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Graduate Student Showcase

The Graduate Student Showcase is a conference for Boise State University graduate students to gather to display and present their research, work, and talents to the community.

2024 Graduate Student Showcase

The Graduate Student Showcase provides graduate students with a skills development opportunity, while also serving to highlight graduate programs and the excellent scholarship taking place across campus.

The 2024 Graduate Student Showcase was held on April 10th.

Professor and student reviewing a poster
Graduate Student Showcase 2019, Brooke Sutton Photo

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.

Will there be a virtual option for online-only graduate students?

Yes! Graduate students in online-only graduate degree programs can participate in a virtual version of the Showcase. Students use the same registration process as the in-person version. The virtual Showcase will involve a recorded three-minute presentation of your poster. There will be a separate set of judges and rubric for the virtual Showcase. You will receive more information after registration.

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

You must register before the deadline, Sunday, March 10, 2024. However, you won’t need to have your poster or artistic entry available until the morning of the Showcase. Signing up to present at the Showcase requires you to submit your name, contact information, graduate degree program, faculty advisor’s name, and submission title.

Is there a limit to how many submissions I can enter? What if my entry 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 enters the same poster or video, the entries will be disqualified from judging and will not be eligible for an award. What this means is that for each entry there should only be one student presenter. However, each member of a group or lab may create their own individual poster and three-minute pitch for the project and submit it to the showcase. This submission will also require individual 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 9–11 a.m. or from noon-2 p.m.). We encourage you to contact your instructor(s) and let them know you are participating in this campus-wide graduate student Showcase. You will need to discuss this directly with your instructor(s) 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: Poster Rubric and Arts 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 on the day of the in-person Showcase?

Graduate students should expect to set up their posters before the start of the event. The Jordan Ballroom will open at 8 a.m., the morning of the event. If you are in the second judging period, you should arrive before 9 a.m. to set up your poster early. Early set-up is required because it will allow participants and judges who can only attend the first judging session to see your work. In other words, all posters will be in place for the entire Showcase, but you and the judges of your work will only need to be in person for your assigned judging session.

The Jordan Ballroom will be staged in rows of easels, back-to-back, with backer board and easel assignments (numbers) in place. Easels will be close to one another but staggered in judging times, so there will be room on both sides and space 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 sessions, 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 receive alerts regarding how much time remains in the judging session during the event.

If possible, please plan to leave your poster up for your entire judging period. 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, faculty advisor’s name, submission title, and abstract.

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:

What are the dimensions for the posters?

We recommend 48″ x 36” for the poster dimensions due to the size of the easel and backer board provided at the Showcase. However, if you have a larger-format poster, you may still present it. If you do, work with your major advisor or program coordinator to find a backer board 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. Don’t be left out of the Showcase because of a printing issue.

Second, talk to your major advisor or program coordinator/chair – they are 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, offers departmental payment options, and provides a wonderful how-to on its website.

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, backer board, clips, and space to display your poster will be provided and ready for you when you arrive between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. to set up. Handouts, or additional information that you want to provide, are optional.
  • For the Visual Arts, the SUB Gallery will provide lighting and a wall or space for displaying your work. 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 and predetermined performance time will be provided. When you submit your abstract/contact information and indicate that you will present 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.

Who to Contact

Who can I direct questions to?

Please direct questions to the Faculty Director of the Graduate Student Showcase, Dr. Lisa Growette Bostaph, at