An Excellent Communicator Badge is a designation awarded to SRS participants who demonstrate an understanding of how to effectively communicate their research through visuals and text. Earning the badge is a way for you to receive additional feedback on how you present your findings. While the badges have no direct impact on judging results, they indicate that you put extra effort into improving your communication skills.


Steps to submit a presentation

Step 1: Complete the training modules and attend GrTS

  • Each of the three trainings will help you develop your ability to communicate effectively through text and visuals.
  • Utilize the check list to the right that capture the best practices of the four core elements of research communication; words, images, data and layout. (This is the exact criteria we use to evaluate your presentations :^)

Step 2: Submit your visuals

You can electronically submit your slides or poster for evaluation by the RGS Project Management and Communication Team through the Excellent Communicator Badge Submission Form. 

Step 3: Show up and claim your badge

If you qualify for a badge, it will be included with your name tag when you check in for SRS on April 13th. 

Badge evaluation criteria


  • Ensure you address all required sections.
  • Proofread all your text!
  • Reduce text length and complexity as much as possible.
  • Utilize bullets and diagrams to show relationships.
  • Use simple, interesting and descriptive titles and subheads.
  • Use first-person voice and active verbs. (Maybe even an anecdote!)
  • Carefully select and use 2-3 fonts and 2-3 colors.
  • Format your text with left justification, ample leading and paragraph spacing.


  • Make sure graphs and figures are readable.
  • Double check for needed units of measurement, categories, etc.
  • Utilize the right type of graph for the data.
  • Simplify by deleting extra info or using progressive disclosure.
  • Highlight relevant data or important trends in the graph.
  • Explain meaning of data (trends, outliers, etc.)
  • Utilize theme colors and fonts for your graphs and figures.
  • Optimize graphs by remaking them with your theme elements.


  • Make sure images are high quality/resolution.
  • Pay special attention to research pictures (accuracy, source, explanation, scale, etc.)
  • Choose images that are clearly topical.
  • Use and simplify diagrams.
  • Enlarge images to serve as focal points.
  • Provide context/sources with captions.
  • Utilize alternate/better image sources.
  • Get rid of white backgrounded/layered images.


  • Organize content into clear sections.
  • Create intuitive flow with modular layouts.
  • Get rid of unnecessary elements (abstract, date footer, question slide etc.)
  • Create ample white space and margins!!
  • Create a visible size/heading hierarchy.
  • Add related design elements.
  • Ditch confusing background images/gradients/watermarks.
  • Place and use logos/wordmarks appropriately.