Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of participating in the UTSC Undergraduate Research Poster Forum?

The UTSC Undergraduate Research Poster Forum gives students an opportunity to gain experience disseminating research, scholarship, and creative activities to an academic community, share their research experience with peers and develop their presentation skills. The forum also provides the perfect opportunity for students interested in becoming involved in research to learn more about the accomplishments and research interests of other students.

All 12 finalists will also receive a Certificate of Participation and will receive a notation on their transcript as part of Co-Curricular Record program. Cash prizes of $1000, $500 and $250 will be awarded to first, second and third place winners. Winners will be invited to have a digital version of their poster available in TSpace.

What is considered a research or creative project for the purposes of the Research Forum?

Acceptable research for this poster event can vary widely by discipline. Examples of research projects may include lab-based, field-based, experimental or theoretical projects that answer basic and applied questions in your field of study. Examples of creative projects may include visual art pieces, creative writing, and performance-based projects. If you're not sure if your research is appropriate for this event, check with your liaison librarian.

How do I write an abstract?

Your proposal / abstract should provide a succinct summary of the contents of your paper, including the purpose of your research, methods used, anticipated main findings (your preliminary or final findings will be required for the final poster), and conclusions. Please see U of T's page on writing abstracts for additional tips.

What is a poster, and how do I make one?

See our Guide to Research Posters. Your poster dimensions should not exceed 12 square feet (4 feet long by 3 feet high). The poster must be saved as a PDF with the proper dimensions.

How do I submit my poster? 

You will send your final e-poster as a PDF document (following the poster criteria) via email.  Additonal details will be sent to the finalists.

What are the time limits for my virtual online poster presentation?

This year your online presentation will be a asynchronous recording with a live Q & A by the judges via the chat in Zoom.  Since there will be an interactive component or opportunity for you to provide additional information to the judges during the question period, your poster presentation should be between 4-5 minutes in length.

Video component questions: Is it just a video of us talking only and we send the PDF or should we be able to superimpose a video of us on top of the poster and walk through it? Are we supposed to just have the poster in presentation view and then our voice over the frame? Should it be my face presenting or just audio? Any particular background setting?

We recognize that not everyone is comfortable with ambiguity but in an effort not to limit your creativity and recognizing that you may all have differing levels of comfort and access to software and video recording capabilities at home during these unprecedented circumstances, we’re leaving how you choose to create your poster presentation video recording flexible. Regardless of how you decide to present your poster in your recording, remember the focus is on communication and knowledge translation.

Here are a couple of options for you to consider:

  1. Record your presentation video using a camera, smartphone, or webcam on your computer mimicking a ‘live’ poster presentation as much as possible. If you choose to record yourself standing next to your poster on a screen, you make wish to consider projecting it to a larger screen such as a TV instead of your computer monitor.
  2. Record your video using screen capturing software. Two software options for you to consider are Snagit which is licensed for the University of Toronto or the PowerPoint recordings feature available in Office365. 

How do I use my TV as an external monitor?

If your TV has an HDMI port and your computer has an HDMI port, your TV can then be an external computer monitor.

If your TVhas a USB port, you could also try saving your poster as an image file on a USB, insert the USB into your TV and display your file on the screen.

Google’s Chromecast allows you to send anything you can view in a Chrome browser tab to your TV.  You can also mirror your entire desktop display if desired. Screen mirroring should also work with a phone or tablet. 

Similarly, you can mirror the display of an entire Mac or Apple device to an AppleTV or smart TV that is compatible using AirPlay. 

How should I save/share my video recording file?

Save you video in any standard video file format and email your file to with your poster PDF by the submission deadline.

What kind of help is available to students who want to participate in the UTSC Undergraduate Research Forum?

Students are welcome to attend one (or both) of our informal drop-in information sessions if they have general questions about the poster proposal or forum in general.

Contact your liaison librarian for help with research skills, writing your poster abstract and developing your poster. 

Are group assignments or projects eligible?

Groups or teams may participate in the Research Poster Forum. All students that contributed to the assignment must be listed and the prize money will be divided equally among all group members.

What is the best way to present if we have a group of two or more students?

Only one student may present a poster on behalf of a group of students but all students in the group should be at the presentation.

Are part-time students eligible?

Yes. All students registered and completing an undergraduate degree at UTSC are eligible to apply.

May I apply to the UTSC Research Poster Forum if I work at the UTSC Library?


May I submit multiple submissions for the Forum?

No. You may only submit one application to the Forum. However, if you are submitting a group poster application, you may also submit an individual application.

May I submit the same research or creative project to the UTSC and University of Toronto Libraries Undergraduate Research Prize?

No. UTSC students cannot submit the same assignment to both the UTL Undergraduate Research Prize and the UTSC Undergraduate Research Poster Forum and UTSC Undergraduate Research Prize.

However, UTSC students may submit the same project to both the UTSC Undergraduate Research Poster Forum and UTSC Undergraduate Research Prize. Please refer to their respective websites for additional information on eligibility and submission criteria for each initiative.

The person who knows the most about my research is not the course instructor, but a teaching assistant. Must the faculty support come from the instructor in charge of the course?

The faculty support letter must come from either the faculty member or the instructor teaching the course.

What if my research is taking place off-campus? Does the faculty support letter have to come from a UTSC professor?

As long as a student is pursuing their undergraduate degree at UTSC, the research can be done with a professor (PI) off-campus. We will accept the support letter from a U of T professor or PI, or your professor at UTSC, whichever you feel is best.

I am a faculty member and have been asked to provide a letter of support for a student. Are there guidelines?

Please refer to the faculty support form

Who are the judges?

Submissions to participate in the Research Poster Forum will be judged by a committee composed of UTSC faculty, librarians, and staff from a variety of disciplines.

Judges for the poster forum finalists will be comprised of UTSC faculty and librarians who will evaluate the posters and select the winners based on the criteria listed below.

How will the posters be judged?

A panel of judges from a variety of disciplines will evaluate each poster presentation based on students' presentation of their work, based on the following evaluation criteria: Content & Comprehension; Visual Information & Organization; Communication; Citations, References, & Context. Students' video presentation and poster should take into account that they may evaluated by judges who are not familiar with their field. The detailed judging rubric and additional information to follow.

How many prizes are offered?

There will be up to three prizes awarded:

   First Place:           $1,000
   Second Place:       $500
   Third Place:          $250

What are the important deadlines for the Undergraduate Research Forum?

February 23, 2021, 11:59pm EST (firm deadline): Submission of proposals online
Week of March 1, 2021:  Finalists contacted by email
Week of March 1, 2021:  Research Skills & Poster Presentation to be distributed and reviewed by finalists (asynchronously)

March 25, 2021, 11:59pm EST: E-Poster & presentation recording sumbission deadline

April 6, 2021, Time TBC:  Event Day (Virtual online presentations & Q & A)
April 13, 2021:  Top 3 winners announced

When are prize winners notified?

Prize winners will be announced via email, the UTSC Library Website and social media channels by approximately 4pm Tuesday, April 13, 2021. 

Any other questions?

Please email your liaison librarian or