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50th DPS Meeting: Information for Students

Going to conferences is such a valuable experience for students, as it helps you see what's happening in your field, get valuable feedback on your work, and most of all, meet and interact with lots of new people. You're also a very important part of meetings because you are the up-and-coming contributors to the field. We're so glad you're coming! Attending sessions and presenting your work can seem like an overwhelming experience, so we've included some links with information about meeting strategies and how to prepare and present a strong talk or poster.

Early Career Presenters Review at DPS 50

Are you an early career scientist preparing to present your research at the 50th Annual DPS Meeting? Are you nervous, or looking for advice? Join this educational opportunity to receive feedback from seasoned presenters! The DPS Early Career Presenters Review will take place on Sunday, 15 October, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in the Hobble Creek room at the Utah Valley Convention Center. Lunch is provided! Early career scientists (including undergraduate and graduate students and postdocs) attending the DPS meeting are invited to practice their oral or poster presentation and receive feedback before presenting during the regular meeting. Participants also have the opportunity to network with their peers and future colleagues.

Registration is free but required and limited to 10 participants, so register today. To help mentor early career scientists by providing feedback, or for further information, please contact Jennifer Grier or Christine Shupla.

General Conference Info

Before you even get to the conference, it helps to think and plan ahead. What sessions and talks do you want to make sure to attend? What potential collaborators or future employers do you want to meet in person? How can you make sure you get the chance to meet and talk to those people? The following links give a lot of useful advice to help guide you prepare and get the most out of the experience.

Preparing Your Abstract

As you write your abstract, consider breaking it into pieces. Think of the abstract as a very brief peer-reviewed paper. It should be organized similar to the following:

Context/Purpose – Has past research been done? How does your research add to existing knowledge? What big question(s) is your research seeking to address?

Methods – How did you collect your data? How did you process your data?

Results/Conclusion – What did your analysis find? How does it address the big picture ideas you mentioned in the beginning of the abstract?

Other things to keep in mind:
  • Avoid citation references in the abstract.
  • Avoid equations or special characters since they may not translate into the conference program.
  • Keep it short. Most conferences have a word or character limit for your abstract — DPS limits the abstract to 2,250 characters (which includes letters, numbers, punctuation, spacing, returns, and symbols/special characters).

Preparing and Giving Talks and Posters

If you're presenting at the conference, the following links will help you put together a talk or poster that will best convey your message. Probably the most useful thing to remember is that while you will be presenting to an audience of other scientists, most of them will not be as familiar with your work and your subfield as you are, so it's important to make it clear what the importance of the work is in the big picture, and to avoid unnecessary jargon and overly technical details. Very often, what makes perfect sense to you is not so obvious to someone that hasn't been working in detail on that topic. It's always a good idea to give one or more practice talks first to classmates and colleagues with a wide range of backgrounds and have them comment on what can be improved — the conference itself should never be the first time you present your talk or poster to an audience.

Other Resources

If you're looking for a roommate to help reduce the cost of attending the 49th DPS meeting, you can use the DPS Roommate Search Forum to locate a match.