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SIU SOM Trainee Research Symposia

Abstract Submission Instructions and Tips

Abstract Submission Deadline: Check back for 2020 dates


Scholarly activities eligible for consideration include all Original research (hypothesis-driven discovery/translational/clinical studies).  Medical Student, Resident, and Clinical Fellow Divisions are clinically significant case vignettes (case presentations). Quality improvement projects are NOT eligible (contact GME for information on presenting at the Midwest Healthcare Quality Alliance Symposium).

Presenting trainees must be first author and the work must have been conducted under the guidance of SIU faculty member(s).  Only one abstract AS FIRST AUTHOR may be submitted per trainee.  MPEE projects are eligible if the project meets the other criteria.  

Clinical Vignettes

Definition:  A clinical vignette is a report of one or more cases which illustrate a unique or unusual disease entity.  Cases that have previously presented at Department Grand Rounds are eligible.  A summary of the patient history, relevant physical exam, laboratory and radiographic findings, management, review of the literature, and potential future studies are expected.   

Hypothesis-Driven Research 

Definition: Most scientific research is hypothesis-driven.  The research seeks to address a specific, measurable, and answerable question. A well-constructed hypothesis is clear, testable, and serves as the basis for performing a defined set of experiments which will either prove it correct or to reject it.  Clinical, translational and/or discovery based scientific research is eligible.




The abstract is a succinct summary of the project to be presented.  The purpose is to communicate the essential contents of your presentation that allow readers to decide whether they want to hear the presentation.  Qualities of good abstracts include:  well-developed sentences; unified, coherent yet concise; provides logical connections between material included; and abstracts must be intelligible to a wide audience, not just a select field, so avoid abbreviations/acronyms as much as possible.  Abstracts must tell a story rather than be a compilation of factoid statements.  

Format for all abstracts

One page limit. Use Microsoft Word, 1” margins all around, Arial 11 font, and single spacing.

Follow directions carefully. Abstracts submitted without a cover page or incorrectly formatted will be returned to authors for revision.


First line is title:  should be brief yet clearly states content of paper/project.

Second lines:  List the authors contributing to the work.  The presenting author must be listed first followed by second, third authors, etc.  The supervising faculty member is usually last.  Professional titles are not included, but terminal degrees are included. 

Third line:  Provide department affiliations of all authors listed, use superscript numbers to associate authors with their departments, as needed.


Abstract structure

The structure of the body of the abstract differs somewhat for different types of presentations.

For hypothesis-driven research projects:

  1. Background section--provide the background of the issue studied, purpose and significance of the study, and hypothesis to be tested.
  2. Materials and methods section--provide a brief statement of patients, cells/tissue, etc. used, and experimental methods (just enough detail to be clear).
  3. Results section--state the results obtained from the approaches and hit the major aspects.
  4. Conclusion section--summarize the conclusion of the results, interpret the significance of the findings to the field, and comment on additional studies that might be needed.

For clinical vignettes:

  1. Introduction--state significance of why your case(s) is relevant to current medicine, what makes it unique and how does it contribute to scientific knowledge?
  2. Case Summary section--include relevant HPI, the most relevant labs, radiographic findings, treatment, and patient course.
  3. Conclusion--discuss in further detail the clinical importance and relevance of your case, summarize what is unique with the case, and what opportunities for further study are needed.

Submission of material

Please complete the cover page.

All abstracts and cover pages should be emailed (in MS Word format only) to Kristi Katcher (, Office of the Associate Dean for Research.  If you have any questions, please contact Kristi Katcher at 217/545-7936. 

Please note:  all accepted abstracts will be published in the Symposium proceedings booklet, which will be distributed the day of the symposium.  As with any submitted work, all co-authors listed must approve the submitted abstract, including authorship.  It is the responsibility of the submitting author to make sure all authors approve prior to submission.  Selection for oral presentations is on a competitive basis.  Space and time constraints may not permit all abstracts submitted to be accepted.  Quality of the abstract will be important!