Information for Participants


Symposium Etiquette

As participants, you are encouraged to:

  • Wear professional/business attire.
  • Come prepared, which means poster presenters should arrive with their posters and foam boards at least one hour prior to the start of the poster session to check in their project and set up.
  • Students who are giving an oral presentation or performance, should arrive to the presentation room at least 30 minutes before their scheduled talk time or before check in closes at 2:00pm.
  • Arrive early to oral presentation sessions, especially if presenting.
  • Wait until students are finished delivering presentations (or are in between presentations) before entering or exiting a session room.
  • Visit the event space prior to the Symposium, in order to get a feel for the building.
  • Students presenting posters are required to stay with their poster for the entirety of the scheduled poster session and must be available to the judges to discuss research and answer questions in order to be eligible for prizes.
  • If you are registered for the symposium, but are no longer able to attend, please notify Dr. Anastasia Elder at aelder@honors.msstate.edu.
  • Email Alice Chandler at achandler@honors.msstate.edu with any questions about preparing for the symposium.

Information For Poster Presenters

Preparing your poster

Your poster:

  • Should be a maximum of 36 inches tall x 48 inches wide.
  • Should be attached on a foam board* and ready to display on the provided easels.

*Foam board backing should be no larger than 36 inches tall x 48 inches wide. If your poster or board exceeds the maximum size requirement, you may be prohibited from displaying your project.

PLEASE NOTE: The Shackouls Honors College does not provide foam boards or clips/tacks for mounting posters. You should check with your department for reusable boards or purchase a foam board at Chalet or other framing shop. You do not need to pay for mounting, you may clip or tack your poster to the foam board.

Tips for designing your poster

The Digital Media Center at the Mitchell Memorial Library can provide help for the design and printing of your poster. They hold workshops each semester on how to design presentation posters and will print your posters on their large format printer.

Design Help Online

Design Help Workshops

Printing your poster

The best on-campus option (and usually the most cost-effective) for wide-format poster printing is the Mitchell Memorial Library.

  • Submit your design to be printed no less than 3 business days before you need it.
  • Library printing starts at $7.50 per linear foot.

Additional locations near campus include:

  • Prographics
  • Chalet
  • Copy Cow

Poster presentations and judging procedures

Each student project will be judged by at least three judges. Judges will be visiting posters from 1:00-4:00pm. Each judge is given a rubric to assign the projects he/she reviews a total score based upon that rubric (X/100). For each category, the judges’ scores will be z-scored against themselves and the normalized scores for each participant will then be averaged to develop a rank (1, 2, 3, etc.). The ranking will be used to determine place winners for each category: Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences and Engineering, Physical Sciences and Engineering, and Social Sciences. A sample of the judging rubric for posters can be downloaded here.

You should remain with your poster for the duration of the judging (1:00-4:00pm). We understand that you may need to leave your poster unattended for a short time for various reasons. Judges will return to your poster at least one time if you were unavailable on the first visit, but a judge may mark you as ‘not present’ if your poster is left unattended over multiple visits. If you are stepping away from your poster, please tell your neighbor.

On Symposium day

Registration will begin at 12:00pm and end at 2:00pm, but you should be set up by the start of the poster session at 1:00pm. When you arrive to the Symposium, you will need to check in before setting up your poster. Registration tables will be located at the front entrance of the event space. Upon registration, you will receive:

  • a name tag for the principal presenter (individual whose name was on the abstract submission form)
  • and an abstract booklet program.

The number on your name tag will be your easel number. There is a map located in the Abstract Booklet you can use to locate your easel. Registration information will be listed under the name of the principal presenter, and printed nametags are only available for the principal presenter. A blank name tag can be requested for group members.

Once you have registered, you may set up your poster. The easels will be numbered, and your easel number, otherwise known as your project number, is located on your name tag and in the abstract booklet. Please pin the numbered sheet to your poster and make sure it is visible during the event. Remember that, while easels are provided, we do not provide backing boards (foam boards) for your posters or clips/tacks.

You will present your poster during the poster session from 1:00pm-4:00pm. Presenters are asked to remain at their posters for the entire session. You should be prepared with a two to three minute summary for visitors and judges using your poster as a visual guide. Additional questions may be asked.

Once the poster session comes to a close, you are responsible for removing your poster and foam board from the easel. The Honors College is not responsible for any forgotten, lost, or stolen materials and personal belongings.

Parking: All MSU students, staff, and faculty should park in their designated permit area. Guests and visitors to MSU can either obtain a visitor permit online or visit the Parking & Transit Services office (Roberts Building-412 Lee Boulevard, Mississippi State, MS 39762) once on campus for a parking pass. The first permit online is free. A visitor permit will allow guests to park in any open space on campus except service, reserved, and handicap.


Information For Oral Presenters and Performers

Oral presentation format

Your presentation:

  • Should be ten minutes in length. There will be an additional three minutes for Q&A.
  • Should be geared toward a non-field expert.
  • May be accompanied by a visual slide show and/or handout for the audience.
  • May include a live demonstration or performance.

Technology for your oral presentation

The following technology will be available:

  • A computer with access to the internet and Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • A projector and screen
  • A podium microphone
  • A clicker

You must email a copy of your presentation (PowerPoint) to Alice Chandler at achandler@honors.msstate.edu at least one week before the symposium. It is also recommended to use two methods to save your presentation (USB flash drive, email, etc.) and bring it with you on the day of your presentation. If you plan to use PowerPoint, it is advised to test your slide show before the presentation day. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Alice Chandler at achandler@honors.msstate.edu.

You may not use your own laptop.

Oral presentations/performances and judging procedures

Each student will be assigned at least two judges. Each judge is given a rubric to assign the projects he/she reviews a total score based upon that rubric (X/100). The judges’ scores will be z-scored against themselves and the normalized scores for each participant will then be averaged to develop a rank (1, 2, 3, etc.). The ranking will be used to determine place winners for the Arts and Humanities Oral Presentations and Performances category. A sample of the judging rubric for oral presentations/performances can be downloaded here.

You should be ready to present at the time you are scheduled. You should arrive to the presentation room ready to present at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled presentation time. You should wait until students are finished delivering presentations (or are in between presentations) before entering or exiting the session room.

A room assistant has been assigned to chair the oral presentation session. The room chair will be responsible for introducing each speaker and inviting audience questions after each talk has concluded. The room chair will also be responsible for keeping the presentations on schedule and will signal the speaker using a sign when there are 5 minutes left and 1 minute left for his/her talk time.

On Symposium day

Registration will begin at 12:00pm and end at 2:00pm. Arrive to the symposium to check in at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled presentation time or before registration closes at 2:00pm. When you arrive to the Symposium, you will need to check in before going to the presentation room. Registration tables will be located at the front entrance of the event space. Upon registration, you will receive:

  • a name tag for the principal presenter (individual whose name was on the abstract submission form)
  • and an abstract booklet program.

The number on your name tag will be your project number. There is a schedule located in the Abstract Booklet you should use to confirm your presentation time. You will also receive the schedule prior to the presentation day. Registration information will be listed under the name of the principal presenter, and printed nametags are only available for the principal presenter.

Once you have registered, you may go to the scheduled presentation room. You should wait until students are finished delivering presentations (or are in between presentations) before entering or exiting the session room. You will give your oral presentation at the scheduled time you have been assigned. If you requested the use of technology (i.e. PowerPoint), your submitted PowerPoint will be saved to the presentation computer on the symposium day.

The Honors College is not responsible for any forgotten, lost, or stolen materials and personal belongings.

Parking: All MSU students, staff, and faculty should park in their designated permit area.  Guests and visitors to MSU can either obtain a visitor permit online or visit the Parking & Transit Services office (Roberts Building-412 Lee Boulevard, Mississippi State, MS 39762) once on campus for a parking pass. The first permit online is free. A visitor permit will allow guests to park in any open space on campus except service, reserved, and handicap.


Students Presenting in Other Competitions

Students competing in the Community Engagement Research Track, Public Health Research Competition, and/or or Thesis Research Competition (TRC) will be notified of the separate rules and procedures by each department hosting these competitions prior to the Symposium.

Poster judging for the Community Engagement Research Track and Public Health Research Competition will take place during the Symposium, and additional judges will be visiting these posters during the poster session from 1:00 pm - 4:00pm.

If you are a poster presenter and scheduled to present in the Thesis Research Competition (TRC), you will be given a sign at registration to place on your poster while presenting your three-minute thesis to notify the Symposium judges that you have stepped away from your poster for another competition. If you are giving an oral presentation of performance in the Symposium, you will be scheduled to present in the Thesis Research Competition (TRC) at an additional time other than your Symposium presentation time.