Vanderbilt Research Fair

Poster Awards

Poster Awards

Poster awards sponsored by the Office of the Provost will be awarded.

Criteria for winning one of the poster awards include:

  • A great poster (meeting the criteria outlined below).
  • A presentation that outlines the main concepts, addresses important elements, and demonstrates expertise.
  • A presenter who has an intelligent and well thought out presentation and answers/responds to questions well.
  • A presenter who is personable and is able to get others excited/interested in his/her research.
  • An overall presentation that is creative, personal, informative, interesting, and professional.

Below is a copy of the judging rubric to consider in the preparation of your poster.




CONTENT (15 points)

  • Introduction (3 points)
  • Objective(s) (3 points)
  • Methods (3 points)
  • Results/Expected Results (3 points)
  • Conclusions/Future Work (3 points)


Scoring for each of the five sub sections listed above:

0 – missing
1 – poorly done
2 – acceptable
3 – well done

  • Issue presented clearly and
  • succinctly; no doubt as to why it is important. Big‐picture research context clear. Appropriate reference to earlier work.
  • Succinct description of research objective and how it relates to big‐picture context
  • Detail of methods appropriate for type of project completed. Appropriate for question; appropriate design and analysis. Described clearly.
  • Clear, concise, and relevant. “Just the facts;” on target.
  • Conclusions are clear, relate back to big‐picture context, and are supported by the results.
  • The explanation of importance of problem is unclear. Big‐picture research context not apparent
  • Objective(s) and purpose of research not defined clearly
  • Amount of methods inappropriate for type of project done. Description of methods not clear.
  • Results presented are tangential to question asked. Overly detailed or not detailed enough; focus on minutiae.
  • Conclusions do not follow from results; unrelated to objectives; presented in a confusing manner.
GRAPHICS (3 points)

  • Appropriate use and quality of Graphs/Charts, Tables, Sketches, Screen Shots and Photographs



1 – poorly done
2 – acceptable
3 – well done

  • Graphics are appropriate to the work being presented.
  • There are sufficient graphics in the poster in comparison to text.
  • Graphics are appropriately sized for viewing at 6ft (2m).
  • Graphics (esp. photos) are cited when necessary.
  • Graphics are irrelevant/not appropriate for the work being presented.
  • Graphics are placed in the wrong sections.
  • There are insufficient graphics in the poster in comparison to text.
  • Graphics (esp. photos) are not cited when necessary.


1 – poorly done
3 – acceptable
5 – well done

  • Logical, intuitive progression of ideas with clear and direct reference to information on poster.
  • Poster balances figures, text, white space; uncluttered background. Blocks of text relatively small (e.g. <100 words per block on poster). Tasteful layout. Fonts readable at 6ft (2m) distant. Headings obvious, appropriate.
  • Poorly organized; ideas presented at random or haphazardly.
  • Poster cluttered or unreadable from audience. Distracting background. Blocks of text too lengthy
(5 points)Scoring:

1 – poorly done
3 – acceptable
5 – well done

  • Guides audience/viewer through data and results. Enthusiastic, animated. Eye contact with audience. Spoke loudly and at a reasonable pace. Appropriate attire. Did not read from script.
  • Answers were direct, clear, on‐target, no‐nonsense.
  • Dull delivery. Spoke too softly or too quickly and without clear enunciation. Little eye contact with audience; faced poster continuously. Read from poster or paper.
  • Answers were incorrect, evasive, defensive, and incoherent. No time left for questions (oral).
  • Program /Funding agency/ grant number acknowledged
  • Program /Funding agency/ grant number missing

* Adapted from Pamela McClure (2011), “2011 NEES REU Poster Rubric,”
* Adapted from “Effective Poster Presentations” by Dr. Tom Oeltmann, Vanderbilt University