Call for Abstracts

The Planning Committee invites abstract submissions on any aspect of microbiology education for the poster session. There will be two hour-long sessions for poster presenters to share their research results in teaching and learning microbiology.

In 2003, the Committee is particularly interested, but not exclusively, in papers that promote the conference themes. These include:

  • Biodiversity/biocomplexity
  • Bioinformatics especially as it pertains to genomics
  • Biofilms
  • Scholarship of teaching and learning
  • Imaging
  • Assessment
  • Bioethics

Posters will be accepted based on significance of work, originality, quality of abstract, and space availability. All abstracts will be reviewed and selected by the criteria described below. Submission of an abstract indicates availability of the corresponding author to present the poster. Early career faculty and graduate students who teach microbiology can apply for a travel award and will receive support if their abstract is accepted.

Guidelines for Abstracts Abstracts must be based on results that have not been published or presented in any journal or at any public scientific or educational conference, nationally or internationally, before May 18, 2003. The abstract must demonstrate educational merit and significance. Abstracts are limited to 250 words. While abstracts may not exactly fit the following guidelines (e.g., a case study), abstracts will be judged using the following criteria: Worthwhileness -Worthwhileness has to do with the potential of the research study toward adding to and deepening our understanding of issues associated with teaching and learning. Research that leads the field in new directions is often more worthwhile than replications of existing research studies. Coherence - Coherence has to do with eliminating a mismatch between the research question and the methods employed to answer the question. Thoughtful educators give serious attention first to identifying interesting and worthwhile research questions and then to selecting the methods and techniques that best fit the nature of those questions. Competence - Effective application of appropriate data collection, analysis, and interpretation techniques must be presented. Principles (some tacit, others explicit) for conducting interviews, designing instruments, reducing data, selecting samples, etc. have been developed within various disciplines to guide researchers in carrying out their studies and are acceptable in education research. Openness - Openness involves two qualities. First, good researchers are cognizant of the personal biases and assumptions that underlie their inquiry and, to the extent that it is possible to do so, they make these biases and assumptions public. Second, the conceptual/theoretical bases for a study and the research methods and techniques used should be described in sufficient detail to allow the education community to scrutinize them thoroughly. In reporting research results, the researcher should provide the reader with a clear sense of how the data were collected, what data were used to make interpretations, and how the data were analyzed. Ethics - Ethical research conditions have two concerns: 1) the manner in which the research has been conducted in relation to the research subjects (often students or teachers), and 2) acknowledgement of the contributions of others. Credibility - Credibility has to do with the extent to which sensible, thoughtful, and open-minded readers find the claims and conclusions made in a research report believable. That is, the claims made and conclusions drawn should be justified in some acceptable way. Other Qualities of Good Research - A research report that is lucid, clear, and well-organized is likely to be more valuable and useful than one that does not possess one or more of these qualities. Originality is another quality that sets good research apart from other types. An original study is not necessarily one that has never been done before. Rather, originality can also result from looking at an old question in a novel manner, i.e. using a new technique of analysis, synthesizing evidence in a different way, or providing a new interpretation for old data. Submission Requirements Format required of all abstracts: Title Author(s) Contact Information - The submitter, who is normally the presenting author, is the only person with whom ASM corresponds. Complete mailing address, phone and fax numbers, and email addresses for the presenting author must be given in the abstract submission. Please be sure that the address you give is complete, (i.e., include mail-stops or box numbers in your address). If you should relocate before the Undergraduate Microbiology Education Conference, you must provide ASM's Education Department with your address change. The presenting author must be available at the Undergraduate Microbiology Education Conference for the poster session in which the paper is scheduled. If the original presenting author becomes unavailable, a co-author must be ready to substitute and present the poster. Keywords - Provide up to three keywords to aid others in searching for your abstract. Try to select keywords in common usage. Choose words which describe both the pedagogical approach as well as the microbiology concept addressed in your research. Abstract Text - The abstract is a short description of your work and should contain all the elements necessary to define your goals and results to the reader. It is not meant to be a complete and lengthy report of your work and is not the place for referenced work and data. Abstract text is limited to 250 words. Please be concise and clear. Abstracts will not be edited in any way. Thus, typographical and grammatical errors that appear in the submitted abstract will still appear in the conference handout. Abstract Submission Abstract submission to the Undergraduate Microbiology Education Conference is possible only through e-mail. Please submit your abstract, in the body of an e-mail (attachments will not be accepted) to, and put UGCONF 2003 in the subject line. Electronic submissions must be received by midnight on March 14, 2003.