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Research poster competition

The Society of Education and Training (SET) is working in partnership with The Chartered College of Teaching to offer FE teachers the opportunity to design a research poster and have their entry displayed at the Chartered College’s Annual Conference in February, online, within InTuition and at networking events.

*Entries to this competition have now closed (5 February 2018).

Research Poster Competition

Have you carried out small-scale research or inquiry in your college, or as part of a programme of study? Could you share your research or inquiry with other teachers? 

The online research poster competition is offering SET members the opportunity to share approaches and findings with the wider teaching community.

Winning posters will be selected in a range of categories by a panel comprising teachers, education leaders and researchers. The competition is free to enter and winners will receive book bundles and tokens, as well as having their posters put on display at the Chartered College's Annual Conference. In addition, all posters which meet the entry requirements will be displayed on the Chartered College's website in an online poster conference after judging is complete.

What sort of research or inquiry can I submit a poster on?

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You can submit a poster based on research you have done as part of a formal programme such as initial teacher training, a Masters, doctoral programme or a leadership programme, or based on an action research or inquiry project you may have done individually or as part of a college project.

The focus of this competition is particularly on practitioner research by teachers or others working in an education setting and should have been carried out within the last two years.

The research does not need to have had positive results to be worth sharing. You are welcome to submit a poster which has been submitted, published or displayed elsewhere, provided you have permissions to do so.  You can submit a poster as an individual or as a project group of up to three people.

What should my research poster include?

Academic posters are widely used within the research community as a way of sharing research projects, disseminating findings and generating further discussion and debate. They aim to share research projects in a concise and visual manner. Like other types of academic writing, the poster should be well organised with clear headings and subheadings. Make sure that you have permission to use any photos or images. Try to be selective and remember to focus on those aspects of your research project which are most relevant. Typically, a poster should include the following information:

  • title/research question(s)
  • researcher’s name/institution
  • outline/abstract
  • methodology
  • findings/conclusions
  • keywords
  • references.

In addition to submitting your poster, you are able to submit a copy of any written report or thesis, and/or links to online materials. These will not be used in judging but may be included alongside your poster when published online.

How should the poster be structured?

The layout of your poster should be both visually appealing and easy to follow. The most effective academic posters are well balanced by arranging text and images in such a way that both elements flow naturally and logically throughout the poster. The poster should not exceed 1,000 words, including the abstract, keywords and references. Font sizes should be large enough to be read comfortably, and aim to only use two different fonts per poster. You should break up large paragraphs by using bullet points to define simple statements.

When presenting numerical data, it is often more effective to use charts and graphs rather than tables as these can be more effective for illustrating data trends. When making charts and graphs format them effectively by keeping them simple. For images, try to use a high-resolution JPEG or PNG for sharpness. The poster should be designed to be a minimum of A3 in size, and may be up to A2. When using colour ensure that it does not obscure or detract from the text and images used in the body of the poster. Try not to use too many or clashing colours.

Which software should I use to create the poster?

Use software that you are familiar with. There are a number of different options for creating academic posters including:

  • Word processor (for example, Word, Pages)
  • Presentation Software (for example, PowerPoint, Keynote, Impress)
  • Vector Graphics (for example, Illustrator, Inkscape)
  • Online poster or graphics tools (for example, Canva).

Whichever software you choose to use, you must ensure you are able to convert your poster into PDF format in order to submit it online. The final poster should be a minimum of A3 and a maximum of A2 in size, and should have sharp images and text.

Examples of research posters

Find examples of research posters on the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) website which can help to structure and organise your poster.

How will my poster be judged?

The judging panel will include teachers, education leaders and researchers from a range of settings. Four criteria will be used in judging entries:

  1. Quality of research design/approach.
  2. Relevance and interest of research area to practice.
  3. Quality of written communication.
  4. Quality of visual communication.

There will be prizes for the best poster in each of the above judging criteria, as well as prizes for different settings, for example the best Early Years, SEND and Post-16 projects, and for different groups of entrants, for example ITT students.

How to enter the competition

Visit the Chartered College of Teaching Submittable website to submit your poster and any supporting materials. You will need to create an account on Submittable to submit your materials. If you are a SET member, please tick the relevant box when completing the form. The closing date is Monday 5 February 2018.