Making an academic poster that stands out

Professional skills courses

Course information

ECTS: 1.5
Number of sessions: 2
Hours per session: 3
Course fee:

  • free for PhD candidates of the Graduate School
  • € 300,- for non-members
  • consult our enrolment policy for more information


Telephone: +31 10 4082607 (Graduate School).

In the academic year 2023-2024 this course will take place offline.

Session 1
April 5 (Friday) 2024
Mandeville building (campus map), room T19-01

Session 2
April 19 (Friday) 2024
Mandeville building (campus map), room T19-01


Many academic conferences (both offline and online) have so-called poster sessions. During these sessions, researchers promote and explain their latest findings and methods by presenting their work on a poster. But how do you design an academic poster, and, most importantly, how do you make it so that it will not be a wall of text? And should a poster for online conferences be any different than a poster for offline conferences? Designing an effective poster is more than just summarising your research findings and copy/pasting them on an A1 sheet of paper. Posters rely on a different form of visual communication than academic papers. Ideally, graphics and text complement each other, allowing you to clearly present the key aspects of your research and truly engage with your audience.

Aims and working method

In this two-day course you will learn about the fundamentals of converting manuscript into a poster, visual communication and concepting the design of a poster for both online and offline conferences. The course consists of a combination of interactive lectures and assignments.

Learning objectives

After this workshop you will:

  • Understand the fundamentals of converting your manuscript or your paper into a poster.
  • Have the ability to concept the design of your poster to avoid a wall of text poster.
  • Get to know several design tools to make your poster.

Target group

This course is geared towards PhD candidates who plan to do a poster presentation in a conference. This is a beginner's level course: it is suitable for those who have no prior knowledge in visual design / poster design.

How to prepare

In order to actively participate in this course, you are expected to prepare the following:

  • A paper or article you would like to turn into a poster. This could be your own paper or other papers.
  • Bring a laptop to both sessions. Ensure it is installed with MS PowerPoint at least.  
  • If you do not have access to a laptop, please include this in the comment section of the enrolment form.

Session descriptions

Session 1: Converting writing into graphic design

  • Common pitfalls & quick wins
  • Converting writing into graphic design
  • Introductory to some design tools for designing a poster

Session 2: Presenting your poster in subgroups

  • Opportunities for interaction in a poster-demo conference
  • Evaluating poster concept design

About the instructor

Dr. Novika Purnama Sari received her PhD at the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, her studies were embedded with Generation R Study Group Erasmus Medical Centre. Her research project concentrates on the topic of autism. In 2020-2021 she contributed as the chair of PhD Council in Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities. She also received the Best Poster Award 2019 by Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities (EGSH).

She used to work in a Danish design company as a project manager. Her main responsibility was making sure that the client receives a design based on their expectation. She became the mediator between customers and designers; receiving instruction, feedback, and working together with the designers to achieve the expected design result.