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Frequently Asked Questions for Summer Poster Day Presenters

Can my family and/or friends come to Summer Poster Day?
Your family and/or friends are welcome to join us for Summer Poster Day.  Please make certain they know when you will be presenting AND that you will be busy talking about your research with your peers and the NIH scientific community during the session. They should not expect that you will be able to focus attention on them.

How should I dress for Summer Poster Day?
You will want to make a good impression, but it's also important to recognize that this is a summer event, and the weather may be hot.  We recommend that you wear "business casual" clothing: nice slacks and a shirt, a skirt and shirt/top, or a dress. T-shirts, jeans, and flip flops are probably too informal. Avoid clothing or accessories that will distract individuals attending your poster.  Make certain your shoes are comfortable! Ninety minutes is a long time if your feet hurt.

Suits and ties, and even sports jackets, are probably more dressy than required for this event.  Feeling good about the way you look AND being comfortable are most important.

Will I need to bring push pins to hang up my poster?
No.  Push pins are provided at each poster board.

Should I bring anything with me to Summer Poster Day?
Talking about science can be thirsty work.  You might want to bring along something to drink.

When should I hang up my poster?
You will be surprised at how quickly you can hang a poster.  If you arrive at your board 5 minutes before the session begins, you and the previous poster presenter can cooperate to effect a quick change-over. If you are in the morning (first) session, you can arrive and put up your poster as much before the session as you like.

Are there any rules of etiquette for Summer Poster Day?
We recommend that you consider the following:

  • Each poster is assigned a space 4 feet by 4 feet square.  If your poster exceeds this size, you will be impinging on the poster space of the presenter who is sharing your poster board.  Make certain your poster does not exceed the recommended size.
  • You will be sharing presenting time as well as space.  Be certain to remove your poster swiftly at the end of your session (except if you are in the afternoon session) so that the next presenter will be able to use all the next session.
  • Crowds are large at Summer Poster Day.  Share the space graciously.
  • If no one is visiting your poster, take the time to learn about nearby posters.
  • Do NOT look at your cell phone during the session (unless an emergency arises).  Instead, ask those who stop to glance at your poster if they would like you to "talk them through it".
  • Smile and enjoy yourself!

Will the NIH cover the cost of parking at Summer Poster Day?
No. We are not able to  provide parking sitckers or reimbursement.  If you are coming from another campus, you may want to ask your Summer Coordinator for information on shuttles or buses from your location or to take Metro.

Will there be a safe place for me to leave my poster when I am not presenting?
Yes. Please ask about this at the registration table.

Can I change the title of my poster?
You are welcome to modify the title on your actual poster.  The complete program book will, however, include the title you submitted.  For this reason, it is important that you confirm your poster title with your supervisor BEFORE you register.

I would like to add another presenter to my poster. Can I do that?
You can add another presenter to the poster itself; that presenter's name will not appear in the program for the day.

I have just learned that I will not be able to present my poster on Summer Poster Day.  What should I do?
Please let us know that you will not be able to present.  That way we can assign your poster board space to an individual who failed to meet the registration deadline.

I have heard I need to prepare a brief (3 to 5 minute) oral presentation to go along with the poster.  How do I do that?
Consider preparing TWO brief talks, one for folks who are experts and will want to discuss the details and one for individuals with little background in your area.  The idea of the talks is to guide the reader through the poster, helping them to understand

  1. what you are investigating and why it's important
  2. the question you are asking
  3. the approach you took to answering the question
  4. the results you obtained and what they mean
  5. ideas for further experiments and/or the importance of your findings.

Consult your supervisor, mentor, or PI about what to include and practice the presentation in advance with others in your research group.

How can I use Poster Day to network?
Be certain to jot down the contact information for anyone you engage in an interesting conversation.  Contact them by phone or email for additional information if they made good suggestions regarding future experiments. Share references they might find of use.