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Research Day Poster Competition

Research Day offers students and investigators at Feinberg a public forum for presenting their findings and an opportunity to receive valuable feedback from their colleagues. It also allows them to see how their research compares to that of their peers in a competitive arena.

Each year, awards are given for projects that demonstrate outstanding and innovative research in basic science, clinical research, public health and social sciences research and women's research that have the potential for contributing to the advancement of medical science and healthcare.

Abstracts submissions for 2024 Research Day will open on July 25 and close on August 8 at 11:59 p.m.

Please note:

  • Accepted abstracts will be publicly available online prior to the event and for a short period after Research Day.
  • Only one abstract per presenter is accepted.
  • Abstracts are accepted on first come-first serve basis until we reach capacity.

Browse below for information on the poster sessions, and see our Award Recipients page for lists of past winners.

Categories & Prizes

In the categories of Basic Science, Clinical Research, Public Health and Social Sciences prizes are:

  • First prize: $500
  • Second prize: $300
  • Third prize: $100

There are also two Women Faculty Organization Awards for Excellence in Women’s Health Research:

  • Basic Science: $500
  • Clinical Research, Education or Public Health: $500


Anyone at the Feinberg School of Medicine or its affiliates who fits within one of the following categories is invited to submit an abstract for poster presentation:

  • Faculty
  • Clinical residents and fellows
  • Postdoctoral researchers and fellows
  • MD-PhD (medical scientist) students
  • Medical students
  • Graduate students
  • Undergraduate students
  • Research staff

Posters presented at national meetings or other venues are eligible for submission, provided the research was conducted at Feinberg or one of its affiliates. Non-faculty categories of presenters must have a faculty PI sponsor as a co-author on the poster. Only one poster may be submitted per participant.

Research Day participants must have met the eligibility requirements and submitted their abstracts by the posted deadline. Participation in the poster competition is limited by space. Poster competition spots are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. While only posters with an assigned number will be judged, all completed abstracts submitted before the deadline will be displayed online.


Research Day projects are presented on large tack boards and positioned throughout the staging area. 

It is strongly recommended that posters be professionally designed and printed to project a positive image of the presenter's work. Posters must not exceed 6 feet in width and 4 feet in height (5 feet wide by 3 feet high is recommended). Posters will be displayed on frames that are 6 feet wide by 4 feet high and secured by push pins supplied at the event.

Printing and Duplicating Services provides poster printing services to scientists across the Northwestern University.

To obtain files of the Northwestern Medicine and Feinberg logo for poster use, please visit the Office of Communications logo download page. Usage guidelines are also available on the Communications site. 

Participants should be available at their poster to discuss their research with attendees and potentially, judges, during the poster session.


If you haven't created a poster yet, consider using our template (Powerpoint).

Set Up

Participants may begin setting up their displays on Research Day at 10 a.m. Posters must be ready for viewing by 2 p.m.


In 2023, posters were displayed in three locations:

  • Basic Science |100s and 200s | NMH Feinberg Pavilion, third floor (251 E. Huron St.)

  • Clinical Research | 300s and 400s | SQBRC/Lurie Medical Research Center (303 E. Superior St.)

  • Public Health and Social Sciences | 500s and 600s | NMH Feinberg Pavilion, third floor (251 E. Huron St.)

map is available here.


Upon submitting an abstract, each participant will be assigned judges who will review and rate their submission prior to Research Day. The judging staff is comprised of senior Feinberg faculty. On the day of the event, judges will visit the posters of the top-rated abstracts to make their final rankings. Those selected as finalists will be notified prior to the event and expected to remain near their posters to answer questions from judges during the judging if possible.

Those not selected as finalists are encouraged to answer questions from attendees and faculty during the session, but are also invited to browse other posters, collaborate with colleagues, ask questions of attendees, and explore the poster session.


  • The topic of the study represents an important or emerging area of science.
  • The background provides sufficient rationale for pursuing the study questions.
  • A clearly stated objective and/or testable hypothesis is presented.
  • The study design is strong and appropriate for testing this hypothesis or fulfilling the study objective.
  • Figures and tables are easy to read and interpret.
  • The results are clearly presented and appear sound based upon the data collected.
  • The discussion reflects a responsible and scientifically credible understanding of the results.
  • The conclusions are consistent with the hypothesis being tested or study objective.
  • The overall appearance, content and final impressions are outstanding.

Submissions that do not adhere to the correct format will not be accepted.