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15th Annual NIH Graduate Student Research Symposium - Abstract Submission

All NIH graduate students are encouraged to submit an abstract for poster presentation in one of the categories listed below. First and second-year students beginning their dissertation studies are also highly encouraged to present their research proposals in the "New Proposal" category. A committee of postdoctoral, staff scientist, and staff clinician judges will evaluate these posters, and the students with the best posters will receive the NIH Graduate Student Research Awards (NGSRA). One of the NGSRA awards is reserved exclusively for a poster submitted in the "New Proposal" category, so we encourage you to apply even if you are just starting your research! Don't miss out. Submit now!

Note: NGSRA winners from the 14th Annual NIH Graduate Student Research Symposium are eligible to compete again this year, but the poster must be at least 50% different/updated from last year.

Guidelines for abstracts

The deadline for posters and oral presentations is October 26, 2018 at 11:59pm ET.  Abstracts must be limited to 300 words and cannot include tables and figures.  Note: Abstracts will be utilized  for poster judging categorization (as necessary), though they will not be used for poster judging or included in program materials. Only poster titles, authors, & student affiliations will be included in program materials and posted online.

Elevator Pitch competition

Hone your communication skills by explaining your science in two minutes or less without slides or other visual aids! Imagine that you're at a conference and you pop into the elevator to head back to your hotel room after a long day of symposia. Just before the elevator doors close, your PI idol walks in. S/he asks you what you work on and you have just two minutes-from the time the elevator doors close until they open on your floor-to explain what you do in a clear and compelling manner. Join the Elevator Pitch Competition to practice explaining your project and get a chance to present your work to your fellow grad students. 

Oral presentations

Four students will be selected to present their work in the form of an oral presentation. All GPP students are eligible for consideration to present an oral talk.  If chosen for an oral presentation, you must also present a poster.


  1. New Proposal
  2. Biochemistry, Developmental, Cell and Molecular Biology, and Genetics
  3. Carcinogenesis and Tumor Biology
  4. Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Computational, and Systems Biology
  5. Behavoiral Sciences, Social Sciences, and Psychology
  6. Immunology, Virology, and Microbiology
  7. Neuroscience
  8. Pharmacology and Clinical and Translational Science
  9. Structural Biology, Biophysics, and Chemistry

Please note that final judging categories are subject to change based on the number of submissions.