Abstract Writing

Guidelines and Samples

Your abstract is a short description (250 words) of what you did and learned from your research project. It should be interesting, informative, and written for a broad audience. Don’t assume the reader knows why your work is significant.

Format (Abstracts are limited to 250 words)


1 sentence placing the study in context and 1-2 sentences explicitly stating what the study investigated and why it was special.


1-3 sentences summing up the approach, or the most important methods used to investigate the problem

Results and Discussion

1-3 sentences that summarize the MAJOR results and potential future applications.


1 sentence that summarizes why your results are significant and perhaps what you will do in the future.

Things to Avoid

  • References to other literature
  • References to figures or images
  • Overuse of abbreviations or acronyms
  • Repetition
  • Including unnecessary or vague sentences

UROP Participant Abstract Form

UROP Participant Mentor Approval Form (Download)

If you are interested in presenting at the UROP symposium, please email us at urop@bu.edu with a subject line “Non-UROP Symposium Participation.” In the email, please provide (i) your full name, (ii) your BU faculty mentor’s full name, (iii) name of your research project, and (iv) a brief description of your research.

Non-UROP/Volunteer Participant Abstract Form

Non-UROP/Volunteer Participant Mentor Approval Form (Download)

Abstract Examples

The Formation of Transparent and Dense Lu2O3 Disc Targets via Hot Pressing
ENG Mechanical Engineering

Hot pressing has long been a technique used to transform powders into dense discs. The discs produced by hot pressing are used as targets to form thin, ceramic coatings onto substrates via physical vapor deposition (PVD). For this project, a hot pressing process was developed to produce dense and transparent targets of Lu2O3 doped with Eu3+ (Lu2O3: Eu3+). To produce these transparent discs in the hot press, a correct temperature and pressure must be applied over a certain period of time to sinter the powder into a solid disc. It was found that a temperature of 1600°C and a pressure of 7000 psi yielded transparent and highly dense discs.
However, due to oxygen deficiencies and impurities, the discs were neither fully clear nor fully dense. Most samples had a near black color, most likely due to their reaction with the graphite mold and the lack of oxygen during the sintering. Most surface impurities were removed from the sample by hand polishing. The samples were further improved by being annealed for a full 12 hours at 1000°C. This process introduced the oxygen back to the samples and removed most of the carbon. This left all the discs nearly perfectly clear and fully dense. It has been demonstrated that these steps can yield optimal samples that can be used to create a thin, uniform layer of Lu2O3: Eu3+ through PVD.

Exploring the Intersection of Journalism and Public Health At Times of Crisis and Disaster
COM Journalism

When disaster strikes, two very different groups of professionals are always among the first on the scene. Just as often, their missions are quite different as well. Public health specialists seek to help a population heal by providing vital medical assistance. Journalists arrive to tell the story of the event. Public health professionals recognize that by reporting the event with accuracy, journalists can bring public awareness that in turn may generate increased aid. Journalists understand that in a crisis, public health professionals are working under duress, against a clock, and often in makeshift conditions with insufficient equipment. At times, friction arises between the two groups.
This research seeks to bring together experts from numerous disciplines for scholarly colloquia to examine the many areas that are shared—and not shared—by journalists and public health professionals during times of crisis. In addition, we have branched out to work on an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural project that examines the effects of foreign aid from the point of view of the recipients. The project launched when a group of B.U. students traveled to western Kenya to work with students there on this research.

Target Identification Study of LD49; a Potent PrPSc inhibitor
CAS Chemistry

Prion diseases are invariably fatal spongiform encephalopathy caused by the infectious prion in the Scrapie form (PrPSc). This infectious protein is a conformational monoisomer that upon interaction with healthy prion (PrPc) causes it to misfold into PrPSc. Amyloid plaques responsible for neurotoxicity are caused by large aggregation of PrPSc. A small molecule (referred to as LD49) was found in a drug based chemical assay (DBCA) screening of PrPSc infected N2a cells showing a potent IC50 of 0.3μM.
Common methods of prion diseases research use a mutant form of PrPc (ΔCR) to model PrPSc because of their similar pathogeneses. LD49 was found to be active, with an EC50 of 0.294 μM, in a phenotypic assay using ΔCR infected HEK cells.
Herein we describe the synthesis of tagged analogs of LD49 for protein target identification. Fluorous and biotin analogues of LD49 were synthesized for streptavidin and fluorinated silicagel pull down studies, respectively. DBCA data showed that the biotin analogue was completely inactive while the fluorous compound retained activity showing an EC50 of 0.322μM. A number of LD49 analogs have been synthesized as part of a preliminary SAR study. Our overall goal is to fully elucidate the mechanism of action and utilize this knowledge to synthesize more potent compounds.

Studies Toward the Synthesis of the Microsphaerins
CAS Chemistry

Microsphaerins are a novel class of dimerized dihydroxyxanthones that have displayed antimicrobial activities against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)1. MRSA is a commonly identified hospital pathogen; however, increasing numbers of community based infections have been reported2. Microsphaerins B-D have been tested for their bioactivities and IC90 values in the 1-5 μM range have been reported1. Because many pharmaceutical companies have reduced or ceased their antimicrobial research and developments, it has become urgent to develop new classes of antibiotics.
Microsphaerins B-D can be retrosynthetically derived from two xanthone monomers or a biaryl dialdehyde intermediate. Here, we report the racemic synthesis of the monomeric subunit and microsphaerin A. Attempts to dimerize the xanthone monomer have been unsuccessful thus far. However, microsphaerin A provides a useful intermediate towards the synthesis of microshpaerins B-D. A key reaction in the synthesis of microsphaerin A involves the oxidative dimerization of aphenolic aldehyde. Thus, these studies in synthetic chemistry may lead to the development of new classes of antibiotics.