Research Poster Competition

Have you carried out small-scale research or inquiry in your school, or as part of a programme of study? Our online research poster competition, in partnership with the Society for Education and Training, offers the opportunity to share your approach and findings with the Chartered College of Teaching and Society for Education and Training (SET) communities, through our websites and at events. The winning posters will be selected in a range of categories by an panel made up of teachers, school and college leaders and researchers. The competition is free to enter, and winners will receive book bundles and tokens, as well as having their posters on display at the Chartered College’s Annual Conference in February. All posters which meet the entry requirements will be displayed on our website in an online poster conference after judging is complete.

The closing date for this round of submissions is Monday 5th February 2018. Please read the details below carefully then visit our form to submit your poster and any supporting materials. You will need to create an account on Submittable to submit your materials. You do not need to be a Chartered College or Society for Education and Training member to enter the competition, but you will only be able to view the online poster conference after closing if you are a member.

Share your research or inquiry with other teachers through our research poster competition.




What sort of research or inquiry can I submit a poster on?

You can submit a poster based on research you may have done as part of a formal programme such as initial teacher training, a Masters, doctoral programme or a leadership programme, or based on an action research or inquiry project you may have done individually or as part of a school or college project. The focus of this competition is particularly on practitioner research – that carried out by teachers or others working in a school, college or other education setting.

The research does not need to have had positive results to be worth sharing. The project should usually be something that has been carried out within the last two years, but if you have an older project you would like to submit then please get in touch. You are welcome to submit a poster which has been submitted, published or displayed elsewhere, provided that you have permissions to do so. You can submit a poster as an individual, or as a project group of up to three people.


What should my research poster include?

Academic posters are widely used within the research community as a way of sharing research projects, disseminating findings and generating further discussion and debate. They aim to share research projects in a concise and visual manner. Like other types of academic writing, the poster should be well organised with clear headings and subheadings. Make sure that you have permission to use any photos or images. Try to be selective and remember to focus on those aspects of your research project which are most relevant. Typically, a poster should include the following information:

  • Title / research question(s)
  • Researcher’s name / institution
  • Outline / abstract
  • Methodology
  • Findings / conclusions
  • Keywords
  • References.

In addition to submitting your poster, you are able to submit a copy of any written report or thesis, and / or links to online materials. These will not be used in judging but may be included alongside your poster when this is posted online.

How should the poster be structured?

The layout of your poster should be both visually appealing and easy to follow. The most effective academic posters are well balanced by arranging text and images in such a way that both elements flow naturally and logically throughout the poster. Depending on your content, you might choose to structure your poster in a variety of ways. The poster should not exceed 1,000 words including the abstract, keywords and references. Font sizes should be large enough to be read comfortably, and aim to only use two different fonts per poster.  You should break up large paragraphs by using bullet points to define simple statements.

When presenting numerical data, it is often more effective to use charts and graphs rather than tables as these can be more effective for illustrating data trends. When making charts and graphs format them effectively by keeping them simple. For images, try to use a high-resolution JPEG or PNG for sharpness. The poster should be designed to be a minimum of A3 in size, and may be up to A2. When using colour ensure that it does not obscure or detract from the text and images used in the body of the poster.  Try not to use too many colours or colours which clash as this can be visually distracting.

Which software should I use to create the poster?

Use software that you are familiar with. There are a number of different options for creating academic posters including:

  • Word Processor (e.g., Word, Pages)
  • Presentation Software (e.g, PowerPoint, Keynote, Impress)
  • Vector Graphics (e.g., Illustrator, Inkscape)
  • Online poster or graphics tools (eg.

Whichever software you choose to use you must ensure that you are able to convert your poster into PDF format in order to submit it online. The final poster should be a minimum of A3 and a maximum of A2 in size, and should have sharp images and text.


There are many examples of research posters online which can help to structure and organise your poster. The site below contains many examples from ETF projects, which may be helpful.

ETF’s Excellence Gateway

How will my poster be judged?

Our judging panel will include teachers, school leaders and researchers from a range of settings. Four criteria will be used in judging entries:

  1. Quality of research design / approach
  2. Relevance and interest of research area to practice
  3. Quality of written communication
  4. Quality of visual communication

There will be prizes for the best poster in each of the above judging criteria, as well as prizes for different settings, for example the best Early Years, SEND and Post-16 projects, and for different groups of entrants, for example ITT students. There will be overall winners from each of the schools and FE sectors.

Submit your poster

Visit our Submittable site to submit your poster and any supporting materials. You will need to create an account on Submittable to submit your materials. You do not need to be a Chartered College or Society for Education and Training member to enter the competition or to create an account.