FYRE! The First Year Research Experience

The First-Year Research Experience - FYRE

The Undergraduate Research Program invites all students who wish to present first-year research to participate in FYRE.

FYRE offers opportunities for students to showcase their best research-based projects completed in any 1000-level course: RHET 1020, Pathways 1, Pathways 2, Scientific Thinking, Philosophical Thinking, Seminar 1023, Seminar 1099, Seminar 1110 or any other 1000-level course.

Research that demonstrates critical analysis and sound argument will be considered, on a competitive basis, for the FYRE activities below:

  • FYRE panels for oral presentation or FYRE research posters presented in the annual EURECA conference. For guidelines, refer to EURECA 
  • FYRE corner for papers completed in first-year courses and submitted for publication in the undergraduate research journal. For guidelines, refer to URJe
  • FYRE wall poster competition is held at the end of each semester. The winners have their posters mounted on the wall of the Rhetoric and Composition Department and win a financial award of EGP 1,000. For the guidelines, refer to the section below


FYRE Wall Poster Competition Guidelines and Application Form

To participate in the FYRE wall poster competition, fill out this application form

What is a Research Poster?

A research poster is a visual presentation of your research study. Posters are a common medium of research display in the academic community.  

An Effective Poster:

  • Presents the research in a logically-organized way, reading from the top-left to the bottom-right corner of the poster
  • Utilizes the white space well so that it is not over-crowded nor underutilized
  • Employs both text and graphics (figures, pictures, graphs and photos) to present the message in a balanced and visually-appealing manner
  • Uses large enough font-size to be read easily at a distance
  • Presents the information concisely, employing bullet points and selecting only the key pieces of information
  • Is complete and self-explanatory so that a viewer would understand the poster, even in the absence of a presenter

Deadline for Application

Fall Semester: December 10
Spring Semester: May 10

Poster Evaluation Criteria


  • A well-articulated, interesting research question that addresses a complex issue (not a cliché topic)
  • Key background literature/theory that contextualizes and grounds the research within the current state of knowledge on the topic
  • Appropriateness of method to the research question 
  • Persuasive, logically-organized research argument
  • Logical, numerical, or illustrative support, checked for accuracy, currency and relevance
  • A sound conclusion that offers original insight or contribution to the field (not one already known or based on author assumptions)
  • Citation of sources - ideas, graphics and photos - both in-text and in a list of references (may insert a QR code for References mentioned in-text on the poster)


The organization/sections of the poster may vary depending on the disciplinary area. The following are suggested sub-sections of the poster, classified by discipline. Feel free to re-label or modify the sections, as appropriate to your research argument.

A poster on a science or social science topic may be organized into:

  • Research question
  • Key studies in the literature (3-4 point summary)
  • Theoretical background
  • Method
  • Results
  • Analysis and discussion 
  • Conclusion/contribution, implications, future directions
  • References

A poster on a humanities topic may be organized into:

  • Research question/thesis
  • Key studies in the literature (3-4 point summary)
  • Conceptual or theoretical framework
  • Approach 
  • Main points of logical argument
  • Conclusion/contribution, significance, future directions
  • References

Layout and Format

  • Divide the material into vertical columns or clear text boxes on the poster
  • Use at least 18-point type in the body of your poster, and at least 40-point for the title
  • Size the poster for a 1-meter by 1-meter display board
  • Spell out acronyms if used; replace technical jargon that is not defined
  • Check accuracy of spelling, capitalization, punctuation and citation
  • Label and accompany tables or charts with bullets explaining major findings
  • Use visuals only to support your argument, not for cosmetic effect
  • Use high-quality visuals that are not blurred, skewed or stretched
  • Avoid watermark backgrounds and use complementary colors so that your text is clear
  • Balance the white space and text so that the reader is comfortable

PowerPoint Poster Templates

Use the following PowerPoint Poster slides as the template for your poster:

You may re-size, re-position or re-label the text boxes, but you have to use the template border and the AUC and Academy of Liberal Arts nameplates.

How to Create a Poster using PowerPoint:

You can create a poster easily using PowerPoint. Here are the instructions: 

1. Set the dimensions for your PowerPoint poster in the following way:

  • Go to the design
  • Select slide size
  • Select custom slide size, then insert the width and height dimensions (in inches) for your poster (1 meter = 39.37 inches)
  • Keep the number of slides as one

2. Add text and visual content to your poster, using the guidelines above
3. Save your poster as PDF when you are ready for printing
4. Print your finished poster

Forbes presents an alternative layout for the Ressrach Poster Competition in this video

Video reference: Morrison, M. (2019). How to create a better research poster in less time. In Eva Amson (2019). A Graphic Design Revolution For Scientific Conference Posters. Forbes Media LLC. https://www.forbes.com/sites/evaamsen/2019/06/18/a-graphic-design-revolution-for-scientificconference-posters/#1318694a297c Retrieved on October 20, 2019.

Poster Printing

Participants in FYRE will print the posters at their own expense.

Poster Evaluation
  • Posters are evaluated using the criteria above
  • Only posters submitted on the application form will be evaluated
  • Posters are evaluated by a minimum of two faculty members from Rhetoric and Composition
  • Faculty members whose students are competing cannot serve on the evaluation committee
  • Winning candidates are announced only during the end-of-semester poster presentation and awards event
  • Candidates who do not attend the end-of-semester poster presentation and awards event cannot be awarded
  • Only awarded students may document the competition award on the co-curricular transcript

End-of-Semester Poster Presentation and Awards Event

All students competing for the FYRE Wall Competition are expected to present their posters at the end-of-semester Poster Presentation and Awards Event. Students display and present their posters to a walking public audience, repeating the presentation as necessary. Students should time their presentation for a maximum of three minutes. Students who do not present their work cannot be awarded.

The end-of-semester poster presentation and awards event is co-organized by the Undergraduate Research Program, the Department of Rhetoric and Composition, and the First-Year Program (FYP).


Contact Information

Amani Elshimi
Undergraduate Research Program

Richard Byford
FYRE Wall Competition