Research Posters

One of the biggest head-starts Biomed students have in college is making scientific posters. Use this page to learn how.

One of the most unique experiences that biomed students get from all four years is the experience making scientific posters. I promise, we hear back from alumni about posters every year. They go to college and have to make a research poster and the rest of their classmates are freaking out and utterly confused. Our alumni crush it with zero stress and automatically set themselves firmly at the head of the pack. This page and its accompanying video will help make sure you build this powerful skill.


A little bit of planning can go a long way. It is easy to see a poster that is being shoe-horned into a design. It reeks of a lack of effort and care. You are either making this poster after you have completed the Problem 2 experiment or after your Independent Project, either way you should have absolutely everything you need to plan out the design of your poster before you open PowerPoint.

Use the Template

  • The poster prints at 42 inches wide by 31.5 inches tall. While that is the surface area of more than 14 printed pages, your biggest problem is not going to be “How am I going to fill that much space?” You are going to struggle with reducing text and boiling your work down to the essentials. Look at the rubrics and your work and start identifying the essential points.
  • Make sure to explore the different layouts under the design tab and find the one that fits your needs best.
  • Once you have some thoughts in place, sketching your layout is a great idea. Even if you are just putting headers down, seeing your layout will help.

Click the icon above to download the template.

Use High Quality Images

  • Take your own photos whenever possible, especially for your independent project. Just make sure they are quality images and feel free to edit them.
  • If you are struggling with getting your own images use CC0 images like and
  • If you are looking for logos, use PNG files with transparent backgrounds
  • Be careful it you are taking images from the web. Most web images are optimized to load fast, not look good when printed. Use images that are 300 dpi or higher.

Title & Subtitle

  • Your title should be simple, engaging and large
  • Your subtitle should be more detailed and smaller than your title



  • Use the alignment tools in PowerPoint on everything



  • Remember that the viewer will likely be about 6 feet away from your poster and in a crowded room
    • Make your text easy to read (size-wise) and create texture too (indentation, bullet points, line spacing etc.).


  • Your differences should be consistent (like the text on this page).
    • This means that all Section Headers should be the same but should be different from the Body (or paragraph) text. etc.
      • By “be the same” we mean all of the options related to typeface, font size, and line spacing.


  • Make sure the slide is “balanced”
    • Have a consistent number of photos in each column and have images be consistent size.

Change Your Perspective

  • Zoom in (all the way) and out (all the way) all the time. Your computer screen will betray you if you think it will accurately show you on its 13 inch screen what a 42 inch wide poster will look like when printed.


You are about to turn in one of the most expensive assignments of your academic career, before you do please make extra sure that your poster is ready to submit:

Lock It Down

  • There are a ton of moving parts here so to make sure you lock down your poster design you should export the PowerPoint file as a PDF. Anywhere you see a dialogue that asks about quality, make sure you select the maximum option.  

Double Check

  • Since you exported a PDF you should be fine, but that is not good enough. You should project the PDF copy of your poster onto a whiteboard at the correct scale and double check that it is legible and looks correct. If it is not, you need to go back to your PowerPoint and try again.

This page should be a helpful resource for you and we will update it as new issues come up. That being said it is not an exhaustive resource so feel free to meet with Mr Burke to get some guidance/assistance.

We will likely tell you to check this page that you are on now. When you come to get help make sure you have used this resource and double checked that the answer is not here. Using the Corson Technique will assure that you get the most help as fast as possible.