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Poster Design

The Challenge

At some point in your postgraduate career you will be expected to produce a poster presentation, whether for an International academic conference, a public engagement event or for an internal poster session. Presenting research in this format can be a new concept for some researchers involving skills not previously known.

Due to the pandemic posters can now be presented virtually. This presents a new design challenge for researchers.

Students participating in a poster design workshop
The Solution

By the end of this workshop/seminar you will be able to:

  • Define the principles around poster design.

  • Produce a draft plan for your poster.

  • Critique any previous posters you’ve made for improvement.

  • Consider options for online presentation of posters.


This workshop/seminar introduces researchers to the fundamentals of communicating research via visual means. Participants will leave with a foundation in what aspects should be considered when preparing their research findings for visual presentation. This workshop/seminar is designed for individuals who wish to understand how good, basic design can enhance the quality of their poster presentations either for in person presentation or virtual.

Topics covered include:

  • Poster Critiques

  • Poster planning

  • Graphic Design Principles

  • Software to use

  • Formats to consider for context of poster presentation

students holding up their poster designs

Research Development Framework (RDF)

  • A1/A2/A3 Knowledge and intellectual abilities

  • B3 Personal effectiveness

  • D2/D3 Engagement, influence and impact

“I attended an online training course on scientific poster design organised by the University of St Andrews and led by Dr. Mhairi Towler. Mhairi was great at summarising key design principles and illustrating them with a large range of visual materials and provided invaluable post-session feedback on one of my own posters.”

Alex South
PhD Candidate, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland & University of St Andrews

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