Student Poster Competition

The ISPE Student Poster Competition is an annual competition held by local ISPE Affiliates and Chapters before 31 July each year. The poster presentation consists of a visual display of research findings combined with an interactive question and answer period with a panel of judges. Local winners advance to the International Student Poster Competition at the ISPE Annual Meeting.

Student Poster Competition Rules

About the Local Affiliate/Chapter Student Poster Competition

The exact structure of the poster competition may vary in each Affiliate/Chapter (i.e., poster competition combined with a local Affiliate/Chapter event, or a stand-alone Affiliate/Chapter event). The winners of the undergraduate and graduate level will be decided at the local event.

Affiliates and Chapters that hold student poster competitions typically have paid for the local winners (undergraduate and graduate) to attend the Annual Meeting and compete in the International Student Poster Competition. Affiliates and Chapters are encouraged to support as many students as possible to attend and compete at the Annual Meeting in whatever way they deem appropriate. Any student that participates in their local competition can compete in the International Competition at the Annual Meeting.

Student Poster Competitors also may obtain financial support from the following sources: academic institution; fund raisers; parents; and earnings. Solicitation of funds from companies by students is strictly prohibited, but competitors may accept donations offered by companies.

If the students win and then graduate, they may still compete at the Annual Meeting in the fall under their original competition category.

About the International Student Poster Competition

The International Student Poster Competition is held during the ISPE Annual Meeting. The international winners (undergraduate and graduate) will be announced at the Membership Luncheon during the Annual Meeting. Both the undergraduate and graduate student winners will receive cash awards and the opportunity to publish research in ISPE’s magazine, Pharmaceutical Engineering, as well as other Affiliate/Chapter publications.

Before and after the completion of judging, the posters of all competitors will be displayed for the attendees of the Annual Meeting to view. Competitors will remain with their posters for the duration of the poster viewing session as indicated in the technical program of events or as directed by the manager of the event on-site.

Competitors are responsible for disassembly and removal of the poster following the viewing session and ISPE will not assume responsibility for materials left beyond the time limit specified.


Judges for the Affiliate/Chapter student poster competition will be selected by the Affiliate or Chapter. Judges for the international competition will be active ISPE members. Industry Advisors, mentors, and competitors should review the Poster Evaluation Form to become familiar with the evaluation criteria. To prepare for questions from the judges, competitors should keep in mind the diverse background/fields of specialty of the judging panel.

Competition Rules

The poster must include the following:

  • Title
  • Names of author(s) and affiliated organization(s)
  • Abstract (brief summary of objectives, methods, results, and conclusions)
  • Background Information
  • Project Objectives
  • Materials and Methods
  • Results (tables, graphs, charts)
  • Conclusions
  • Discussion of possible future directions or why project is complete

Each contestant must be a student member of ISPE PRIOR to competing at the Affiliate/Chapter poster competition and must remain in good standing through the Annual Meeting. Postdocs are not considered students; however, they are encouraged to display their research during ISPE’s professional poster session held during the Annual Meeting.

Poster topics may be related to any facet of ISPE, which may include the following: research and development; facility design; engineering; human resources; process development, sales; computers; regulatory compliance; manufacturing; the environment; and technology.

Competitors shall plot the poster on a 40”x60” sheet of paper or mount the sections of the poster on color matboard.

ISPE (local and international levels) will supply each competitor with a white 40”x60” foamcore poster board, easel, and mounting materials such as Velcro, tape or push pins. Competitors may choose to orient the poster vertically or horizontally.

All illustrations and text must be readable from a distance of 3 feet.

Academic institution logos and ISPE Affiliate/Chapter logos may be displayed on the poster. If the research presented was supported by a specific funding source, i.e., a grant or a company, a written acknowledgment of the funding source may be displayed but their logo will not be included on the poster.

Collaborative poster presentations are acceptable; however, only one primary author is permitted to compete in the poster competition. Substitutions will be allowed for the international competition only if the substitute is an ISPE student member, a member of the original research team, and substitute’s name was on the original abstract/poster.

Include all collaborators that contributed to the body of work in the author section. Consent from all collaborators is necessary prior to the poster competition because of publication of poster contents in ISPE publications.

It is the responsibility of the Affiliate or Chapter to ensure that all Poster Competition rules are followed and that each competitor is a Student Member of ISPE PRIOR to the competition.

Competitors will be given a ten-minute window to showcase their projects with the judges. Judging sessions will consist of a five-minute presentation given by the competitor plus a five-minute question-and-answer period.

Competitors may change or update their poster presentation between the Local Student Poster Competition and the International Student Poster Competition with new data that was obtained between the two competition dates. However, the same titled poster and abstract that was presented at the Local Competition must also be presented at the International Competition. If a competitor changes status between the local competition and International Competition (goes from undergraduate to graduate) they will not be allowed to update their poster if they wish to compete in their original classification.

Example of a Student Poster Competition Entry
Example of a Student Poster Competition Entry

For More Information

Contact the Faculty Advisor, Industry Advisor or Student Affairs Chair for your local ISPE Student Chapter.

For all questions concerning the Student Poster Competition, please contact:

Debra Kaufmann
PQE US and Canada PR and Communications Specialist