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This course is suitable for MSD DPhils and post-docs who are planning to attend medical conferences over the coming year.

This course has pre-course material. Booking confirmation and course reminder emails will provide you with the link to 'My Resources' section of CoSY to access the materials before the course starts.


Presenting your work at a conference can be a great way to communicate your protocol and results, get feedback on your study and get the prestige of being picked to present a poster or talk. But the first step towards this, constructing an abstract, can be daunting, especially if it will be judged. This workshop aims to help you construct your conference abstract to give it the best chance of success.


This one-day course will be in two parts: a more formal morning (10:00-13:00 and a more informal afternoon (until 17:00 at the latest). The morning will consist of presentations, discussions and exercises, and the afternoon will consist of time for you to write a draft abstract for your next conference, and for the trainer to give expert one-to-one feedback on all abstracts. You will be able to work on your abstract in the training room or elsewhere, as you wish.


  • Discussion on which conferences to apply to, and at what point in a project you should present your work at a conference
  • Consideration of what conference abstracts are for, who their intended readership is and how they differ from the abstracts of papers
  • Advice on the writing style that will best grab the reader while striking the right level of formality
  • Examination and comparison of abstract guidelines for a selection of medical conferences
  • Advice on how to ensure that your title and abstract clearly communicate the main message of your study and other key pieces of information
  • Guidance on the peer review process that conference undertake using abstracts to choose poster and oral presentations, and how to give yourself the best chance of being selected
  • Consideration of the title for your abstract and how it can attract readers to look at the abstract


Maximum 15 


The workshop is for PhD students and postdocs in the Division of Medical Sciences. It will be most useful to those planning to attend a medical conference in the next six months and intending to submit an abstract on a study they are involved in.

In advance, please provide the name(s) and web addresses of 1-3 conferences that you are considering applying to attend.

On the day, please bring some notes on the key points from your study, so that you can use these in the afternoon to draft an abstract. If you don't have all the results of your study yet, you can draft an abstract based on ideal potential results or based on the protocol alone. Please bring a laptop or tablet (a smartphone will do, but something with a larger screen will be better).

Trainer biography:

Anna Sharman is founder and director of Cofactor, a training company specialising in helping scientific and medical researchers to communicate their research effectively. She has edited many abstracts and papers over her 20 year career as an editor, consultant and trainer and knows what makes a great abstract.