Doctoral School

Research Poster Competition 2023

Showcasing the richness and variety of PhD research at Sussex

Postgraduate researchers from all years and disciplines are invited to submit a poster on an aspect of their work. 

Posters should offer a clear taster of your research, have visual impact, and be accessible to a non-specialist academic audienceIt's a great way to build on our interdisciplinary research community and to discover more about the huge range of postgraduate research projects being carried out at Sussex. 


First prize: £300 towards your research 

Second prize: £150 towards your research

People’s Choice: £150 towards your research 

Research Poster Competition application form

EXTENDED! Deadline: Friday 26 May at 12 noon

How does it work?

Read the guidance below carefully before you enter, paying particular attention to the required dimensions and resolution. The deadline for entries is 12 noon on Friday 26 May.

As part of Sussex Doc Fest, shortlisted entries will be displayed in an online gallery on this page and in an exhibition at the Student Centre on Thursday 8 June. They will also be shown during the University's Summer of Research awards ceremony in July.

The competition will be judged by a panel drawn from the research community, and the People's Choice voted for online and at the exhibition. Winners will be announced following the 3MT final on Thursday 8 June.

Need inspiration?

Check out all of last year's shortlisted entries [PDF], and read about the winners on the Doctoral Connections blog.

Competition guidance

You can find lots of useful advice on designing an academic poster online. For example: 

Competition entrants should note the following:

  • Posters must relate to an aspect of the entrant's doctoral research.
  • Each doctoral researcher can submit only one poster.
  • Posters can be landscape or portrait orientation.
  • Posters must be submitted in PDF format, to be printed at A1 size.
  • Any pictures must be a minimum of 150dpi at the size as if they are being printed (e.g. if the A1 poster includes an A4 picture that needs to be approximately 1250 x 1750 pixels).
  • It is the responsibility of competition entrants to ensure that any images used in their poster are not copyrighted.
  • Your poster must not have been submitted to a previous Festival of Doctoral Research competition.
  • Prize money can only be put towards the winner's research and must be spent by 31 July. A School budget code must be identifed from which the winner will be reimbursed.
Judging criteria

Judges will assess the posters according to the following criteria:

First impression

  • Is the poster easy to read?
  • Is space used effectively within the poster?
  • Does the poster present a logical flow of information?
  • Is the poster overall visually attractive and engaging?

Title and content

  • Is the title engaging?
  • Are the aims/objectives of the research clearly stated?
  • Are the methods clearly explained and with sufficient detail?
  • How well are the results communicated on the poster? 
  • Are any images, graphs or figures clear and easy to understand?


  • Does the poster communicate a clear 'take-home' message?
  • Is the poster accessible to a non-specialist academic audience?
2023 Judges

Dr Joanna Young, doctoral professional development trainer

Dr Chris Brown, JRA workshop facilitator

Doctoral School staff

Key competition dates 
Deadline for submitting your entry Friday 26 May
Entries reviewed by judging panel Friday 26 May - Wednesday 31 May
Shortlisted posters announced Wednesday 31 May
Shortlist displayed in Festival online exhibition, and online voting Wednesday 31 May - Thursday 8 June
Poster exhibition in Student Centre, and in-person voting for People's Choice award Thursday 8 June
Winners announced at Festival prize-giving ceremony Thursday 8 June

Doctoral School