Graduate Student Showcase

The Graduate Student Showcase celebrates graduate research and scholarship at Boise State University. Graduate students from all programs present their work and talents, network with other graduate students and faculty, and conduct conference-style presentations.

Join us at the 2020 Graduate Student Showcase!

Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Session I: 9 – 10:30 a.m.
Session II: 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Location: Jordan Ballroom, Student Union Building

Jump to Participant FAQs

Participation & Attendance

The Graduate Student Showcase is free and open to the campus community and the public. Faculty and staff, students and community members are all welcome to attend the showcase.

All graduate students at Boise State are eligible to participate. The deadline to submit proposals is Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

Submit proposals for the Showcase

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

What is the Graduate Student Showcase?

The Graduate Student Showcase is a one day graduate conference at Boise State University that provides an opportunity for you as a graduate student to showcase your talents, connect with other graduate students, and enjoy the possibility of winning a cash award.

Am I eligible to participate?

If you are a graduate student at Boise State, you are eligible to participate! We encourage submissions that encompass all academic areas. For example, scholarly entries may be from your dissertation/thesis research, from a project that you are working on, or a project from a class.

I am in a fully online graduate program. Can I still participate?

Online graduate students can participate in one of two ways:

  1. Online students can participate in the formal face-to-face Showcase event on April 8. In this case, the online student will be required to provide a printed poster to be displayed during the Showcase, and to be physically present at the Showcase to meet with judges like all of the other Showcase participants.
  2. Alternatively, online students can participate in an asynchronous Showcase event, to be organized and judged by the online program faculty. This event, which will occur a few weeks before the face-to-face Showcase, will have a different set of awards, and a different entry format that is more aligned with distance learning. The details will be worked out at a later date, but participation will involve a short digital visual presentation (power point slides or the like,) and a recorded audio/video presentation to accompany the visual presentation. At the face-to-face Showcase, the presentations will be available for participants to view, but they will not be judged.

If you have any questions, please contact Scott Lowe at

Do I have to have my poster or artistic entry completed prior to signing up to participate in the Showcase?

No! The deadline for posters or artistic entries is the morning of the Showcase. Signing up to present at the Showcase only requires that you submit your name, contact information, graduate degree program, submission title, and abstract. Abstract: An abstract is a brief summary of your project that will be included in the online version of the Graduate Student Showcase program.

Is there a limit to how many submissions I can enter? What if my poster is from a group project?

The Showcase has a strict one-student one-entry policy, and group entries are not permitted – if more than one student meets with judges regarding the same poster, the entire entry will be disqualified from judging and will not be eligible for an award. What this means is that for each poster there should only be one student presenter. However, each member of a group or lab may create their own individual poster for the project and submit it to the Showcase. This submission will also require individual abstract and presenter contact information to be submitted upon signing up.

What if I have class during the times of the Graduate Student Showcase?

The expectation is that you will be at the Graduate Student Showcase during your assigned judging slot (either from 9–10:30 a.m. or from 10:30 a.m. -12 p.m.). We encourage you to contact your instructor(s) and let them know that you are participating in this campus-wide graduate student Showcase. You will need to discuss this directly with your instructor(s) in order to determine if participation is feasible.

How will my poster or artistic entry be judged?

Faculty judges will be randomly assigned to each entry, with the faculty being drawn from outside of the College or School of the student that submitted the work. Each entry will be judged by at least two judges, although depending on the number of judges present, additional judging may be done. The judges will utilize a common rubric for each poster, or a common rubric for each artistic entry, past examples of which can be found here: Arts Rubrics and Poster Rubric. When the judging is completed, a z score will be calculated for each entry – we will calculate the judge-specific average and standard deviation measured across all entries that the judge provided scores for. For each individual entry, the judge’s average score (measured across all scores that the judge submits,) will be subtracted from the individual score, and that total will be divided by the standard deviation of the judge’s submitted scores. The average z score, measured for each entry, across the 2+ judges that judged that entry, will be calculated in order to determine the winners.

The Graduate College will not reveal the voting outcomes or provide individual feedback on poster or artistic entries, although we will list the winners in each category on our webpage prior to the Awards Ceremony. For feedback on your individual entry, we encourage you to meet with your advisor, committee members, and/or other faculty members in your program.

What should I expect the day of the Showcase?

Graduate students are expected to set up their posters before the start of the event – the Jordan Ballroom will open at 8am on the morning of the event, so if you are in the second judging period, you should plan to arrive before 9am to set up your poster early. Early set-up is required, because it will give participants and judges that are only able to attend the first judging session the opportunity to see your work.

The Jordan Ballroom will be set up in rows of easels, back to back, with backer-board and easel assignments (numbers) in place. Easels will be close to one another, but will be staggered in judging times, so that there will be room on both sides, and room to meet with viewers and judges. Viewers and judges will move through the Ballroom, observe the student entries, and interact with the students. The Showcase is a professional event, so casual dress is discouraged. Upwards of 100+ individual posters and artistic entries (performing arts) will be judged simultaneously during each of the two judging session, so there will be considerable background noise in the Ballroom. Participants and judges will be informed via the PA system when the event begins, and will be given alerts regarding how much time remains in the judging session during the event.

If possible, please plan to leave your poster up for the entire Showcase. Posters that remain at the end of the Showcase will be collected and made available in the Graduate College office after the event.

Poster Submissions

What does a poster or visual/performing arts proposal submission look like?

A project submission should include the author’s name, contact information, graduate degree program, submission title, and abstract. Abstract: An abstract is a brief summary of your project that will be printed in the online version of the Graduate Student Showcase program.

What does a scholarly poster look like?

First time making a poster? Need help getting started on a poster? Need a refresher course? No problem! The NYU Library website provides information about how to make and present a poster, including templates and design recommendations.

Here’s some other important information specifically about making posters for the Graduate Student Showcase: (1) Although the link provided above discusses research posters, the Graduate Student Showcase will incorporate posters that cover a variety of topics (e.g., theory, project proposals, etc.) and areas of expertise. Any student in any area of study can sign up to present a poster! (2) What needs to be included on the poster? Poster content may vary – you can take a look at examples of prior rubrics that have been used to judge Showcase entries to see what the judges will be basing their scores on. See examples: Arts Rubrics and Poster Rubric.

What are the dimensions for the posters?

We recommend 48″ x 36” for the poster dimensions due to the size of the easel and backerboard that will be provided at the Showcase, but if you have a larger-format poster, you may still present it. However, you should work with your major advisor or program coordinator to find a backerboard that will support a larger poster.

Where can I print my poster?

First and foremost, plan to print your poster before the week of the event. Printers/plotters break, particularly given the large number of posters that students will print, so don’t be left out of the Showcase because of a printing problem.

Second, talk to your major advisor or program coordinator/chair – they have been in contact with the Graduate College and will have printing options and alternatives for you. There are both public and private printing opportunities – many departments and programs have plotters that can print large-format posters,

Second, talk to your major advisor or program coordinator/chair – they have been in contact with the Graduate College and will have printing options and alternatives for you. There are both public and private printing opportunities – many departments and programs have plotters that can print large-format posters. The Albertsons Library operates a large-format printer at a very affordable price (48” x 36” color posters can be printed for less than $30,) offers departmental payment options, and provides a wonderful how-to on their website here.

Will there be electric outlets for my work?

Electrical outlets will be available as needed for the performing arts.

At the Showcase, how will I display my work?

The materials vary based on the type of submission:

For posters, an easel, backerboard, clips and space to display your poster will be provided and ready for you when you arrive between 8am and 9am to set up. Handouts, or additional information that you want to provide, are optional.

For the Visual Arts, lighting and a wall or space for displaying your work will be provided in the SUB Gallery. The director of the SUB Gallery will be in touch with you well in advance of the Showcase.

For the Performing Arts, a podium/stage will be provided, as will a predetermined performance time. When you submit your abstract/contact information and indicate that you will be presenting a Visual or Performance Art piece, the Graduate College will contact you with additional information. Please arrange to bring any other materials on your own.