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#NPDC21 Poster Competition

In the run up to the National Postdoc Conference 2021 (NPDC21) we ran an online poster competition on Twitter. Attendees made a new poster or re-shared an existing one showcasing either what they research or about the conference theme “New Realities, Stronger Connections, Successful Futures”.

Dates: from 12pm on 22 September until 12pm on 23 September

Hosted on Twitter

This was a fantastic opportunity for participants to network with other conference participants, showcase their research to an audience of people outside of their research field, and develop their communication skills.


While the conference was open on 24 September, participants searched #NPDC21 on Twitter, asked questions about the posters and made connections with others outside of their usual research circle. The competition also allowed attendees to network in advance of attending and act as a huge poster exhibition showcasing the incredible research being done by postdocs across the UK.


The winning posters were announced on twitter during the conference. The prizes were awarded by the conference organising committee which was made up of a panel of academics, research developers and leaders in industry from across the UK. We looked for how clear and easy the poster is to read, dissemination of work/chosen topic to a lay audience and engagement with any questions asked.

We received a vast and varied range of submissions on Twitter, forming a unique nation-wide showcase of the innovative, wide-ranging and impactful research that postdocs perform.

The entries were highly impressive and diverse with participants impressing the panel with the quality of the posters and innovation they represented, their skill at communicating complex ideas in accessible ways, and how they engaged with audiences online. The winning posters can be seen in this Twitter thread. The winners were:

1st prize of a £50 retail voucher, Dr Laura Gray, University of Sheffield, for “BMI, Muscle Loss and Biomarkers in Older Adults.”

2nd prize of a £30 retail voucher, Dr Shona Moore, University of Liverpool, for “Outbreak at bluest festival”. 

3rd prize of a £20 retail voucher, Dr. Mapa Prabhath, Queens University Belfast, for “A feasibility study to develop integrated diabetic retinopathy screening programme in the western province of Sri Lanka”

Additional highly commended entries, who were each awarded £10 retail vouchers were:

  • Dr Frances Sherratt, University of Liverpool, “Making clinical research more accessible to patients from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds”
  • Dr Debabrata Dutta, University of York, for “Transcriptomics of cultivated and wild sesame”
  • Dr Sadaf Ashaf, University of Aberdeen, for “Osteoarthritis, Stomal-Stem Cells and Joint Pain”
  • Dr Tracy Mitchell, University of Liverpool, “Life at home with medical technology: a photo elicitiation interview study”.

All winners were also awarded certificates of recognition, and we encourage continued conversations in relation to the posters on Twitter via #NPDC21.

5 top tips for creating an #NPDC21 poster

  1. Know your audience –When presenting at a conference to experts it’s fine to use technical terms but when presenting to the general #NPDC21 audience, keep it simple!
  2. Use visuals effectively – Graphics are key to a good poster. They can show key results and grab the reader’s attention. If you’re presenting online why not make a GIF too?
  3. Keep it simple - make a few points clearly and avoid long paragraphs!
  4. Format check - tweet your poster first to check text is legible, the aspect ratio is correct (3:1 is best) and that your .jpeg, .png or .gif file size is max. 5 MB.
  5. Remember to tag #NPDC21 - or else no one at the conference will see it, and you won’t be eligible to win one of our prizes!

Tips and guidance

How to make a good poster for Twitter:

Designing a good research poster generally:

Did you know?...As Liverpool Film Office celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019, it broke records for the fourth year running with 324 film and TV projects, adding up to 1,750 production days making it the city that spends the most time on film outside London.

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