Student Poster/Paper/Presentation Guidelines

I. Introduction

Students wishing to submit a paper (oral presentation) and/or poster for the LAS Student Paper (Oral Presentation) and Poster Competition must follow the presentation submission requirements in the Call for Papers link found on the LAS website ( and in the guidelines below.

II. Abstracts

All abstracts must conform to the LAS abstract format spelled out on the LAS website. Abstracts will have a maximum of 200 words (words will be counted). Make sure abstracts are proofread and edited.

The first author of the abstract MUST be a student and that student MUST present the oral presentation or poster. Faculty and other students are allowed as junior authors, but they cannot present the oral presentation or poster, or win an award.

Students enter the competition by clicking the “Student Paper (Oral Presentation) or Poster Competition” button on the electronic abstract form. There are separate competitions for Graduate and Undergraduate Students for the Paper (Oral Presentation) and Poster Competitions – click either the “Undergraduate” or “Graduate” button when submitting abstracts. The abstract will be sent to the appropriate Competition Screening Committee.

The Screening Committee for Oral and Poster Presentations will consist of the Section Chairs or their designee from the Divisions of LAS (Agriculture, Forestry and Wildlife; Biological Sciences; Physical Sciences; Social Sciences; Sciences and Humanities; and Science Education) represented by a student entrant plus the LAS Student Competitions Coordinators. The Screening Committee will evaluate the abstracts and select students to compete for Competition Awards (see Award Divisions below).

Award Divisions include:

A single “Best in” award for each Award Division will be given to one (1) undergraduate and one (1) graduate student.  Judges reserve the right not to give an award in one or more divisions if warranted. 

Remember - Initial judging is based on the original abstract submission.   All paper (oral presentation) entrants will be informed if either their presentation is chosen and scheduled for a “Competition Session” or their presentation is not chosen for competition.  All applicants will be scheduled in their appropriate sections so they still will give their presentations even if they are not in the competition. 

Suggestions for preparing abstracts: Keep jargon to a minimum and define the terms used. Emphasize the importance of the work (i.e., how it improves knowledge in the discipline). Proofread the abstract for typos and grammatical errors as these will negatively impact the Screening Committee’s assessment of the abstract.

III. Best Student Oral Presentations

Oral Presentations: All Oral Presentations in the Best Student Paper Competition will be presented during special Award Division Competition sessions. Each presentation is strictly limited to 10 minutes. Timers will be used. After the presentation, five (5) minutes will be allowed for questions (it is very important to allow time for questions as “Answering Questions” is one of the criteria for judging, see below). After the Division Competition sessions are over, each session moderator will give the results to the LAS Student Competitions Coordinators. The results must be provided to the Competitions Coordinators no later than 2:00 PM.

Judging: Select Division/Section Professionals and the Session Moderators (time permitting for these individuals) will judge the presentations. Judging sheets will be handed out before the session. After the session is over, Division/Section Professionals will meet briefly to compare notes and decide on the winner for their Award Division.

The Judging Criteria are as follows:

Each criterion will be given a designation of Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor.  The student with the most points will be designated as the “Best” in that Award Division. 

IV. Best Student Poster

Posters: All posters in the Best Student Poster Competition will be set up in a designated area in the Poster Room (or in a separate room/area as designated by the LAS Local Committee) for judging. Posters may be either plotter paper (i.e., computer-generated poster) or tri-fold foam board. Dimensions for posters MUST be 3’ high and 4’ wide (36”x48” maximum). Posters WILL BE DISQUALIFIED if they exceed the maximum dimensions. Posters must be left up until 2:00 PM.

Judging: The judging panel for the Best Student Poster competition will be appointed by the LAS Student Competitions Coordinators and consist of members from each Award Division. The judges will review each poster in their Awards Division any time before 2:00 PM and evaluate them according to the criteria below. By 2:00 PM, all judging sheets will be returned to the LAS Student Competitions Coordinators. Students will not be required to be by their posters for judging; therefore, information on the posters must be of high enough quality to stand alone. Again, poster dimensions must be 3’ high and 4’ wide (36”x48” maximum). Posters WILL BE DISQUALIFIED if they exceed the maximum dimensions.

The Judging Criteria are as follows:

Each criterion will be given a designation of Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor.  The student with the most points will be designated as the “Best” in that Award Division. 

V. Awards

Later in the afternoon (exact time to be announced in the Annual Meeting program), the “BEST IN DIVISION AWARDS” for Paper and Poster Presentations for that year’s meeting will be announced and a monetary award will be provided to each of the winners. If only one student enters in a division, the judges reserve the right to give an award in that division.

Checklist for Student Paper and Poster Competitions  




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