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Carnegie Mellon Department of Chemistry

Guide to Graduate Studies

Supplemental Materials

Suggestions for Poster Presentation for Research Progress Report

In making a poster on your research, nothing helps quite so much as looking at other posters. Take a walk through the hallways and you'll see numerous examples of research posters. The usual format is: title, abstract, background/introduction, experimental method, results, discussion, conclusion, acknowledgments — much like a journal article.

Prepare two different informal talks that you can give when someone asks you about your work:

Expect that many people will ask some questions and the presentation will typically be interactive. It's perfectly valid to walk people through the poster and explain each section, you need to be mindful of the time and attentive to the types of questions that they ask to adjust to your audience.  Only a few people will stay at your poster for more than 10-15 mins.

Keep in mind that you may have more than one person at your poster at the same time so you should project your voice to be heard over other conversations and make eye contact with everyone present if at all possible. The more you engage your listeners, the more interesting questions, dialogue and feedback you will generate.

As soon as you have time, make note of interesting questions for which you do not yet have the full answer.  These should be helpful in preparing for the upcoming oral exam.