What is meant by research, scholarship, creativity?

Research, scholarship and creativity may be defined broadly as any self-directed work that enables individual students or small groups of students to explore an issue of interest to them and to communicate the results to others. The projects involve inquiry, design, investigation, research, analysis, scholarship, discovery, application, writing and/or performance, depending on the topic. Each field may approach research, scholarship and creativity in its own way and with its own emphases.

Who is eligible to participate?

Des Moines University faculty, staff, students, alumni and residents. All students, faculty, and residents are encouraged to develop research projects to be presented at the activity. External researchers and health professionals from the Des Moines area and surrounding medical and scientific community are also invited to participate.

Do abstracts need to be lab research only or are case reports/clinical work/literature reviews allowed to be submitted as well?

Abstracts may describe basic, educational, or clinical research. Literature reviews will also be accepted. In addition, all abstracts should include mention of quantitative/qualitative data and analysis.

What is the deadline for submissions and do you take late entries?

The abstract submission deadline is stated on the activity website. Due to the large number of submissions, late entries are not accepted. To avoid last minute technical issues with potential system overloads, make sure to submit your abstract well before the deadline.

Does my project need to be course-based work, or can it be my own independent work or part of a project I did elsewhere?

If it is your work, it is eligible for consideration. If your work involves collaboration with another individual(s), you must obtain their permission for you to present. If you are a student, you must work with a faculty mentor. If you are working with a DMU student, you may present your work together.

Does this need to be a presentation of a project created by a single author/researcher, or can collaborative projects be presented by more than one person?

Presentations may be either individually or collaboratively created. There is no limit on the number of authors involved in a project to be presented. However, due to time constraints no more than three students may make an oral presentation. Students must include a faculty mentor on their project development and presentation.

I am not the first author on the research. Can I still submit an abstract?

Abstracts for presentations can be submitted by other authors on the project. However, this must be discussed and agreed upon by all authors.

My project is still in progress. Can I still apply?

Posters and oral presentations may present findings of a work that is currently still in progress.

Can I apply more than once for different projects? Can more than one proposal by the same student be accepted?

Yes to both. Each proposal must have its own submission; however, if you wish to have a poster and give an oral presentation, you must submit the information twice. One submission for the poster and one submission for the oral presentation.

If I request to give an oral presentation, am I guaranteed a time?

No. There are a limited number of oral presentation time spots. The planning committee will review all submissions and notify you.

Can I choose the time to present? What if I have a conflict?

No. You are unable to select your presentation time. If you have a conflict with your scheduled time, please contact a member of the planning committee.

I have been selected to give an oral presentation. What time should I arrive?

You are strongly encouraged to arrive at the room in which you are presenting at least 15 minutes before your session starts to introduce yourself to the session moderator. You should plan on attending the entire session in which you are presenting. 

Who judges the abstracts?

The oral abstracts are evaluated by the planning committee to select speakers prior to the activity. The poster abstracts are evaluated by faculty judges during the event.

I am a student. How do I write an abstract? Can I get help with writing it?

You are strongly encouraged to work closely with your faculty mentor in writing and editing your abstract. Your faculty mentor may be willing to look over your abstract in advance and offer help. You may also contact the DMU Office of Research at 515-271-1445.

View an Abstract Example.

What do I do if something happens to my project between now and the educational activity—like I change my focus or title, or I don’t get as far as I had hoped?

The unexpected is to be expected with research! Unless something major happens that would prevent you from completing your project, you do not need to inform the planning committee. When in doubt, consult your faculty mentor.

Can I present if I do not have an IRB (Institutional Review Board) or IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) approval and my project involves (respectively) human or animal subjects?

If your project involves human or animal research, you must have obtained such approval, unless you are clearly presenting your work as a proposed project and make it clear that absolutely no research has yet been conducted. Such criteria would be met only in the poster sessions; anyone giving an oral presentation on a project involving human or animal research must have an IRB or IACUC approval. For questions, please contact the DMU Office of Research at 515-271-1445.

Can I invite people to attend?


Is there a fee associated with the educational activity?

Please refer to the activity website.

What should I wear?

Attire is business casual. Jeans are highly discouraged.

How will I be updated as necessary about the activity?

All information will be sent directly to the email address associated with your registration submission. All emails will be from cme@dmu.edu.

Is participating in this something I could list on my graduate school application or résumé?

Yes! Generally this would be under a "presentations" section of your résumé or curriculum vitae.

Do I have to stay for the presentation of the awards in order to receive an award?

While you do not need to stay for the presentation of awards, we highly encourage it as we take photos that are used for press releases and event promotion. In addition, you will be recognized in front of your faculty mentor, peers and guests.