​SRF International Student Research
Conference 2023 

Abstract Submission Guidelines 

​The International Student Research Conference 2023, hosted by Aga Khan University, invites undergraduate students from various human health and biological science programs to submit research abstracts for presentation.

The following guidelines are intended to provide a clear understanding of what is expected of submitted abstracts, and how they may be judged and evaluated by our committee.


Submitted abstracts may have multiple authors, but the presenting author must be an undergraduate student.

The presenting author is not required to be the first author.


An abstract/submission will only be eligible for acceptance if it meets all of the following criteria/requirements:

  • It must be between 250 - 350 words.
  • Must be a completed study – research proposals or projects that are still in progress will not be considered for acceptance.
  • Must be related to health or biological sciences – research abstracts related to other fields will not be accepted.
  • Must be affiliated with a programme related to health or biological sciences.

​​​​Note: While we prefer to select unpublished research for presentation at the conference, published work may be selected by our committee and can be submitted if it meets the aforementioned criteria for submission.

Supplementary Materials:

Attaching supplementary materials when submitting your abstract is optional.

The abstract may include supplementary items such as graphs, figures, charts, images, etc. if they meet the following requirements

  • A maximum of 2 supplementary items may be provided.
  • All supplementary items must be compiled into a single PDF document.
  • Must be relevant to the scientific content of the abstract
  • Must be the original work of the authors – supplements that are cited from other research works will not be accepted
  • If the abstract content is studying patient data (e.g. case series, prospective/retrospective cohorts, etc.) the supplements must not include any patient identifiers which could violate their privacy (e.g. patient name, medical record number, etc.)

​Content and Format Guidelines

Abstracts will be judged according to the following criteria

  • Title: Abstract titles should be relevant to the content of the abstract and succinctly convey the aim of the research project/study.

  • Objectives: The research question should be conveyed and the aim(s) of the project should be stated explicitly using specific language.
  • Methodology: The methodological basis of the study must be briefly described. The limitations of the study, including those of the chosen methodology, may be addressed in a different section or verbally by the presenting author.
  • Coherence: The language used must be scientific, adhere to the norms of academic writing, and should be coherent. The use of medical/technical terminology is appropriate but uncommon terms and non-standard abbreviations should be explained.
  • Knowledge and Impact: Abstracts should be written in a manner that reflects the value of the insights and knowledge yielded by the findings of the study. Exploring the potential impact of these findings on our society/setting and the relevant field of science are crucial points to address in the abstract.
  • Originality: The content of the a​bstract should strive to be as original as possible. Abstracts presenting novel findings or perspectives will receive significant credit for this feat when judged and scored.

Note: Plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated - abstracts found to contain plagiarized work will be disqualified and the authors banned from future versions of NSRC. Citations, including for data drawn from other sources, should be provided appropriately.

​Additional Information for Submissions by Study Type

The following information is provided to help authors maximize the likelihood of their articles being accepted by outlining the features of high-quality abstracts for various common types of the research study. The list is not comprehensive, and other forms of research may also be submitted if they meet the criteria listed in the previous sections.

Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

The aim/scope of the review should be stated clearly. An emphasis is placed on a comprehensive methods section that thoroughly covers the article retrieval and selection process (databases searched, inclusion and exclusion criteria, etc.). Results should be interpreted appropriately and the limitations of the findings should be discussed clearly. Quality assessment, certainty in evidence, publication bias, and heterogeneity are of immense importance - presenting authors will be expected to be familiar with these, even if the latter is only discussed briefly in their abstract, due to their importance in determining the impact of the findings and the high frequency with which they are presented and interpreted inappropriately.​

​Case Reports/Series

The aim/goal of the study should be clearly stated. The case definition should be provided using the appropriate technical language and medical terminology, emphasizing how the case deviated from typical presentations, outcomes, etc. For case series, it should be stated whether or not cases were consecutive, and how comparable they were. The length of follow-up and whether or not this was sufficient should be discussed where relevant. Studies that emphasize the learning point(s) from the case as well as suggest a direction for future research will be preferred.

Case/Control Studies

The aim of the study should be stated clearly. The study population should be defined and ideally, where possible, a sample size justification should be provided. It should be stated clearly if cases and controls were or were not selected from the same population, and the means of recruitment (inclusion/exclusion criteria, etc.) should be presented. The definition and implementation of exposures/risks and outcomes should be given. Moreover, the method chosen to achieve the target sample size from the pool of eligible candidates should be stated (random selection, selection of subsequent cases until the size is achieved, etc.). It should be clear whether or not there was the use of concurrent controls, to what extent blinding was used, and if any analysis was performed to adjust for confounding.

​Observational and Cross-Sectional Studies

The aim of the study should be stated clearly. The definition of the study population, sample size justification, and participation rates as well as eventual loss to follow-up should be provided. It should be evident whether or not participants from the exposed and unexposed arms were recruited simultaneously and from the same population, and the definition and uniform implementation of inclusion and exclusion criteria described. The evaluation of exposure status, such as whether or not different levels of exposure, frequency of exposure, and time between exposure and outcome should be discussed. Any analysis to control for confounding should be described.

Pre/Post Studies with no control group

The aim of the study should be stated clearly. The study population and selection criteria for participants should be specified, and a justification for why this would allow results to be generalized to the larger population of interest discussed. The method chosen to achieve the target sample size from the pool of eligible candidates should be stated (random selection, selection of subsequent cases until the size is achieved, etc.​). Loss to follow-up should be described. The use of blinding, if any, should be described. The use of appropriate statistical techniques to evaluate the effect of the intervention should be clear, and results presented and interpreted appropriately.

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