How to craft and submit a winning MHSRS Abstract

The deadline to submit an abstract for this year's Military Health System Research Symposium is March 31. Follow these insights to increase your chances of a successful proposal.

The MHSRS is the Department of Defense’s foremost scientific meeting, highlighting the latest scientific information and innovations resulting from research and development related to the military. This annual conference is a prime opportunity for networking among Department of Defense agency employees, experienced military providers, research and academic scientists, international partners, and private industry tackling topics from trauma and rehabilitative medicine, infectious diseases, radiation health effects and more. Conditions allowing, this year's event will be in person, held over four days (date and location pending) with an estimated 3,500 attendees. The deadline to submit an abstract is March 31, 2021, but there's more to consider than just getting in your application on time.

Want more? Join G2G for a live webinar March 23 at noon on the MHSRS Conference and Accessing DoD Opportunities for more details on tips for submissions and ways to access bioscience business opportunities for growth. Register here.

Key Considerations to Submitting an Abstract

Abstracts must present research data and conclusions.

The MHSRS conference is a rigorous scientific meeting led and attended by experts in military medical research and development. A strong abstract submission will present rigorous research data and draw conclusions based on evidence.

Product promotions will not be considered.

Though your goal may be to leave this event with new business leads or even contracts, MHSRS is not the forum to hone your sales pitch. Abstracts that appear to promote a product will not be considered.

Abstracts must represent original, unpublished work.

Abstracts submitted to the MHSRS should represent original, unpublished work. This stipulation means even abstracts presented at other science meetings are ineligible for presentation at MHSRS, with few exceptions. If your abstract has been accepted at other meetings, you'll need to decide which meeting to present your findings.

There are two presentation formats.

Abstracts not selected to give oral presentations will automatically be considered for poster presentations. Both formats offer exposure and networking opportunities due to the size and prestige of this conference.

Getting Started

Don't wait until the March 31 deadline to prepare your abstract for submission. Here's what you should know about the mechanics of crafting and submitting your proposal:

  • If you don’t have a MHSRS portal account, Register for a MHSRS portal account. Be sure to allow enough time to get your account approved; there shouldn’t be a long wait for approval, but you never know, so don’t wait until the last minute to register.
  • Review breakout sessions/topic areas/descriptions for alignment with your abstract. This year's conference theme is "Channeling the Challenge – The Agility of Military Medical Research," and primary focus areas include: Warfighter Medical Readiness, Expeditionary Medicine, Warfighter Performance, and Return to Duty.
  • Abstracts will be accepted through the MHSRS website via the online submissions process.

An additional COVID-19 track will be offered this year. Key information about COVID abstracts include:

  • COVID-related abstracts are for poster presentations only; oral presentations will focus on DoD-sponsored research and are by invitation only.
  • Topics will focus on the following: Detection, Enabling Technologies, Prevention, and Treatment.
  • Any COVID-19 abstracts submitted to sessions other than those that are focused on COVID-19 will be re-directed to the COVID-19 session leads for poster consideration

Formatting Your Abstract

MHSRS has strict formatting requirements for abstracts. Follow these rules to prevent disqualification on a technicality:

  • Abstracts must be submitted in plain text without any rich text formatting or fonts.
  • No embedded tables, pictures or videos will be accepted.

Submitting Your Proposal

You've got an original, unpublished abstract proposal comprised of novel research data and conclusions, free from product sales pitches. You've been approved for an MHSRS portal account and you've double-checked your formatting. Here's how to get across the finish line:

  • Write your content ahead of time so you can simply copy and paste into the online portal.
  • We recommend preparing your CV and a signed COI form as PDFs ready to upload when you initiate abstract submission. These will be required at specific steps in the submission process.
  • Sign in through your MHSRS portal account to make your submission by March 31, 2021.

The following must be completed before an abstract will be considered "submitted".

  1. Initiate the abstract submission form. Press the "Create Abstract" button
  2. Click here to access the COI disclosure form. You must upload a .pdf version of the signed form as part of the abstract submission process.
  3. Upload a CV. There is no specified format, but you must upload a .pdf document. We recommend no more than 2 pages total.
  4. Abstract title: Limit of 255 characters (includes spacing)
  5. Abstract length: Limit of 8,000 characters (includes spacing) – there is no specific format for the Abstract portion. G2G recommends including the following sections: Background, Scientific Rationale, Technical Approach, Methods, Results/Significance of the results and impact to the warfighter, Conclusions
  6. Abstract Disclaimer: Limit of 350 characters (includes spacing)
  7. Three Learning Objectives (required): Limit of 255 characters (includes spacing) - there is no specific format, but objectives should begin with an action verb ("describe," "analyze," "discuss," etc.) and should address the question, "What do you expect the attendee to be able to do at the end of the session?"

Want more? Join G2G for a live webinar March 23 at noon on the MHSRS Conference and Accessing DoD Opportunities for more details on tips for submissions and ways to access bioscience business opportunities for growth. Register here.