If you are participating in this year’s event, we’ve got you covered! Below you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions. As always, feel free to contact us for more information at: urs@su.ucalgary.ca

  • Applications due on Friday, October 12, 2018 @ 4:00 pm.
  • Successful applicants will be notified by email the week of October 22
  • Poster workshop will be held on Thursday November 1 @ 3:30 pm. Location: TFDL 440A.
  • Poster & presentation drop off opens Monday, November 5 @ 8:30 am.
  • Poster & presentation drop off deadline (to SU office): Wednesday, November 21 @ 4:00 pm.
  • Poster Grant applications due: Wednesday, November 21 @ 4:00 pm.
  • Symposium Day: Tuesday, November 27 @9:30 am to 3:00pm
  • Workshop Day: Wednesday, November 28 (various times)
  • URS Gala: Thursday, November 29 @ 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

All kinds of research from every faculty are welcome at URS. The online application opens in August and closes October 12 at 4:00 pm. The online application form will time out after 60 minutes. You will receive an email notification when your application is successfully received. If you did not receive this email, please resubmit the application form in under 60 minutes. Thank you for your understanding.

URS is primarily a poster-based event. New for 2018, 5-minute oral presentations are available by request (maximum of one spot per faculty) and tables may be requested for research that needs physical space to be displayed. These spots are awarded based on the quality of your application and your demonstrated need for an alternate format.

Posters will be pinned to large boards for judging and presentations. Your poster cannot exceed 4 feet x 3 feet. All posters must be cut to this size or smaller prior to submission. Your poster should contain the following elements:

    • Short title
    • Introduction
    • Research Question, Hypothesis, or Objectives
    • Background and/or Theory
    • Methods or Approach
    • Analysis or Results
    • Conclusions (if applicable)
    • References
    • Acknowledgements (if applicable)

Participants are judged on both their poster (or display) and the clarity of their presentation. If you require physical space to present your research, be sure to include this request in your application. Small supplemental resources (i.e., handouts, tablets, etc.) are welcome.

Posters, displays, and presentations must be dropped off at the SU Office by November 21 at 4:00 pm. Late submissions will not be accepted. Get creative and have fun!

In an effort to encourage sustainable practices, the SU encourages participants to re-use posters if you already have a copy printed. The SU offers a limited number of Poster Grants to participants at URS who do not already have a printed poster. Successful applicants will be notified of their eligibility for the Poster Grant in October and must attend the Poster Workshop on November 1 to remain eligible.

Poster Grants may only be redeemed at Bound & Copied and must be claimed before November 21. All posters printed using a Poster Grant must be a maximum of 4′ x 3′. Participants may decline a Poster Grant if they choose to have their poster printed elsewhere (see below) or if they receive funding from a different source.

Your research will be on display all day on November 27. Each participant must be present for judging during a 2-hour time period between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Judging times and specific information for oral presentations and tables will be sent via email in November. Upon arrival, all participants must register with the volunteers inside MacEwan Hall.

We suggest that participants make time to be present throughout the day to answer questions and interact with students and faculty at URS. A keynote address will launch the symposium at 9:30 am with 5-minute oral thesis presentations to follow starting at 10:00 am. An expert panel discussion will take place at 2:30 pm. Please consider attending!

All research at URS will be adjudicated by a minimum of 3 judges. Judges are a mix of UCalgary staff and faculty members with diverse research experience and backgrounds. Each judge has several posters to review, so it is important for participants to be prepared. It is recommended that all participants:

  1. Prepare a brief overview about their research (2 to 4 minutes max) to present to the judges.
  2. Limit your jargon! Don’t assume that the judges will be from your faculty.
  3. Be ready to answer questions.

Interested in being a judge? Email us!

Research Resources

Designing a poster for URS? Curious about starting your own research? Look no further!

Posters are a special type of presentation. They are not simply the pasting of a scholarly article on poster board or foam-core. Nor are they mounted sets of presentation visuals. A poster presentation should convey research or scientific information in a well-designed, eye-catching and engaging way.

This page offers a selection of external resources to guide your poster design and content. The poster workshop for URS participants, hosted by staff from the TFDL, will go into more detail. Don’t forget to check out the URS poster guidelines (above) before beginning work on your poster!

Designing posters for a poster fair:

Ten simple rules for a good poster presentation:

Better Posters blog:

Designing scientific posters:

Poster presentations: designing effective posters:

Libraries & Cultural Resources (UCalgary) guide:

UCalgary Research poster examples (PRISM):

Examples from Pimp My Poster Flickr group:

Microsoft Office templates:

Posters 4 Research templates:

Carter, M. 2013. Designing science presentations: A visual guide to figures, papers, slides, posters, and more. 

    • See part 6, tips on visual elements in part 2

Fraser, J. 2009. Creating Effective Conference Abstracts And Posters In Biomedicine: 500 Tips For Success.

    • For researchers and academics
    • Tips for creating abstracts and posters for conference presentations

Gosling, PJ. 1999. Scientist’s Guide To Poster Presentations.

    • Step by step guide for creating effective posters
    • Many examples, lots of detail

Nicol AAM, Pexman, PM. 2010. Displaying Your Findings: A Practical Guide For Creating Figures, Posters, And Presentations.

    • Designed especially for students, researchers, and presenters in psychology and behavioral sciences
    • Tips on conference posters and presentations
    • One chapter on posters. Covers the basics, has a checklist and sample

Odling-Smee, A. 2013. Poster Design: A practical guide for scientists and engineers.

    • Covers the basics as well


Every faculty offers different research opportunities and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Check out these one-page info sheets that will help you kick-start your research dreams!