Are you thinking about how to showcase your research? Considering entering the Student Idea Showcase? A poster is a fabulous and effective way to summarise and present your research process and your findings, and a well-structured, creative poster can help you draw the reader’s attention to your research.
Lucy’s winning poster (click to view PDF)
Her poster is titled ‘Regulating live music: Who’s running the show?’. We loved this title right away as it draws you towards the poster and makes you want to know what’s behind the headline. In her research, Lucy explores how live music is regulated in England and Wales, and what conclusions can be drawn about regulation, policing, and social control.
Fascinated by the poster and the topic, we asked Lucy for some tips on how to make your poster stand out from the crowd:
What are the advantages of showcasing your research in the form of a poster?
Lucy: “Posters offer a window into your research, meaning you can share your findings and ideas with audiences who might not usually come across them. When you see the gallery at the LSE festival for example, you get to take in ideas from every field at LSE in one evening.”
What are your top tips when designing a research poster? What software did you use?
Lucy: “My top tip is to consider readability. It can be tempting with a big canvas to fill it with detail but think about how your reader will be able to take all this in when they are standing face-to-face with your poster. If you can print a small square out to test font size, that can help! For design, I used software called Canva. It has free and paid options and is great for those who maybe aren’t used to using design software like InDesign. Plus, it’s online so you can work on your designs anywhere.”
How do you engage people with your poster? What information did you try to draw the readers’ attention to in your poster submission and how?
Lucy: “I used imagery to draw in readers to my work. My research is on the regulation of live music, so I used an image of a guitar amp, which I think helped signal to readers what the research was about from across the room. A poster is a big space, so to guide the reader’s attention, I then used different font sizes and weights to help them locate new sections and ideas in the order I hoped they would.”
What is the difference between preliminary findings and findings? Does a poster have to include all themes that come up in your research?
Lucy: “I had begun my field work when I produced this poster but was at an early stage. I wanted to share some interesting details I had uncovered so far but I knew that there was much more to come – this is why I included only preliminary findings. It will be excellent to return to the poster when my PhD is completed!
A poster does not need to contain every idea from your research, that might be overwhelming – it is your opportunity to tell your research story, in the way you might with an abstract. Think about the ideas you want a reader to take away, and then translate those to your design.”
What did you enjoy most about designing your poster?
Lucy: “I designed my poster early on in my field work. This meant it gave me an opportunity to reflect on what I had already learned, almost like an early write up. Designing posters can help you to organise your own thoughts in this way!”
Make sure to check out some of Lucy’s other work on the Social Policy Blog!
What are your thoughts on posters? Do you have any tips or ideas? Let us know in the comments!
Find out more about showcasing your work in our online gallery, and being in with the chance of winning £200!
A poster does not need to contain every idea from your research, that might be overwhelming – it is your opportunity to tell your research story