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Frequently Asked Questions: Summer Poster DAy Visitors

Are parents (grandparents, siblings, spouses, aunts) allowed to attend Summer Poster Day?
The NIH welcomes anyone interested in Summer Poster Day to join us on the Bethesda campus on August 6, 2020.

Is there anything I need to know about visiting the NIH campus?
Yes.  The NIH is surrounded by a perimeter security fence.  The following suggestions may facilitate your entry onto the campus:

  • Be certain to bring a government-issued photo-ID.
  • Allow time (at least 30 minutes) for getting through security and obtaining a temporary visitor's badge.
  • Consider using public transportation (like the Metro red line) to get to the NIH.  Parking is limited, and you will have to pay.
  • Find additional information about visiting the campus and a campus map at

What happens at Summer Poster Day?
Summer interns will be presenting their research during Summer Poster Day. This means that each one will stand for 2 hours near a board with a large poster containing a description of the project and a summary of the results. The intern will be expected to describe the work in a 5- to 10-minute presentation to interested poster visitors.  You should NOT expect your summer intern to pay much attention to you during this period.  The intern's first job is to discuss the research with other scientists.

How much time should I set aside for Poster Day?
Posters are displayed in three sessions: 9:00 to 11:00 am, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, and 1:00 to 3:00 pm.  You are welcome to attend as many of the sessions as you like and to talk to interns in addition to your own. IMPORTANT NOTE: Posters are displayed for ONE session only.  Be certain you know when your summer intern is presenting or you may miss seeing the poster displayed.

How will I know when my summer intern is presenting?
The program for Summer Poster Day will be available at prior to the event.  You can look up the name of your intern in the alphabetical presenter index.  The index provides the intern's poster number, which lets you know both the poster session (there are three) and the poster number. Please note that an intern's poster is posted ONLY during the assigned session.  (Other interns will be using the poster board during the other sessions.)

How will I FIND the poster once I get to the conference center?
The Poster Day Program includes a map of the center that includes information on the spatial assignments for the various poster numbers. IMPORTANT NOTE: printed programs will be available at the event, and staff of the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education will be on-site to provide assistance.

Can I take photos of my summer intern and the poster? 
Absolutely!  Just remember not to interfere with the other poster presenters in the area?

Will the event be crowded?
Definitely!  Last year summer interns displayed more than 900 posters over the 3 poster sessions. The posters are visited by NIH investigators, other trainees (like our postbacs, graduate students, and postdocs), and NIH administrators, many of whom are scientists.

Is food available at this event?
The NIH is not able to provide refreshments or meals at this event. The Porter Neuroscience Research Center (Building 35A) has a cafeteria that serves both breakfast and lunch in addition to beverages. The cafeteria may be crowded. In addition, the building houses a Starbucks. You are also welcome to bring food with you to eat in the cafeteria or on the picnic tables outside, should the weather be nice.