Abstract Submissions 2023

Abstract submissions for SPARC 2023 are now closed! 

Thank you to all who submitted an abstract for review. The Committee will be reviewing these in down course, and all those who submitted will receive a response by Friday 13th October.


If you have any trouble downloading the abstract forms, please contact us at SPARC@ed.ac.uk

Your abstract submission should be about Scotland, Scottish data, Scottish projects or you should outline how your submission can be transferable to a Scottish setting or context. You abstract should be related to the Eight Investments. Please complete this form and email it to SPARC@ed.ac.uk by the closing date, Friday 29 September at 5pm. You will be informed by Friday 13th October about whether or not your abstract has been accepted.  

Abstracts will be reviewed by the SPARC Scientific Committee to ensure they align with the submission guidelines. A small number of accepted abstracts will be invited to be presented as oral presentations on the day of the conference. The remaining accepted abstracts will be presented as posters. All abstract presenters are required to register for the conference. We intend to collate all abstracts into a booklet which will be shared on the SPARC website. 

Guidance on creating a poster  

SPARC23 will be held in-person on Wednesday 8th November in Pollock Halls, Edinburgh. Posters for SPARC23 will need to be printed and brought with you to the event on the day, where boards and adhesives will be available for the presenters. A note that all poster presenters are expected to take their posters home with them after the event as well.  

Essential poster information: 

  • Size and orientation: Posters should be printed in size A0 and in portrait orientation only (84.1 cm wide x 118.9 cm long). 
  • Material: Posters may be printed on paper or canvas. 
  • Formatting: Please ensure that you include the title of your presentation at the top of your poster as it is in your abstract submission. The names of the presenter and other contributors should be clearly stated as well. 
  • Content: There is no need to include your abstract on the poster. Overall, try and minimise the amount of text presented – a range of 300-800 words is recommended.  
  • Visual techniques: Think about how best to use a combination of text, tables, figures, and other visuals to best convey the important information. Think about using bullets, numbers, and headlines to guide the viewer and make it easy to read.  

Top tips for creating posters from the SPARC scientific committee: 

  • Poster presenters (new and experienced) are encouraged to follow the guidelines of the #betterposter design (more information and templates available at https://osf.io/vxqr6/ or on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/@drmikemorrison or you may want to follow Mike Morrison on Twitter (@mikemorrison). 
  • Posters need not be created in Microsoft PowerPoint, software like Canva and Piktochart can also be used. Both Canva and Piktochart have templates that can be used. It is important to create the poster in the correct size and orientation (A0 and portrait) irrespective of which software package you use.  
  • Text on the poster should have a font size that can be easily read when printed on A0. Font size may vary between sections, but all text should be legible. Make text clear and to the point. Your poster should be readable from several feet away.  
  • Different graphics, colours and fonts can help make your poster more effective and the key information to stand out. To ensure that your poster is accessible to range of different audiences, Microsoft have useful advice on font choices. Poster and font colour are also worth considering, and presenters are encouraged to use a Contrast Checker which is also a great tool to check accessibility. 

Some examples of posters to give presenters some additional ideas of conference posters can be found below