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The Year-Round ABRCMS Experience.

ABRCMS Online is an extension of the conference that allows the biomedical sciences community to continue learning, with resources that explore professional development, diversity, and scientific topics. Take advantage of this opportunity to stay connected.

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Series covers a range of topics on professionalism and scientific development.




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ABRCMS Online will be accepting webinar proposals for the 2020 Webinar Series. Submit a webinar proposal to engage attendees in cutting-edge scientific research and enhance their professional development skills through ABRCMS Online.

Submit Webinar Proposal

Webinar Proposals Solicitation Posting Date: June 1, 2019

Due Date: Friday, September 20, 2019

2018 - “Getting the Most Out of a Professional Scientific Meeting”

This webinar will introduce students to the ABRCMS experience.

If you're attending ABRCMS for the first time, or even if you’re a long-time participant, you don’t want to miss it!

Webinar participants will:

  • Learn what to expect at a scientific conference
  • Review the ABRCMS Code of Conduct
  • Explore schedule planning resources
  • Discuss how to listen to research presentations
  • Review things to take away from the conference
  • Detail the basics of exhibitor interactions (for graduate school/summer programs)

Date(s): October 22, 2018 - October 29, 2018

Time(s): Monday, Wednesday - 6 p.m. E.T. (3 p.m. P.T.) | Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday - 3 p.m. E.T. (12 p.m. E.T.)

Christopher Skipwith 1 Presenter: Dr. Christopher Skipwith, Education Specialist, American Society for Microbiology


Webinar recordings are hosted by Adobe Connect. To test your connection, please visit:


You may view a recording of the webinar by clicking on the button below:




Please use the viewer below to navigate through the slides used in the webinar.


We have compiled a list of questions and answers from the webinar:

Q: What size should the poster be?

Q: What are the judging criteria?

Q: Will we be able to see other abstracts?

The abstract database can be found here: https://www.abstractsonline.com/pp8/#!/5759

Q: Are there any specific speakers you for recommend us to attend?

This will completely depend on your interests and educational level. We suggest taking a look at the final program (http://www.abrcms.org/images/2018/ABRCMS-2018-Final-Program_FINAL-WEB.pdf) to begin mapping out your conference, and use the conference mobile app to set up your schedule.

Q: When you said that we cannot take pictures of the posters, does that mean that I cant take a photo with my poster while presenting?

Please feel free to take pictures at your own poster, but (as is customary at many scientific conferences) you should not take photos of slides and posters of others at the conference.

Q: Will we have a copy of the slides presented?

You will not be provided with copies of the slides, however this presents an opportunity for you to chat with speakers to get that information.

Q: Will we have time to see the other posters?

You will have time to see other posters, as long as they aren't being presented during your specific poster session.

Q: For the graduate schools do you suggest CV, business cards, or both?

It's always good to bring both, however it's much more likely that you'll use the business cards over the CVs.

Q: When is the best time in a conversation to give out a business card vs. not?

In conversation, you should look for the mutual agreement that an exchange of information is necessary. You shouldn't feel uncomfortable asking for someone's contact information to continue the conversation, as long as it is done in a professional manner.

Q: If you are presenting your research is it okay to make it sort of conversational type of presentation?

It is fine to be conversational in tone, as long as you are getting your point across and you are professional. A conversational tone often conveys confidence and deep knowledge of your subject.

Q: Around how many times will you be presenting your poster during the given alloted time?

This can vary greatly based on what session you're in, however we recommend being prepared to present multiple times (well over 5) during your time period.

Q: Do you have any advice for what to do when you're waiting by your poster and no one is around?

Please look engaged during moments of awkward silence or solitude. An engaged presenter will always invite people to hear about their great work!

Q: Will we get a chance to speak with or get contact information with students we are matched with for housing prior to the conference? (I am a part of the travel award program)

Please contact the ABRCMS office to get the relevant information.

Q: Is there a list of all the graduate schools that will attend?

Please consult the ABRCMS mobile app to get information on all exhibitors that will be present at the meeting.

Q: Are oral presenters required to use the entire time allotted to them?

You should definitely not exceed the allotted time, however you should also be careful to not finish too far ahead of the time. This may indicate that the presentation was incomplete or critical information is missing.

Q: Will we have time to explore Indianapolis?

You have some time on Friday evening and before the banquet on Saturday to explore the city.

Q: Is it okay to ask for fee waivers in the university booths?

Remember that your interactions with exhibitors are conversations, and as much as you are trying to determine if they are a potential fit, they are doing the same. If the ask is in the context of conversation, then it should be ok.

Q: How does one strike up conversation with someone who is reading your poster but isn't engaging?

You can ask if there are any questions that you can answer, or present an interesting fact about your work that may not be overly apparent from simply reading the poster.

Q: At the moment of setting up our posters do you suggest we bring other things beside the poster?

You should not bring other materials to support the work presented on the poster.

Q: If you are explaining your research to someone that is just interested in what you have been working on and a judge approaches you how do you transition to addressing the presence of the judge without ignoring the individual you were speaking with?

You should incorporate the judge into your current conversation. The way you explain your work should be able to be picked up in the middle of the conversation and still understood. Then you can go back to clarify things that they may have missed.

Q: Should you adjust the level of difficulty or specificity about your research depending on the level of knowledge of whom you're presenting your poster to?

You should adjust the rigor of the explanation, as it may adjust the perceived rigor of the work. Rather, you should see whether people are understanding as you are talking. Please define all acronyms and vernacular if at all possible. Most people will notify you if they aren't picking up on something you are saying.

Q: What is the weather like in Indianapolis during the time of ABRCMS?

It's going to be cold! There is also a chance of snow on Thursday.

Q: Is there a time constraint on how long the poster presentation should be?

You should keep your explanations to around 5 minutes.

Q: May we ask judges for feedback after the presentation?

You may certainly ask judges how they think you presented or whether they have any tips for you, however you should not ask them to divulge their official evaluations.

Q: Will our judges be researchers in our particular field?

They are often in your specific field of study or a very closely-related field.

Q: Are the conference awards given by category? If they are, do categories with higher number of students give more awards?

Awards are given by category. Total participation is considered in the amount of awards determined.

Q: How should I start conservation with schools I want to attend if my PI is not around?

Remember that this is your opportunity to promote yourself! You should feel comfortable talking to the exhibitors yourself. After all, they are all invested in your success.

Q: Are oral presentations generally more valued over posters?

Oral and poster presentations are judged separately. There is no preference given to one over the other.

Q: Are any examples of presentations available for first-time oral presenters?

Unfortunately, there are not. However, Northwestern's CLIMB (Collaborative Learning and Integrated Mentoring in the Biosciences) program has a wonderful guide: https://www.northwestern.edu/climb/resources/oral-communication-skills/creating-a-presentation.html.

explore schedule planning resources, discuss how to listen to research presentations, review things to take away from the conference, and detail the basics of exhibitor interactions.

Additional Info

  • Presentation Date: Monday, 22 October 2018

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