Biological Sciences

Student Research Symposium 2021

The Twenty-Fourth Annual Biological Sciences Student Research Symposium (physical distancing version) will be held on Thursday & Friday, May 13-14, 2021. Both graduate and undergraduate students can contribute research done independently or in conjunction with a class.  Posters will be displayed electronically until 5 pm on May 14.  A virtual awards ceremony will be held on May 14th at 4 pm. 


Projects must fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Direct application of the scientific method to investigate a biological question.
  2. Development of a method or the collection of observations that could lead to an investigation.

Posters will be grouped and evaluated within five divisions:

  • Undergraduate research projects
  • Class projects - lower-division
  • Class projects - upper-division
  • Class projects - graduate (includes 697)
  • Master's Thesis Research

Posters will be displayed electronically and we will have judging. Posters will be open for online viewing from May 13 at 9:00 am until May 14 at 5:00 pm.

Details for uploading your poster will be provided when you submit your abstract. 

Submission of Abstracts

Electronically submit an abstract to the Department of Biological Sciences by Friday, May 7, 2021, 11:59 pm. Abstracts are limited to 250 words. Abstracts of greater length will be returned to author(s). 

Authors will also be asked the following questions, which must be completed to be accepted (this is not part of your 250-word abstract):

  • Title of the research project
  • Author(s) names and e-mail addresses
  • Sponsoring faculty member name and email address
  • Course number if applicable (Ex. Biol 209, Biol 398, etc)
  • Category (choose one of the following):
    • Individual project (undergraduate)
    • Class project (lower division)
    • Class project (upper division)
    • Class project (graduate)
    • Thesis project (graduate)

* Brief description of the significance of the research, the experimental hypotheses, methods employed and significance of conclusions.

Submit abstracts with the Google form at: you must be logged in through your Wildcat portal.

IMPORTANT NOTE: you will NOT receive any confirmation of abstracts received unless they are incomplete, so please check you have all information correct before you submit, and then check for any response in case you need to make changes.  Abstract deadline is FRIDAY, MAY 7, 2021, 11:59pm.

Poster Guidelines

The purpose of a scientific poster is to communicate your research and to initiate discussion. Posters should be self-explanatory and should convey research results in a clear, concise fashion. Your poster should contain all the major sections of a scientific paper: Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusions/Discussion. Sections should be clearly identified and arranged in columns. It is suggested that section headings, if they were to be printed, be at 10 mm height. All other text should be legible from a distance of 4 feet (5 to 10 mm height). ( Example 1 (PDF)Example 2 (PDF))

Poster Space

Posters will be viewed online, but it is recommended to use standard poster specifications of 4 feet by 6 feet. 


  • Title and Authors: Place the title and names of authors at the top center of the poster. For readability, the title should be 15 mm in height (Legible from 10 feet, if they were printed).
  • Introduction: Give a brief background/foundation, then state the purpose of your research as either a question or hypothesis.
  • Methods: Brief description of the techniques, data collection, replicas and statistics you used. Omit unnecessary detail.
  • Results: Professionally prepared tables and graphs that are easy to read and understand.
  • Conclusions: What did you find out? Did you accept or reject your hypothesis? Describe results in terms of general biological principles. What is the significance of the findings?

How to Make a Full-Size poster

You create the poster in Powerpoint (using one of the templates below), convert it to a PDF file (following the instructions below). The steps are:

1. Select the Powerpoint template size you wish to work from. You can cut and paste your own text and graphics into the template. Folder with Poster PowerPoint Templates

Templates in Folder:
Basic Professional 48x36
Light to Dark 48x36
Multicolor Gradients 48x36
Neon Boxes 48x36
Tricolor Sidebars 48x36

2. Convert the Powerpoint to a PDF file:

  1. Create your poster in PowerPoint on one of the available templates.
  2. To see your whole poster, choose fit in the size box. To see the actual size of figures and text, choose 100%.
  3. Choose "Acrobat" in the top ribbon.  Then choose "Create PDF."
  4. If you don't have "Acrobat" in the top ribbon, follow these steps instead:
  5. Click the Microsoft circle at the top left, or File (depending on your version)
  6. Choose Save As...
  7. Choose Adobe PDF
  8. Name your file, choose a location, and click Save.
  9. You can also choose "Print," and choose Adobe PDF as the printer.

3. Submit your poster online.  Instructions will be posted soon.