Frequently Asked Questions

Celebration of Creative Inquiry

Where do projects presented at CCI come from?
  • a significant class assignment or project.
  • off-campus projects or internships.
  • student-faculty collaborative research or creative projects.
  • independent student research or creative projects.
  • the work of extra-curricular student organizations.
What is meant by creative inquiry?
  • asking a question that has not been asked before.
  • attempting to fill a gap in knowledge, or to create new knowledge, information, art, or expression.
  • a process or product that requires the student to add ideas or imagination of their own.
  • a project that is shaped by choices the student made independently.
  • critical reflection.
What exactly is a poster?

A poster is a visual display that tells the viewer something about your work. The display need not explain every detail, because you will be standing there to answer questions and invite conversation. The most professional-looking version usually is a printed poster. Gustavus' Print Services (in the lower level of the Campus Center) offers large-format printing, but you will need to plan ahead. They require 3 business days to complete the print order. 

Click here for some strategies for creating a great poster.

What are the physical requirements for my “poster”?

We welcome non-traditional, creative displays as long as they are respectful of the other presenters near you (so don't bring a 40-piece brass band or a swarm of angry bees with you). That said, most students will have a fairly traditional poster. Unless you have made a special request, you will be assigned a section of space (about 5 feet wide). You will either attach your poster to a wall with sticky-tack or set it on an easel. We provide sticky-tack, pins, and easels.

If you need extra space, a table, or access to an outlet, please request these as soon as possible. There is a field in the abstract submission form to make this kind of request, or you can send it to Late requests may be difficult for us to accommodate, so please let us know as soon as you can what you will need.

How do I find a faculty sponsor?

The faculty sponsor can be anyone who can speak to the quality of your work. That said, if your project of creative inquiry is the result of a class project, then the class instructor is the obvious first person to approach. If you’ve done the project in collaboration with a faculty member, then speak to your faculty collaborator. If you’ve done the project on your own, or as a part of a student organization, then you will need to talk with a faculty member in advance of submitting your project to ensure that the faculty member is willing to speak to the quality of your work.

Do I need to be in attendance during the entire event?

Yes. The aim of this event is not only to recognize students’ projects in name, but to inspire conversations across disciplinary boundaries about the interesting work that’s being done on our campus. If you aren’t present these conversations can’t happen.

Do all authors need to attend the event?

No. It is perfectly appropriate to list collaborators who are not present during the celebration. Omitting true collaborators would be unethical. The project will be included as long one of the authors is present for the event.

I’d prefer to do a talk; why are posters the only format included?

One of the goals of this event is to display the results of students’ creative inquiry in a manner that invites and inspires conversations across disciplinary boundaries. Whereas talks provide an ideal vehicle for presenting information, they do not always allow for the kind of informal conversation that we hope will occur in this event. To this end, we are using posters simply as a visual cue to spark conversation. Thus, whereas we recognize this isn’t they usual format for many disciplines, we are hopeful that students will find a creative way to display some aspect of their work visually to initiate conversation with those who attend the event. Rather than thinking of the poster as a constraint, we hope you can be creative in finding unique and interesting ways to spark conversation about your work.

Can I present a poster that’s been presented elsewhere?

Yes. There is a lot of good work done by Gustavus students that is presented in various formats both on and off campus. The celebration of creative inquiry seeks to bring this work together in one venue to both recognize the work and inspire conversation about it. Simply put, we want the greater campus community to know of the good work students are doing. To this end, we would encourage you to present projects that have been presented elsewhere. 

Do I need IRB approval for my research?

What does this event cost? Who can attend?

This event is free and open to the public. Please let your friends and family know they are welcome to join us! There will be food and beverage.

Can I use AV equipment in my “poster”?

If you are interested in using AV equipment (TV, DVD, computer, projection, etc) in your presentation, please consider first whether it is really necessary. We have a limited ability to accommodate such equipment, and must limit the use of such equipment to students who really need it. For example, if your project was writing and directing a play, then yes, showing video of the play or parts of it would be highly appropriate. On the other hand, if you are just trying to use PowerPoint slides from a previous oral presentation and would just rather not print them out, your request will likely be denied.

If you will be using A/V equipment for your presentation, please let us know when you submit your abstract or as soon as possible after. You or your sponsor may be contacted at some point in April just to verify that your need for using A/V equipment is legitimate, especially if we are running out of space. Please remember to request to have space near an outlet. You may also need to request a table depending on the nature of the A/V equipment you are using. Please note-- you are responsible for locating, reserving, and transporting the A/V equipment. We can help you identify places to find the equipment you need, but we are not able at this time to provide equipment for you. Contact with questions.

Do I need to stand by my poster for the whole time?

Your poster is not like a paper that you just hang for others to read: you need to be present to explain your work to the interested. If you have multiple people working on a project, you may take shifts of standing by your poster. If you would like to explore the other posters at the event, please arrive early to do that before 4pm.

Who pays for making these posters?

The student is responsible for the cost of his/her poster. Occasionally, research advisors do have a small budget that might help with the cost of the poster, so check with your sponsor. The cost does not have to be high, though; it is possible to make a great poster for under $10. If you need financial aid for creating your poster and it's not available through your faculty/staff sponsor's department, please email

What happens to the posters after the event?

The poster is yours to do with as you wish. Consider asking your sponsor if you can hang your poster in the hallways of the department where you did the work. Also, there is some occasional need for example posters to help future poster-preparers and to show prospective students the great work our students do! If you are willing to donate your poster for general campus use, please talk to a Celebration organizer after the Celebration is over.

If your question isn’t answered here (or by the other information on this website), feel free to contact for the information you need.