Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Separate advice is available for those wanting to visit the Festival of Postgraduate Research.

Applicant Elgibility

Who can take part in the Festival?

You must be a current University of Leicester research student to take part in the Festival - i.e., be currently registered for a doctoral degree (PhD, MD, PsyD, EdD, EngD, DClinPsy, or DSocSci) or an MPhil degree.

Unfortunately we are unable to accept applications from Masters students (MA, MSc, MRes, etc.)

I am coming to the end of my degree, can I take part?

The Festival takes place on Thursday, 29 June 2017 - to be eligible to take part you must at that date be registered as a full-time, part-time, distance learning, or writing-up research student.

Unfortunately you will not be eligible to take part if you have submitted your thesis for examination or will do so before the date of the Festival.

Can part-time and distance learning research students take part?

We have a poster-only category specifically for part-time and distance learning research students who are not able to attend in person. You cannot submit to this category if you are planning to attend the Festival.

Even if you are a part-time or distance learning student, you can attend in person. If you are planning to attend in person, you will submit your entry under the general category rather than the poster-only category.

Applicant Commitment

What time commitment is required of research students who take part?

Research students who are selected to take part in the Festival are required to attend the Festival itself -in full  i.e., there is a total time commitment of one day - unless they are in the poster-only category.

What training events are available?

The training programme for 2016 Festival presenters is currently being finalised; details and dates will be made available in the near future.

The training programme will comprise optional workshops on poster design and communicating research in plain English.

Application Process

How are applications submitted?

Research students wanting to take part in the Festival must submit a poster abstract - i.e., a written description of the research results/findings that will be illustrated by your poster. The abstract must be no longer than 250 words and must be submitted using the online form.

What is the deadline for applications?

Applications must be submitted by midnight Tuesday, 4 April 2017. Applications received after this time will not be considered.

How will applications be selected?

Your abstract must convince our shortlisting panel that your poster will be of an appropriate standard.

It is not necessary to summarise your entire research project - many research students choose to focus on a specific aspect of their research and the best posters often take this approach.

We will look for abstracts that:

  • are able to discuss the appropriateness of methodology to research question raised;
  • explain the real world significance/ implication of research question/ findings
  • are written in plain English for a non-technical audience

We are NOT looking for the type of abstract/poster you would produce if you were applying to take part in an academic conference - the Festival is about getting you to think about how you can communicate your research using images and words to someone with no background in your subject.

How many applications will be selected?

We will select the fifty best applications and these research students will be invited to present their work at the Festival. This does not include applications for the poster-only category.

When will I find out if my application is successful?

We will notify applicants of the outcome of their application by email. We expect to do this before the end of April.

At the Festival

What happens at the Festival?

Festival presenters normally arrive from 09:00 on the day of the Festival. The Festival itself starts with a judges-only viewing session and the doors are opened from around 11:00.

From 11:00-13:00 Festival presenters stand alongside their poster to welcome judges and other members of the audience and to answer questions about their research. Over this period the judges will be scoring presenters; presenters receive scores both for the quality of their poster and their ability to explain their research and answer questions about this.

Following a lunch for presenters and judges, there is an awards ceremony at which the highest scoring presenters receive their prizes. The Festival normally finishes by around 15:00.

Who are the judges?

There are around thirty judges. Each presenter will be scored by three or four different judges.

Our judges come from a range of backgrounds - industry, academia, politics, and media. In previous years judges have been drawn from organisations including the Research Councils, the British Library, the British Museum, the National Archives, Leicester City Council, as well as heads of innovative enterprises and  the media. Judges will not necessarily have any background in your subject area.

Who else will attend the Festival?

In addition to the judges, there will be an audience comprising members of the University's senior management team, members of the University's academic staff, other students, and members of the public.

Can I invite family and friends?

If you are selected to take part in the Festival, you are welcome to invite family and friends to attend between 11:00-13:00.

Unfortunately, family and friends are unable to attend the lunch or awards ceremony.

Will I get my poster back after the Festival?

You will get your poster back though we might request that we keep your poster for use at other events.

Poster Format

What orientation should my poster be?

Posters can be portrait or landscape orientation.

What size should my poster be?

Your poster should be designed to be printed at A1 size.

Are there any elements that must be included in the poster?

The poster must include:

  • a title
  • the University logo displayed in the top left corner
  • your name, the name of your School/Department, the names of your supervisors, and your email address

If your research is sponsored - e.g., by one of the Research Councils - you should acknowledge this in the poster.

Do I have to print the poster myself?

No - submit your poster to us and we will print it for you.

Contact Us

If you have a question that isn't covered by the advice above, please email us at

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