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International AIDS Society

Abstract Mentor Programme

The Abstract Mentor Programme is now closed.

We are happy to announce that this programme has been extremely successful. More than 900 draft abstracts were submitted and reviewed by volunteer mentors. We thank all submitters for their patience due to the overwhelming popularity of online mentoring.

We would also like to thank all mentors for their participation in the AIDS 2010 Abstract Mentor Programme. All active mentors will be acknowledged in the conference programme.

As for past conferences, the goal of the AIDS 2010 Abstract Mentor Programme is to provide an opportunity for young and/or less experienced abstract submitters to ask questions of more experienced abstract submitters. This programme is especially targeted at researchers from resource-limited settings who lack access to opportunities for rigorous mentoring in research and writing, for whom online distance education is proven to cost-effectively build research capacity.

Research done by the IAS and presented at the IADIS e-learning conference 2009 demonstrated that online mentoring increases motivation and submission of abstracts among developing-country and early-career researchers at the AIDS 2008 and IAS 2009 conferences.

The International AIDS Society Professional Development Coordinator will facilitate the programme and match mentors with submitters, and collaborate with the IAS Mentors Network to continue improving the programme with participants feedback.

Steps before you contact a mentor:

  1. Go through the self-help tools below.
  2. Prepare a draft abstract in accordance with the conference abstract submission guidelines 
  3. If possible, have a supervisor or colleague review it and give you feedback.
  4. Submit your draft abstract for mentoring through the conference profile.
Self-help tools
  1. Toolkit
    A toolkit on preparing the best conference abstracts, presentations and posters is available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian for all abstract submitters’ use. Please review the toolkit before posting a question to a mentor.

    The IAS is indebted to John Miller Consulting and the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS for permission to use this toolkit.

  2. Top 5 reasons why abstracts are rejected

  3. Download the FAQs

  4. Read these Prize-winning abstracts:

    Before you submit your draft abstract for mentoring, check out these prize-winning abstracts from previous conferences. Reading good recent research done in your field will help you develop and improve your scientific writing skills as you create your own text and share your stories with the world of HIV science.

    IAS 2009

    IAS/ANRS Young Investigator Award

    Track A: Basic Sciences
    Renato Aguiar
    HIV encapsidates viral genomic RNA and APOBEC3G in mRNA processing bodies.

    Track B: Clinical Sciences
    Max O’Donnell
    High incidence of multidrug resistant and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis among South African health care workers.

    Track C: Biomedical Prevention
    Ashraf Fawzy
    Diarrhea morbidity and mortality increases with weaning prior to 6 months among uninfected infants born to HIV-infected mothers in Zambia.

    Track D: Operations Research
    Ingrid Bassett
    Who starts ART in Durban, South Africa?...not everyone who should.

    Young Investigator Prize: Women, Girls and HIV 

    Linnet N. Masese
    A prospective cohort study of the effect of antiretroviral therapy on sexual risk behaviour in a high-risk cohort of Kenyan women.

    IAS TB/HIV Research Prize 

    Clare van Halsema
    Good tuberculosis treatment outcomes and no evidence of increased drug resistance in individuals previously exposed to isoniazid preventive therapy in a population with high HIV prevalence.

    Tip: Use the abstract search engine to review what’s been presented before in your area so you have a better understanding of where the field is at.

    AIDS 2008

    Click below to view examples of abstracts that won prizes at AIDS 2008:

    Young Investigator Awards
    IAS ANRS Prize
    IAS ICRW Prize

  5. Example of a successfully mentored abstract

    When studying the example provided above, take a few moments to compare the ‘before’ and ‘after’ versions. Think about:

    • How do you feel the abstract writer has incorporated the mentor’s feedback into her final abstract?
    • Do you have a better sense of the added value of a mentor’s feedback?

  6. Online resources on scientific writing at AuthorAid.
    AuthorAid supports developing country researchers with publishing scientific writing. Please use the resources here as you prepare your abstracts.
General Rules
  • The abstract submitted to the mentor must be a final draft and follow the submission guidelines.
  • Each delegate is allowed to submit 2 abstracts for mentoring.
  • Each submitted abstract is allowed 2 rounds of mentoring support.
  • The administrator of the mentor programme will return draft abstracts to the submitter if they do not follow the submission guidelines.
  • Mentors will help the abstract submitters by answering questions on practical issues and formal requirements on the abstract, research methods and analysis, language, as well as targeting tracks and categories.
  • Mentors will not make any changes for the abstract submitter.
  • Mentors cannot indicate if he/she thinks that the abstract is likely to be selected or not.
  • Questions submitted must be of a practical nature; i.e. “Is my introduction extensive enough?” “Have I described the method well enough?” “Is my conclusion clear?”
  • Questions regarding the HIV/AIDS epidemic or virus itself will not be answered.
Quick Facts

The Abstract Mentor Programme for researchers provided feedback to 118 abstract authors in a space of 3 months in 2009. 43 active mentors volunteered their research expertise to help 46 of the 84 submitted abstracts were accepted for the IAS 2009 conference, a 55% success rate. 

For AIDS 2008, 26 mentors reviewed 78 draft abstracts, of which 59 were submitted and 47 eventually accepted, an 80% success rate.

"This programme allows junior researchers to improve their writing skills and gain confidence for submitting abstracts to leading events such as AIDS conferences.”
AIDS 2008 Abstract Submitter

Conference Profile

Click here to go to the Conference Profile