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Information for Authors

2019 - Contents


This event is a showcase of undergraduate research in the College of Charleston School of Sciences and Mathematics. At least one author must be an undergraduate student in SSM programs at the College of Charleston during the conduct of the research.  The research itself must be within disciplines under the Sciences and Mathematics program umbrella, including the neuroscience program.


Departments will select Best Posters in advance, from their disciplines.  Department winners will be displayed with their award during the poster session.    The departmental 'best' winners, will convene at 4:00 that afternoon in the SSMB auditorium to give a short summation of their work (with the posters on display) and take a few questions.  Then we will select the "Best of the Best" winner.  Other faculty, College Trustees and perhaps others will be invited to the Best of the Best presentations.

How To Enter

Entry Deadline: Friday, April 12th by 11:59 pm.  Entries must come directly from a student, not from faculty.   In a nutshell here is what an entry needs to contain: title, authors, department, abstract, and contact information for at least one author. All of this must be in the body of a plain text email, NOT as an attachment. As a matter of professional courtesy, please make sure all authors approve the abstract before you submit it.  Alterations to entries after the entry has been submitted will not be accepted.   Late entries may be accepted at the organizer's whim.

Here is a simple checklist to consult before you submit your abstract. Follow these instructions exactly or your abstract may not be accepted.

1) Abstract deadline: Friday, April 12th by 11:59 pm.  Late entries and alterations to entries after the abstract has been submitted will not be accepted.  

2) Your entry must be in the body of a plain text email, NOT as an attachment.

3) Entries must come directly from a student email, not from faculty.  

4) Make sure all authors are listed and that your faculty mentor is one of the authors.  As a matter of professional courtesy, please make sure all authors approve the abstract before you submit it. 

5) There is a 150 word limit for your abstract.

6) Your email entry needs to contain: special instructions, contact info, poster size, title, authors, department, and abstract. Do not put references in the abstract. Please do not use all caps for titles. 

7) Before the abstract in your email (clearly separate from the abstract), make a note if you need special text features, such as bold, italic, superscript2, subscript2, or Greek letters (μ, α, β, τ...), and I can format these when I put them on the web.

8) Also before the abstract, include a telephone number and an email address for at least one author, so I can contact you if necessary.

9) Make sure all affiliations (Departments) are unambiguously listed.

10) In order to put your posters in a spaces appropriate for its size, we need to know the (approximate) poster dimensions and orientation, so please specify them in your entry.  It is not critical that you use one of the sizes below, but please tell us what you intend. Here are some standard sizes:
                   Small – 36”w x 24”h
                   Medium – 42”w x 36”h
                   Large – 48”w x 40”h
                   Small – 24”w x 36”h
                   Medium – 36”w x 42”h
                   Large – 40”w x 48”h

11) Use names consistently.  Same author, different posters, different names: e.g. Jon Smith, Jonathan Smith,  Smith, J.R.  Are they the same person, or not?  Authors should use a consistent professional name in publications.

12) When I have posted your entry to the web site I will email you.

Sample Entry    (send as a plain text email to Jason Vance)

Dr. Vance,
Below is our abstract for the poster session.
NOTE: please italicize "Where's My Planet" and "Stats-R-Us," use the Greek letter for the word "alpha," and make X^2 into X-squared with a superscript 2.

 Our poster will be medium portrait orientation, 36 inches wide by 42 inches tall.  

phone: 900-555-1212


The Effect of Saturn's Position on Birth Weight 

Ferd Berwick, Edwin Moses and Leroy Brown, Department of Astrology

The position of the planet Saturn was determined for 253 births recorded at St. Luigi's Hospital during the year 2014. The time of birth listed on the birth certificate was used in conjunction with the planetary motion program Where's My Planet to ascertain the relative positions of the infant and the planet Saturn. A correlation analysis of the birth weights and the position of Saturn was performed using the statistical program Stats-R-Us to determine the alpha-parameter and X^2. The results of the analysis indicate that birth weight is unrelated to the position of Saturn.

Making a Poster

Posters to be printed by the Physics and Astronomy or Geology Department printers must be in the print queue no later than noon, Monday, 9 April. Authors submitting after this time will be referred to the Library or Kinko's and will have to pay for their own printing.

Authors are expected to maintain high professional standards, to take this event seriously, and produce a high quality product for display in this public event. Colin Purrington has some excellent tips and templates as well as views on logo placement that are worth reading. Speaking of logos, do you have the proper one(s) on your poster?  I often see outdated logos being used. Some other resources -

Poster size

We have some recommended poster sizes to choose from (see below). We have more spaces available in the poster session for portrait orientation (tall and narrow versus short and wide), so choose portrait if you don’t really have a preference. This will allow us to put many posters in narrow places in the central area of the event space (landscape is ok though).

Geology and Physics Printers

       Landscape (horizontal)

                           Small – 36”w x 24”h

                           Medium – 42”w x 36”h

                           Large – 48”w x 40”h

        Portrait (vertical)

                           Small – 24”w x 36”h

                           Medium – 36”w x 42”h

                           Large – 40”w x 48”h

       (In special circumstances if you really have a lot to say, you may request up to the Maximum size:  54” x 40” on the Geology printer and 56” x 36” on the Physics Printer if you really need that much space).

Requirements for printing

Please realize that Physics and Geology department personnel cannot possibly dedicate time to de-bugging problem posters, and the cost of printing is significant, so repeating print jobs costs someone a lot of time and money.

Posters to be printed by the Physics-Astronomy or Geology Department printers must be in the print queue no later than noon, Monday, 9 April. Authors submitting after this time may be referred to the Library or Kinko's and will have to pay for their own printing.  Please submit, together as attachments to one email, from a student author:

  1.        A completed Poster Request Form. Download the poster printing request.
  2.        the poster, as a pdf or ppt, ready to print

       email to either

Posters take about 20 minutes to print. The amount of time it takes for your poster to come out of the printer depends greatly on how many people are ahead of you and other workload issues.

QR Codes

We encourage posters to include a QR Code, an example of which is given below. It is a 2-D barcode, that is readable by many portable devices. Information you might include in the code is corresponding author name, email, a url for the research group, a pdf file of the poster or paper, etc.

QR Code example

Information on QR Codes — and some on-Line QR Code generators
By the way, the image above is readable both from my computer screen, and a printed page.

Event Day Details

The session runs from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm on Thursday, 18 April. You will have access to the event venue no later than 7:30 am on event day. It will likely be possible to mount most posters the previous afternoon or evening. Posters must be up by 9:00 am on event day, and stay up all day, as we hope some distinguished visitors can have the opportunity to view them outside of the regular session hours.  They should be removed the day after the session.  We hope you can be present a significant portion of the session time (11:30 - 1:30) to answer questions from viewers, although we realize that you have classes, and it may not be possible. 

Presenters at the Poster Session are allocated a space, usually either one side of a free-standing poster board, or wall space. We expect a significant number of posters may be allocated to a relatively tall and narrow space, such that the optimal poster may be no more than 1 meter (40 inches) wide, which is fine for what is usually called "portrait" orientation. For those positions, plan on having roughly a 5 foot tall by 3 foot wide space, but presenters will often not use that much space. Many locations, on a poster board or many wall spaces, will be "landscape" orientation, for which you can plan a roughly 3 foot tall by 5 foot wide space. Determine your poster location by finding your poster number on the Poster Location Page (which will be available a week or so before the event). We will provide pins or special blue tape to secure your poster in place. If your poster is to be held by pins, it is a good idea to put some tape on the back of your poster at the corners, and the center-top to provide some reinforcement for the pins.

A couple of final tips for poster presentation — Be ready to talk about it. Have an "elevator speech" ready. Given the diverse audience, maybe have two speeches, one for someone conversant in the field, and one for the curious, but uninformed. Finally, read this very helpful page of presentation tips.

Please note again, that department awardees (along with projected images of their posters) will give a 2-4 minute summary of their work beginning at 4:00 pm, in the SSM auditorium, as part of the selection process for the overall Best of the Best award.  

Send comments, suggestions, corrections, or additions to: Jason Vance