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Designing an Academic Poster: A Guide to Conducting Research and Developing a Strategy

Demonstrate your understanding of the research process


The academic poster is designed to test the student’s ability to both conduct a search of existing literature, and design an appropriate research strategy for adding to this literature. Your poster will:

• Demonstrate your understanding of the research process;
• Present your research aim and objectives;
• Explain how your work is related to or derived from the available literature;
• Make clear philosophical underpinnings of the research;
• Specify the design, data collection and analysis methods to be used;
• Be submitted to Turnitin via blackboard;
• Demonstrate independent research that is applied effectively and appropriately using the Harvard system of referencing.

Pass grade

You must obtain a grade of 50% or more to pass the module. The University requires students to adhere to submission deadlines for any form of assessment. A penalty will be applied in relation to unauthorised late submission of work.

You must identify the main theoretical underpinnings of your work and the key authors in your field. You should make references to the main authors and themes from ‘academic literature’ that is relevant to the proposal. It should use recognised academic sources (e.g. journal articles) and should be referenced.

4. Methodology: a description and justification of research methods for your study including (600 words):

a. Your philosophical position and methodological approach to your study
b. Research strategy, including data collection and a justification of their appropriateness
c. How you propose to analyse the data you gather
d. Any problems you anticipate and how you might overcome them

5. Ethical considerations. This includes (250 words):

a. Gaining approval of the Research Ethics Application Form
b. How you intend to inform and gain access to the appropriate informants, data, and / or sites for your study
c. How data and informants’ identities are protected

6. Any limitation of your study, for example, design or methods (50 words)

7. A research timetable that details your planned research activity and demonstrates the viability of your proposed research project.

It is possible to conduct your dissertation based solely on secondary data, that is, a desk-based study.

1.In this case your methodology section will consist of your approach to collecting, organising and analysing appropriate secondary data. A more extensive and detailed iterature review may be needed. As your research will be based on secondary data you need to demonstrate that there is sufficient material available.

2. You must demonstrate the feasibility of conducting and completing the proposed research within the defined timeframe for the dissertation. Considerations must be given in terms of:

Present your research aim and objectives

a. the coherence and logic of the proposal
b. possibility of securing access to organisations and participants
c. the resources involved in collecting primary and/or secondary data
d. the timeframe for each stage of the dissertation

3. The research aims should be clear, focused and the objectives of the research must flow logically from the aim You should avoid making your aims too vague as this may lead to a range of specific objectives that are too wide and proposals that are not viable in terms of time, scope or depth. Remember your overall task is to refine your possible research ideas into specific research aim & objectives and present a coherent proposal.

4. The literature review will focus on the themes of your research aim and will be based on appropriate scholarly material You will demonstrate that you have a command of the key ideas, theories and research in the area in which your own research is located. Most of your review will be based on journal articles and research based  texts and will be material that is recognised as making significant contributions to theoretical understanding or empirical knowledge.

5. The methodology will demonstrate systematic thinking and provide a convincin justification for the chosen approach You should clearly acknowledge the philosophical approach to your chosen research area and demonstrate your understanding of the nature of the phenomenon you are going to investigate with an appropriate justification of this approach. You need to demonstrate that the methodology chosen will generate the data you need to accomplish your research aim and be coherent with your objectives.

6. The methods must be clearly described and justified, and backed with ethical considerations You need to give details of how you will gain access to the participants, data, and / or site(s) you intend to research. You need to explain what methods you intend to use and explain clearly why you think your choices are appropriate for the type of research you intend to do. You must give as many details as you can about the specific numbers you intend to recruit to participate in your research. You can expect that these details will change but you need to demonstrate that you have thought through the execution of the research in some detail and in a systematic way.

7. Your work is underpinned by academic references from a wide range of academic journals and textbooks.

a. You need to include a reference list on the poster, which covers only the references used in your work
b. The Harvard Referencing Style must be adopted for referencing

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