Instructions for MCLS Presenters

General Instructions

All presenters (symposia, lightning talks, posters) are required to upload their materials to a shared folder at least 48 h before the presentation. These will be accessed by the interpreting staff and other attendees. Links for each presentation day can be found here:

June 26:
June 27:
June 28:

These materials are provided as an accessibility resource that supports interpreter preparation, and provides access to materials for attendees who prefer using personal devices to view slides. Please be respectful of others’ materials--do not alter or share any content that is not your own. Folder access will be revoked at the end of the conference and all materials discarded.

Throughout the conference, you might be interacting with Deaf attendees. Please ask an available interpreter for their help (they will be recognizable). When communicating through an ASL-English interpreter, please speak directly to the deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing person instead of speaking to the interpreter.

General Presentation Guidelines

All symposium presentations and lightning talks will be professionally captioned with CART and have ASL interpreters.

If you are presenting in a room with a microphone, please speak directly into the microphone when you are presenting. This is essential for audience members who may be deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing, and is important for CART captioning services.

When presenting slides, please pause for 1-2 seconds when presenting each new slide. This gives the audience a chance to review the slide then switch their attention back to the presenter.

Please keep accessibility in mind when designing your presentation materials:

  • reduce the amount of text on slides and posters (use images),

  • ensure fonts are large enough and easy to read,

  • and avoid overcrowding the slides or poster.

Please see the infographic for tips for accessibility.

When working with an interpreter, please speak at a normal pace and tone of voice, and remember to slow down when speaking. Presenters tend to speed up when they are speaking, making it more difficult for all members of the audience to process what they are saying, including the interpreters. Please see the infographic about working with interpreters.

As a courtesy, briefly thank your interpreters and captioners at the end of the session.

Thank you for your support in making this conference more accessible for all! When everyone has access, we all win!

Presenters in Symposium Talks

All symposium presentations should be uploaded to the repository a minimum of 48 hours in advance of the session. The chair or co-chairs of each symposium are in charge of compiling the presentations onto one computer. Please use one computer to control the presentations for all presenters, as this makes set up with CART and the projectors easier.

All symposium presenters should arrive to set up at least 20 minutes before the start of the symposium. This will allow for audiovisual set up, including microphones, projectors, CART and interpreters. If presenters don’t arrive early, this may cut into presentation times.

Each symposium is one hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) for 4 presentations, or 3 presentations and 1 discussant. We recommend that each presentation is approximately 15 minutes, with 3-4 minutes for questions after each presentation.

The chair or co-chairs of the symposium are in charge of ensuring all presentations stay within the time limit. To be respectful of everyone’s time (including the ASL interpreters, who may have to leave to fulfill their next meeting), presenters will be asked to stop if their presentation goes over the time limit.

Each symposium room will have a student conference worker who is available to respond to questions and can assist with setup.

Presenters in Lightning Talks

All Lightning Talk presenters should arrive to set up at least 20 minutes before the start of the lightning talks. This will allow for audiovisual set up, including microphones, projectors, CART and interpreters. If presenters don’t arrive early, this may cut into presentation times.

All presentations must be uploaded to the repository a minimum of 48 hours before the start of the lightning talks. These will all be compiled on one computer for easy transitions between talks. Unfortunately, connecting and disconnecting different computers creates additional challenges for projectors and audiovisual setup. Lightning talks will be facilitated by MCLS conference co-organizer, Dr. Rachel Pizzie. If you have questions about this, please email

Each Lightning Talk Session is 75 minutes for 8-9 presenters. Each lightning talk is 7 minutes long, with 1-2 minutes for 1 question and transitions in between presentations. Please note that the time limit for these presentations is STRICT, and presenters will be interrupted if they do not adhere to the 7-minute time limit.

Please practice your presentation to ensure that you can adhere to the time limit. This kind of science communication is meant to be a fun exercise in illustrating your points and findings clearly in a short time--an essential skill in science!

Each Lightning Talk room will have a student conference worker who is available to respond to questions and can assist with setup.

Although this may be the case at some conferences, at MCLS lightning talk presenters will not present an additional poster on the same topic.

Lightning talks are a great way to get conversations started. We recommend putting your contact info or links to your presentation materials with a QR code to continue the conversation.

Poster Presentations

Posters should be formatted to vertical A0 posters. The A0 paper size is 841 mm x 1189 mm, 84.1 cm x 118.9 cm or 33.1 inches x 46.8 inches.

Digital copies of posters must be uploaded to the online repository a minimum of 48 hours before they are scheduled to be presented.

Each poster has been assigned a number in the conference program booklet. Please find the number of your poster in the booklet and attach it to the poster board with the same number.

Please ensure that all font sizes are large enough to be read from a short distance away. We recommend sans serif fonts, such as Arial, Helvetica or similar, as these are easiest to read.

Materials for hanging the poster will be provided during the poster session.

Posters should be presented during their assigned times. There are two poster sessions on the 26th, one session on the 27th, and one session on the 28th. You can put up your poster prior to the poster session (i.e., during lunch or a coffee break), provided it does not conflict with another poster session.

You are responsible for removing your poster at the end of the session to ensure the next posters can be set up.

Thank you for presenting at MCLS! We’re looking forward to another wonderful conference in 2024.

Submission Options

Over the past years, we have gladly seen the MCLS grow, and, with this, we have also received a growing number of conference submissions. We will do our best to accommodate as many contributions as possible. However, to allow as many people as possible to contribute, we have decided to limit the submissions to one presentation per person. That is, each conference attendee is allowed to be presenting author on only one submission. Note: Being discussant in a symposium is not considered being a presenting author role; there is no limit on submissions as co-author.



A symposium consists of either four presentations or three presentations and one discussant. The duration of a symposium is 75 minutes.

Due to the increasing number of symposium submissions over the past years, we may not be able to accommodate all submissions. The diversity of included speakers (in terms of, e.g., gender, geography, career stage) as well as coherence of contributions should be considered carefully when developing a symposium proposal. All proposed presentations should plan to have data collected and present some form of qualitative and/or quantitative results at the conference (we love theoretical discussions and plans for research design, data collection, and analyses, but please submit them as pre-registration posters and in-person discussions!).

We appreciate that some funding bodies require a conference contribution to allow conference expenses to be covered. In case a symposium proposal is rejected, individual presenters will be offered the opportunity to present their work as a poster or lightning talk instead.

Symposium submissions require:

  • Name(s), affiliation(s), & career stage of chairperson(s) and presenters
  • Title of the symposium (max. 150 characters)
  • Introduction to the topic & objectives of the symposium (max. 250 words)
  • Abstracts for each individual presentation (max. 250 words, incl. references)
  • Figures or images cannot be included

Please also note that all presenters will be required to provide the slides of presentations or a digital version of a poster on the dedicated MCLS website at least 48 hours before the presentation. These do not need to be final copies but should be close to the final draft of these materials. This is to ensure materials will be accessible to all attendees and ensure sign language interpreters have the necessary time to familiarize themselves with the content of the presentation. 

Posters, preregistration posters, and lightning talks

There will be four 60 minute poster sessions spread across the conference days. 

Posters should be A0 formatted (vertical orientation: 33.11 in. wide x 46.81 in tall or 841 mm wide x 1189 mm tall).

Poster/preregistration poster submissions require:

  • Names and affiliations of all authors
  • Poster title (max. 150 characters)
  • Poster abstract (max. 250 words, including references)
  • Figures or images cannot be included

Poster abstracts include introduction, methods, results, and conclusions.

Preregistration posters give the opportunity to submit plans for studies yet to be undertaken, rather than work that has already been completed. Preregistration posters would normally aim at getting feedback on the design of studies to be undertaken or on analysis plans for projects in progress.

Preregistration posters must include introduction (rationale for carrying out the study and hypotheses), methods (how the hypotheses will be tested), and approach for statistical analysis (how the data will be analyzed and what the predicted outcomes are). Preregistration posters usually have little/no data (apart from any preliminary work that helped to generate the research question).

Submitting authors have the option to indicate that they would like their poster to be considered as a lightning talk. Lightning Talk sessions last 75 minutes and consist of several 5-7 minute presentation. Should submitting authors be interested in sharing their work in the form of a presentation (instead of a poster/preregistration poster), they have the option to check a box submitting a poster/preregistration poster abstract.

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