Present at ABRCMS

Present at ABRCMS (5)

Submission & Selection Process

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Submitting Your Abstract Online

Please note that the abstract submission process is now closed.

Step 1

Click on the Abstract Submission Site. This will take you directly to the submission site. 
*Please note Internet Explorer is the preferred browser for the submission site.

Step 2 

Log onto the abstract submission site by entering a login name and password.

If you are a first-time user, you must create a new profile.
If you have submitted an abstract for a previous ABRCMS, use the same login name and password you used previously to access your account. If you have forgotten your login name or password, contact technical support at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (217) 398-1792.

Step 3

On the first submission screen, under "2018 ABRCMS," select either "Submit your ORAL abstract" or "Submit your POSTER abstract." Only one abstract, poster or oral, can be submitted per student.

Please keep in mind that only community college students and undergraduates, who have not previously won a presentation award, are eligible to submit an oral abstract.

Step 4

Proceed through the following screens:

  • Title
    Acknowledge the affirmation statements and enter your title as instructed. Note that this is the only time you will need to enter your title.
  • Author Block
    Enter all authors associated with the abstract in the following order: presenting student, research mentor, and then additional coauthors. An abstract must contain at least two authors in the author block.
  • Program Director/Advisor
    Complete this section regarding your program director and/or mentor. Please note that all postbaccalaureate and master's students will be required to complete this section. On Sept. 10 the listed individual will be emailed a form to confirm the education level of postbaccalaureates and master's students (no other education levels will be asked to complete this form). The form must be submitted by Sept. 13.
  • Additional Information
    Complete this section regarding your educational level, research project, and previous participation.
  • Scientific Discipline
    Select one of the 12 scientific disciplines and a corresponding subdiscipline that best describes the research in your abstract.
  • Abstract
    Enter only your abstract, which should be a short description of your work. The abstract is limited to 2,500 characters, not including spaces. There are two methods of entering an abstract. You may select your previously prepared abstract file and "upload" it to the submission site, or you may enter your text into the area provided. Note that if you copy and paste text, a loss of all special formatting and symbols may occur.
  • Review My Work
    Review your abstract carefully because if accepted, it will appear in the conference materials exactly as you entered it. To make changes, select the appropriate step on the left-hand margin to return to that portion of the submission site that contains the text you want to change. All changes must be made before Sept. 7, 2018.

As each step is completed, click on the "Save and Continue" button to save your work. You will automatically be moved to the next step. You can return to a previous step by selecting that step on the left-hand margin of the submission site.

Step 5

Print a copy of the submission page. This will serve as confirmation of your abstract submission. We cannot honor requests for copies of submitted abstracts. Please note that submission of an abstract does not guarantee acceptance to the conference.

Need help with the submission system? Each page of the submission site has a "help" button that explains the contents of the page. If you are not able to resolve the problem, contact technical support at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 217-398-1792.


Selection Process

Abstract Selection: Poster Presentation

Three main criteria will be considered by the review committee when reviewing abstracts for acceptance.

  • A minimum of two authors in the author block (a submission with one author will result in an automatic rejection)
  • Demonstration of a scientific problem (submissions must contain hypothesis and/or statement of problem, methods/methodology used, the results, and a conclusion)
  • Quality of written content

Abstracts must contain the required components and abide by the guidelines in order to be considered for acceptance. 
Tips for submitting a competitive abstract can be found here and by attending the webinar series "Writing a Compelling Abstract."   

Abstract Selection: Oral Presentation

Of the abstracts submitted for oral presentation, only the top 120 oral abstracts will be selected for oral presentations. If an abstract is accepted into the conference, but not selected for oral presentation, that abstract will be automatically assigned to a poster presentation.

All abstracts submitted for oral presentation will first be reviewed for acceptance into the conference using the criteria for poster presentations. If accepted into the conference, the abstract will be reviewed for oral presentation using the following criteria:

  • Originality and innovation
  • Validity of scientific project
  • Approach to problem solving
  • Organization and clarity
  • Conciseness

Tips for submitting a competitive abstract can be found here.

All review decisions are final. There is no appeals process or opportunity to resubmit once an abstract is rejected.



Components of a Competitive Abstract

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Submitting an Abstract

Use the following as a guide for writing a competitive abstract:


  • Provide a brief context for the research
  • Indicate why it is important


  • State the goal(s) of the research and the question(s) you are seeking to address with this research

Study Design and Research Methods:

  • Specifically state what study design was used in the research
  • If appropriate, state what population or group(s) were studied
  • Briefly describe the study procedures used to carry out the research
  • Indicate which measurement techniques were used in the research
  • Provide information on the data analytic technique(s) that were used


  • Briefly describe the main findings or results of your research


  • Concisely state what the results mean and their impact on the field of research


Resources on Writing Competitive Abstracts

Sample Abstracts in Scientific Disciplines

Click on each discipline to see a sample annotated abstract:

Sample Abstracts 2018 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology  Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 
 Sample Abstracts 2018 Cancer Biology Cancer Biology
 Sample Abstracts 2018 Cell Biology Cell Biology
 Sample Abstracts 2018 Chemistry Chemistry
 Sample Abstracts 2018 Computational and Systems Biology Computational and Systems Biology
 Sample Abstracts 2018 Developmental Biology and Genetics Developmental Biology and Genetics
 Sample Abstracts 2018 Engineering Physics and Mathematics Engineering, Physics and Mathematics
 Sample Abstracts 2018 Immunology Immunology
 Sample Abstracts 2018 Microbiology Microbiology
 Sample Abstracts 2018 Neuroscience Neuroscience
 Sample Abstracts 2018 Physiology Physiology and Toxicology
 Sample Abstracts 2018 Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Health Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Health

The TOP 5 Tips for Writing Your ABRCMS Abstract

This list of tips has been compiled from our webinar series, "Writing a Compelling Abstract". Please view the webinars to get valuable information about writing your abstract for ABRCMS and stay tuned for the 2019 live webinar dates.

1. READ the instructions! Don’t waste energy doing the wrong thing. Familiarize yourself with the requirements for the ABRCMS Abstract submission process.

2. Understand who is the TARGET AUDIENCE (or who you want to be your audience). This not a specialized journal that knows all of your jargon, so know that going in.

3. Write your hypothesis/statement of purpose with CLARITY. An abstract allows the reader to learn a great deal about your work with very little effort. Even though every project won't have a hypothesis, you should always clearly indicate the intended purpose of your work.

4. Make sure the results and conclusions TIE BACK to what you said in your hypothesis/statement of purpose. Think back to what you said the hypothesis/statement of purpose was. If your results and conclusions don't clearly support that, then you haven't done a good job showing reviewers that you are worthy to be selected.

5. Give the abstract to multiple people (including your PI) to REVIEW it. We can't stress the importance of proofreading and review. The more eyes it sees, the better it will be!





Scientific Disciplines Represented at ABRCMS

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Transformative discoveries happen when we work across disciplines to solve problems. At ABRCMS, we strongly encourage students in engage in multi-disciplinary research. However, due to the large number of student presentations, all abstracts are required to align with a single scientific discipline and sub-discipline. This allows for the abstract to be assigned to the appropriate reviewers and on-site judges.

1. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

a. Biochemistry - The study of molecules and the cellular processes in which they participate in living organisms.
b. Biomolecules - The study of any organic molecule that is an essential part of a living organism.
c. Chemical Biology - The study of biological processes using chemical strategies, particularly organic synthesis.
d. Genomics - The study of mapping, sequencing, and analyzing the genetic composition of organisms, directed at an understanding of the complete genome and how it is organized and expressed.
e. Proteomics - The study of the protein composition of cells, including protein content, protein modifications, protein-protein interaction, and protein expression during development or changing environmental conditions, generally using high-throughput approaches.
f. Structural Biology - The study of the three-dimensional architectures of biological macromolecules—particularly proteins and nucleic acid—and how their architectures confer their specialized functions.

2. Cancer Biology

a. Cancer Biology - The study of irregularities and uncontrollable growth of individual cells, tissue, or organs in any organisms.

3. Cell Biology

a. Cell Biology - The study of cells; their physiological properties; their structure; the organelles they contain; their interactions with their environment; and their life cycles, division, and death.
b. Molecular Imaging - The study that seeks to exploit an increased and enhanced understanding of the molecular basis of disease through the design of novel imaging probes to specific molecular targets.
c. Plant Biology - The study of plant life involving every aspect of the environment and interactions such that plants may exist in their natural or adapted states.

4. Chemistry

a. Analytical Chemistry - The study of the chemical composition of natural and artificial materials, and the development of tools to elucidate such compositions. 
b. Environmental Chemistry - The study of the chemical and biochemical phenomena that occur in air, soil, and water environments and the effect of human activity on these.
c. Inorganic Chemistry - The study of the properties and behavior of inorganic compounds. 
d. Organic Chemistry - The study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation (by synthesis or by other means) of chemical compounds consisting primarily of carbon and hydrogen, but which may contain any number of other elements.
e. Pharmaceutical Chemistry - The study of the design, synthesis, and development of pharmaceutical drugs. 
f. Physical Chemistry - The study of the application of physics to macroscopic, microscopic, atomic, subatomic, and particulate phenomena in chemical systems within the field of chemistry that traditionally uses the principles, practices, and concepts of thermodynamics, quantum chemistry, statistical mechanics, and kinetics.

5. Computational and Systems Biology

a. Bioinformatics - The study of the research, development, or application of computational tools and approaches for expanding the use of biological, medical, behavioral or health data, including those to acquire, store, organize, archive, analyze, or visualize such data.
b. Computational Biology - The study of the development and application of data-analytical and theoretical methods, mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques to the study of biological, behavioral, and social systems.
c. Computer Sciences - The study of the feasibility, structure, expression, and mechanization of the methodical processes (or algorithms) that underlie the acquisition, processing, storage, and dissemination of - and access to - information.
d. Informatics - The study of the application of computer and statistical techniques to the collection, classification, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information.
e. Systems Biology - The study of biological systems that involves the complex integration, interactions, and modeling of key elements such as DNA, RNA, proteins, cells, and biochemical reactions with respect to one another.

6. Developmental Biology and Genetics

a. Developmental Biology - The study of the processes by which organisms grow and develop; it encompasses genetics, cell fate specification, differentiation, and morphogenesis as well as the molecular analysis of tissue and organ system anatomy.
b. Evolution and Developmental Biology - The study of the relationship(s) between the evolution and development of an organism or group of organisms; it encompasses genetic, molecular, paleontological, population, and molecular analyses, as well as theoretical (mathematical) and ecological analyses as they relate to organismal development and evolution.
c. Genetics - The study of the inheritance of genes and the traits they cause, as well as the behavior of chromosomes in cell division and reproduction.

7. Engineering, Physics and Mathematics

a. Bioengineering - The study of the application of the principles of engineering to the fields of biology and medicine, as in the development of aids or replacements for defective or missing body organs.
b. Biomedical Engineering - The coordinated and cross-disciplinary study and advancement of Engineering, Biology, and Medicine to foster human health and well-being.
c. Biophysics - The study dealing with the forces that act on living cells of the body, the relationship between the biologic behavior of living structures, the physical influences to which they are subjected, and the physics of vital processes and phenomena.
d. Material Sciences - The study involving the properties of matter and its applications to various areas of science and engineering.
e. Mathematics - The study of the measurement, relationships, space configurations, transformations, generalizations, and overall properties of quantities and sets based on numeration and symbols.
f. Nanotechnology - The study of applied science and technology whose unifying theme is the control of matter on the atomic and molecular scale, normally 1 to 100 nanometers, and the fabrication of devices with critical dimensions that lie within that range.

8. Immunology

a. Basic Immunology - The study of all aspects of the immune system in all organisms. It deals with the physiological functioning of the immune system in states of both health and disease; malfunctions of the immune system in immunological disorders; and the physical, chemical, and physiological characteristics of the components of the immune system in vitro, in situ, and in vivo.
b. Host Responses - The study of the immune response to infectious agents, or to diseases driven by the immune system. It deals with the physiological functioning of the immune system in response to bacterial, viral, parasitic or fungal infection; or to inflammatory diseases, in vitro, in situ, ex vivo and in vivo.

9. Microbiology

a. Bacteriology - The study of prokaryotes, including bacteria and archaea.
b. Environmental Microbiology - The study of the function and diversity of microbes in their natural environments; it includes the study of microbial ecology, microbially mediated nutrient cycling, geomicrobiology, microbial diversity, and bioremediation.
c. Microbial Physiology - The study of the biology and function of microorganisms. It includes but is not limited to information on metabolic pathways, functional genomics, microbial growth, and microbial cell structure.
d. Mycology - The study of fungi, their genetic and biochemical properties, their taxonomy, and their use and dangers to humans.
e. Parasitology - The study of parasitic protozoa and helminthic worms, their hosts, and the relationship between them.
f. Virology - The study of biological viruses and virus-like agents, including their structure and classification, their ways to infect and exploit cells for virus reproduction, the diseases they cause, the techniques to isolate and culture them, and their potential uses in research and therapy.

10. Neuroscience

a. Neurobiology - The study of cells of the nervous system and the organization of the cells into functional circuits that process information and mediate behavior.
b. Neuroscience - The study of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and neurons, in order to advance the understanding of human thought, emotion, and behavior.
c. Psychobiology - The study of the interrelationship of the mental processes and the anatomy and physiology of the individual or psychology as investigated by biological methods.

11. Physiology and Toxicology

a. Anatomy - The study of the shape and structure of organisms and their parts. The bodily structure of a plant or an animal or any of its parts.
b. Endocrinology - The study of the glands and hormones of the body and their related disorders.
c. Nutrition - The study of food and nourishment, especially the process by which a living organism assimilates food and uses it for growth and replacement of tissues.
d. Pharmacology - The study of drugs, including their composition, uses, and effects.
e. Physiology - The study of the functions of living organisms and their parts.
f. Toxicology - The study of the adverse effects of chemical, physical, or biological agents on living organisms and the ecosystem, including the prevention and amelioration of such adverse effects.

12. Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Health

a. Anthropology - The study of all human beings across times and places and with all dimensions of humanity (evolutionary, biophysical, sociopolitical, economic, cultural, linguistic, psychological, etc.). Medical anthropology examines the ways in which culture and society are organized around or influenced by issues of health, health care, and related issues.
b. Psychology - The study of the mind and behavior. The discipline embraces all aspects of the human experience from the functions of the brain to the actions of nations, and from child development to care for the aged.
c. Public Health and Epidemiology/Biostatistics - Public Health is the study of individuals, communities, activities, and programs to promote health locally and globally, to prevent disease, injury, and premature death, and to assure conditions in which people can safe and healthy. Epidemiology studies the incidence, distribution, and control of diseases and other health related factors. Biostatistics utilizes statistical methods and techniques to examine issues in health-related sciences.
d. Sociology - The study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior.


Presentation Guidelines

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Best Practices for Poster and Oral Presentations

Follow these guidelines to have a successful presentation experience. In addition, be sure to watch our 2018 webinar, “Getting the Most Out of a Professional Scientific Meeting.” Sign-ups for the 2019 series will begin in Fall 2019.

Previous ABRCMS presentation awardees will only be assigned one judge and are not eligible for awards. Master's students will not be assigned judges and are ineligible to receive awards.  

Guidelines for Poster Presentations

NEW in 2019: The only items allowed to be adhered to the poster board are the poster and poster number. No other visuals are permitted. All images used within a poster must add to the scientific discussion. With the exception of the university logo, non-scientific images are not allowed. In addition, no computers or other aids may be used. Failure to abide by this policy will disqualify the presenter from receiving a presentation award.

Designing your poster
  • The poster board provided is approximately 4' high x 8' wide. Your poster presentation must fit within 4' high X 8' wide. Most posters range from 36'' to 96'' in length X 24'' to 48'' in width
  • Lay your poster sections in a logical order so that other scientists can follow your presentation. A good method is setting up your poster in a column format so that individuals interested can read your poster, 1st vertical, then top to bottom, and then left to right
  • Use a type size that can be read easily from a considerable distance (4 feet or more). Try using a type between 14 – 20 pt. The title should be larger than the rest of the text. Select a legible font such as Times Roman, Times New Roman, Baskerville or Palatino
  • Space your information proportionally: divide your poster either horizontally or vertically into three or four sections, and place your materials within those spaces. Like a layout of a magazine
  • Posters should stimulate discussion, not give a long presentation. Therefore, keep text to a minimum, emphasize graphics, and make sure every item in your poster is necessary
  • When choosing a background, remember that neutral or gray colors will be easier on the eyes than a bright color. In addition, color photos look best when mounted on gray

Preparing for the conference
  • Hand carry your poster to the meeting, using tubular packaging or a portfolio case. Do not mail your poster to the conference headquarters or to the meeting site
  • Come prepared with any relevant handouts you may wish to share and business cards to hand out
  • Be sure to bring pushpins, thumbtacks or velcro to mount your poster. They will not be provided to you at the conference

Presenting your poster
  • No computers or extra aids may be used during a poster presentation
  • Keep your poster presentation to about 5-8 minutes per visitor/judge and allow an additional 5 minutes for questions and answers
  • Try not to stand directly in front of your poster, allow other scientists to view the entire poster. Stand to the side

Guidelines for Oral Presentations

Preparing your PowerPoint
  • All PowerPoint presentations must have 16:9 dimensions (full aspect ratio). To ensure your PowerPoint presentation has the correct dimensions, open PowerPoint and click on the "Design" tab. Then select "Page Setup" and click the drop down for "Slides sized for" and select "On-screen Show(16:9)." Click "Ok" to save the changes. 
  • Sans serif type is typically more clean and legible (Arial or Geneva)
  • Upper and lower case lettering is more legible than all capital letters
  • Graphics you project on the screen to support the spoken word should help clarify ideas, emphasize key points, show relationships, and provide the visual information your audience needs to understand your message
  • Make sure the type is large enough to see in the size room you will use (room used at ABRCMS seats about 100)
  • Simple graphs, charts and diagrams are much more meaningful to an audience than complex, cluttered ones. Keep visuals CLEAR and SIMPLE
  • Use a minimum of words for text and title frames. Five to eight lines per frame and five to seven words per line are the maximum - less is better
  • Vary the size of lettering to emphasize headings and subheadings - but avoid using more than three font sizes per frame
  • Try to maintain the same or similar type size from frame to frame - even if some frames have less information
  • Each frame or slide should have a title.
  • Title of any data slide should be the conclusion reached from the presented material
  • Use the format that matches the material you are presenting. Use a table for exact values, a graph to show relationships, a figure for a picture, and a chart for a process or sequence. Label everything
  • Keep color scheme consistent throughout your presentation. Changing colors and type styles can be very confusing and distract from your message
  • Most effective background colors - blue, turquoise, purple, magenta. A good rule of thumb: use a dark background color with lighter color for text and graphics. Avoid intensely bright or saturated colors that compete with the text. You can never go wrong with black on white or white or yellow on dark blue
  • The background should be just a background. It shouldn't call attention to itself or cause clutter or confusion…it should enhance the foreground data
  • In addition to the use of graphics, photographs can provide an excellent means for communication

Giving your talk
  • All ABRCMS oral presentations will be given 10 minutes for the presentation and 5 minutes for questions and answers. Laser pointers will not be available, you must bring your own if you would like to use one
  • Check each slide in a similar room with similar equipment before your presentation. (ABRCMS rooms will be equipped with a computer and LCD project)
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Prepare for questions and answers
  • When asked a question during your presentation, repeat the question so that the entire audience knows what the question is
  • Keep to the allotted time


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