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How to Design Scientific Figures – Online Course


23. November 2023 09:00 – 23. November 2023 15:30
24. November 2023 09:00 – 24. November 2023 15:30
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Online – Zoom

What is the first thing we scientists look at in scientific articles or on posters? The figures! But they are not only meant to be eye-catching. They also convey information with a density that words can never attain. Because figures are so powerful in communicating scientific data, extra care should be taken when designing them. In this workshop, you will learn basic design rules and how to apply those rules to your figures. These universal concepts can be transferred to all kinds of scientific figures — from maps, diagrams, or plots to schematic visualizations.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • You will understand basic design rules and how to apply them in the design of scientific figures (presentation and group discussion).
  • You will know how and why these design rules positively aid in understanding the message of a figure (comparison and discussion of figures).
  • You will be able to spot how figures can be improved (trainer input and practical exercise).
  • You will know about different color palettes, where to find them, and how to use them (practical exercise).
  • You will be able to identify suitable diagram types/visualisations for your data (group discussion, practical exercise).


Please bring one to three figures designed by you in a digital image format. We will work with your figure(s), giving you the opportunity to directly apply your new theoretical knowledge.

To participate in the online course, you need a PC/laptop with a current browser (recommended: Chrome or Firefox) as well as a headset (or speakers and a microphone), a webcam, and a stable Internet connection.

Proficiency in English at the B2 level of competency is required.


November 23, 2023, 9 am–3:30 pm, and
November 24, 2023, 9 am–2:30 pm

Target group

Doctoral candidates and postdocs from all disciplines


Maximum number of 12 participants
Internal 40 EUR
External 100 EUR


Please register until November 8, 2023 using the online registration form.


Dr. Susanne Berger

Event Organizer

MArburg University Research Academy (MARA)
Doctoral Program for Life and Natural Sciences