a taste of what it is to be a graduate student researcher.

The Undergraduate Student Research Awards are sponsored by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; Office of the Vice-President Research; the faculties of Social Sciences, Humanities and Business; and the Arts & Science program. The poster session is sponsored by the School of Graduate Studies.

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A poster session is a forum for communicating research. An academic poster combines text and graphics to make a visually pleasing presentation. The USRA poster session takes place in one large room, where viewers have the opportunity to meander through and learn about each student’s summer research. Viewers are able to learn from and discuss your project with you one-on-one.

The USRA is a non-competitive poster session. The spirit is one of academic sharing and enrichment.

The USRA Poster Pointers Video is an hour-long video created specifically for USRA students and contains everything you need to know about making and presenting an academic research poster (indexed under ‘show more’ option).

You must indicate all of the following spec preferences in your email to the printers:

  • Finish: matte or glossy (indicate your preference to the underground)
  • Size: 3’(W) x’ 4′ (H) or 3’x3’ (up to you, but posters must not exceed 4’Wide)
  • Cost: USRA students pay out-of-pocket for the cost of printing. At the MSU Underground, use the reference code you received in your USRA Poster Session email.
  • Format: Save as PDF.

Pick up your poster in advance and bring it to CIBC Hall for set-up anytime before 1:30 p.m. on the day of poster session.

When you arrive at CIBC Hall, you will check in and be assigned a board # and given velcro dots to fasten your poster to the board. Staff will be there to help.

You can also take some time to wander around and look at the other posters during this time as well.

For pointers on how to prepare for the presentation portion, consult the USRA Poster Pointers Video (starting at 51:32).

If this is your first USRA poster session you can also check out this promotional video to get an idea of the floor layout and ‘vibe.’

When is the deadline to register to present at the poster session?

October 23, 2018

When is the deadline to submit my PDF poster to the MSU Underground for printing?

Submit to the Underground by Oct 24, 2018 in order to have your poster ready in time through that service.

When should I arrive at the session?

You can come to CIBC Hall anytime before 1:30pm to set up on the day of the poster session. This will allow enough time for you to get situated, collect your nametag, set up your poster, and view some of the other posters being presented.

Do guests and supervisors need to register?

No. Only presenters need to register. Others are free to drop-in anytime between 2-4pm.

Who attends?

Your audience is a combination of USRA faculty supervisors and lab-mates, other USRA students, staff, friends, and family. The USRA poster session is open to the public – so feel free to invite your friends family, and supporters!

What is the dress code?

There is no official dress-code for the USRA poster session. We recommend comfortable and/or professional attire for this session. Please be aware that photographs are often taken at this event as well.

Who pays for the poster printing?

Unless you have made other arrangements with your supervisor, USRA students are expected to cover the cost of printing out-of-pocket (USRA students receive a discount if they choose to print at the MSU Underground).

What size should my poster be?

A USRA poster should be 3’W x 4’H or 3’x3’  (must not exceed 3′ wide)

Note: The size of the poster must be visible within the PDF file (if working out of PowerPoint, you simply need to click the page layout tab, and use the required dimensions for your backdrop).

What should I expect during the session?

Be prepared to talk a lot! You will be repeating a lot of the same information over the course of two hours. You can also expect a broad audience – some attendees will have specialized knowledge of your research area, while others will have little-to-no background in your topic. You can always ask your viewer about their field of expertise and tailor your conversation towards them. Also be prepared to have fun! This is your chance to share about your research project and even the process and experience of the USRA itself. Enjoy!