Psychology Ph.D. Program

Guidelines for the Graduate Research Festival

The Graduate Research Festival is held every year in early May. It is an opportunity for first- and second-year students to share their research with faculty and fellow students. The Festival also gives students an opportunity early in their career to a take part in a conference experience and to practice their oral presentation skills. The poster sessions will be similar to those at conferences. You will stand next to your poster for approximately one hour to answer questions and have fruitful intellectual discussion with observers—in this case, faculty and peers.

First-Year Students

Students in their first year are expected to present a poster. There are two options for these posters:

  1. Current progress on second-year project. If no data has been collected for the project yet, the poster would likely include an introduction, methods, projected or preliminary results, and a discussion.
  2. A first-year project unrelated to the second-year project. This project might be based on already collected data. For example, a student might analyze a portion of data collected by others in their advisor’s research program and present these results. In this case, there should be complete data analysis included in the poster content.

Second-Year Students

Students presenting their second-year project are expected to give a 15- to 20-minute talk about the project and spend 10-15 minutes answering questions from the faculty and student audience. The project should be complete at the time of the talk.

No written version of this talk is required for the presentation in May, although it is strongly encouraged that students write up their presentation in article format and submit the article for publication.

Note: Neither first-year posters nor second-year talks count as a portfolio element unless they are accepted for a conference or have been submitted for journal publication. The spring graduate presentations are in-house, whereas the portfolio system focuses on presenting the student to the larger academic world.


Can grad students who are not in their first or second year attend Graduate spring presentations?

All grad students encouraged to attend the Graduate spring presentations and are free to ask questions during question periods.

I would like to receive an official Master’s degree so that I can put this on my vita for job purposes. Can I do that?

Students desiring an official Master’s will be awarded one when they finish the journal article write-up and have completed the university requirements for submitting a Master’s thesis

I came to the Clark PhD program with a Master’s degree already. Do I still have to do first- and second-year projects?

Student who already have a Master’s are not required to complete first and second year projects. However, they are required to present research along with the second-year students. Their presentation may be based on their master’s work, or may be a presentation of their dissertation work-in-progress or some other research that they have worked on during their year at Clark.