Student Poster Competition

Mission Statement

The SLAS Academic Poster Award, hereafter "award," recognizes the innovative research by students, graduate students, post-doctoral associates, and junior faculty (less than four years in first academic appointment) who are chosen to present a poster during SLAS2016, the Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.


The award consists of cash awards of $500 each for the Top 3 student poster competition winners. In addition, each of the Top 3 is invited to participate in an interview with the SLAS Lab Man just after the awards ceremony at SLAS2016. The poster award ceremony and podcasts are to take place on Monday, January 25th in the SLAS Member Center. From this point forward the presenting author may also be referred to as the "candidate".

The Panel of Judges

The panel of judges is comprised of individuals selected by the SLAS Student Poster Award Judge's Panel Chair and formally approved by the SLAS Awards and Grants Committee. These judges represent the various technologies and applications within the SLAS Conference curriculum.

The panel of judges is broken out into pre-conference judges and onsite judges. Pre-conference judges participate only in the pre-screening phase of the judging process (see Judging Process below.) Onsite judges participate in both the pre-screening phase of the judging process and the on-site selection of the winners.

Judges may not have or have had any formal association with the candidate poster assigned to them for review. Judges must recuse themselves from evaluating any candidate wherein there exists a relationship such as family, business, financial or other, e.g. academic, student/professional association. Judges must sign a non-conflict of interest certification form ensuring no improper purposes. It is expected that any potential conflicts are declared by the judges. The Student Poster Award Panel Chair makes the final decision on any questionable issues.

Presentation Evaluation


October 12, 2015 Abstract Submission Deadline
November 30, 2015 Poster Image Upload Deadline
January 25, 2016 Student Poster Judging at SLAS2015

Many of the candidates for the award are chosen to present at the SLAS Annual Conference and Exhibition as part of the SLAS Tony B. Academic Travel Award Program. Selection of the recipients of the Tony B. Academic Travel Award is based on a number of factors and is overseen by the SLAS Awards and Grants Committee. Candidates need not be Tony B. Award recipients to participate in the SLAS Student Poster Award Program.

Candidate Selection:

In assembling the program for SLAS Annual Conference and Exhibition, the Annual Conference Program Committee selects qualifying poster presentations from the abstracts received in response to the Call for Abstracts. To qualify for entry into the SLAS2016 Student Poster Competition, the author must opt-in for consideration using the appropriate check box during the abstract submission process. Abstract submission deadline is October 12, 2015.

Judging Process:

Candidates for the award will then be asked to upload their poster Online for pre-screening by Monday, November 30, 2015. Presenters must meet this pre-screening submission deadline in order to be eligible for the award. The award Chair will assign each judge a pre-determined number of posters to view and judge using the Web. The total number of judges will be determined by the total number of eligible poster submissions.

The pre-conference panel of judges will narrow the field (based on scores submitted as per the criteria below) to 5 posters to compete for the award at SLAS2016. Each of the Top 5 authors will be notified of their standing prior to SLAS2016.

In scoring the posters the judges will consider the following:

Pre-Conference Phase:

Poster Design:

  1. Organization: Is the poster content organized in a logical manner, such that experimental problem, approach and results are easily understood?
  2. Layout: Is the poster layout/look/feel well done? Is there use of appropriate font sizes, readable graphics, suitable colors, etc...?

Poster Content:

  1. Motivation/Background: Does the poster present sufficient context for the reader to understand the purpose and originality of the experiment as well as the background and motivation for performing the experiment?
  2. Approach: Does the poster present sufficient data on the experimental methods used for the reader to understand and judge the quality of the approach?
  3. Discussion: Does the poster demonstrate an understanding of the selected methods and technologies in the context of the state-of-the-art? Presenter should provide appropriate statistics.
  4. Conclusion: Does the poster present sufficient information and data to support the conclusion of the poster?

Judging of Presentations at SLAS2016

The on-site panel of judges will view and score the Top 5 posters at SLAS2016 during the student poster session on Monday afternoon (see schedule for exact date/time.) The panel of judges will have no more than 10 minutes to view each poster and move onto the next poster. This includes a question and answer period. Presenters will be notified of the approximate time the judges will visit each poster and of the time constraints of the on-site presentation.

Each of the Top 5 presenters is required to remain at their poster for the duration of the poster session in order to be eligible for the award. Once the on-site panel of judges has determined the three winners, the award Chair will notify the winners in-person and provide details regarding the award ceremony.

Each candidate will be judged on the same criteria as listed below.

In scoring the presentations the judges will consider the following:

Poster Presentation:

  1. Timely Presentation: Did the presenter explain the key concept(s) of the poster within the time allowed?
  2. Content: Was the poster content presented clearly and concisely in a way that enhanced understanding of the written poster content? (Rather than just a verbatim reading of the poster itself.)
  3. Questions and Answers: Did the presenter satisfactorily answer questions from the judges within the time allowed?
  4. Overall Presentation: Was the presenter able to keep the judges' attention during the presentation and was the presentation easily understood? Did the presenter show an appropriate level of enthusiasm for the research?


Each numbered criteria will be judged on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the best possible score; integers only). A maximum of 60 points will be assigned during the pre-conference phase of judging and a maximum of 40 points assigned at the on-site judging (Top 5 only). A maximum total score of 100 points is possible.

Rules & Regulations

Candidates are encouraged to be members of SLAS to participate in the contest and/or win the SLAS Student Poster Award; however, membership is not required.

Candidates must be the primary author of a selected poster abstract and must present their research during SLAS.

Candidates must be a student, graduate student, post-doctoral associate or junior faculty (less than four years in first academic appointment.) Tony B. Academic Travel Award winners presenting a poster will automatically be entered into the competition, but candidates are not required to have been selected for a Tony B. Academic Travel Award to qualify for the SLAS Academic Poster Award.

The panel of judges will review only those poster presentations selected and slotted for the conference by the Annual Conference Program Committee and submitted Online for pre-screening by the published deadline. All candidates must adhere to the SLAS Abstract Submission policies, timelines, rules and regulations1.

The following individuals are not eligible to participate in the SLAS Academic Poster Award program:

* The Annual Conference Program Committee comprises a Chairman, Associate Chairman, Track Chairs and Associate Track Chairs. Session Chairs are not members of the Annual Conference Program Committee, and therefore are eligible to participate.

  1. Abstract Submission Policy
    SLAS invites academicians, scientists, and post doctoral and graduate students to submit abstracts poster presentations for this international educational forum. Presentations will be hand-picked by the SLAS scientific committee. Rules, regulations and guidelines are subject to change at the discretion of the SLAS Board of Directors in accordance with bylaws, polices, and procedures.

Monetary disbursement

The cash prizes will be awarded on the day of the SLAS Student Poster Session assigned to the SLAS Student Poster Award Competition (currently the Monday of the conference.)

The following rules apply:

Non-Discrimination Statement

Discrimination based on race, religion, gender, age, national origin, ethnicity, veterans status, or disability in regard to the SLAS Student Poster Award is prohibited. Each candidate shall be evaluated based on the award's criteria which are tied to the SLAS exempt purpose of advancing the science and education of technologies in the laboratory.