IAS – International AIDS Society – Abstract Mentor Programme (AMP) was introduced at AIDS 2004, the 15th International AIDS Conference. Almost 20 years later the programme continues to support less experienced and early-career researchers to improve their abstracts before submission. Thanks to its volunteer mentors, the AMP increases the chance of mentees’ abstracts being accepted for presentation at IAS conferences.
The programme specifically targets researchers from resource-limited settings who otherwise lack access to opportunities for rigorous mentoring in research and writing. Over the years, the AMP has been proven to increase the motivation of participating researchers, as well as the number of abstract submissions received from investigators working in resource-limited settings.
The AMP is completely independent of the AIDS 2022 abstract review and selection process.
The submissions for AIDS 2022 AMP are now closed
Mentors can still access the platform to review abstracts. Submitters can access their submissions/reviews but cannot submit new ones.
When is the programme available?
The submissions for AIDS 2022 AMP are now closed. Mentors can still access the platform to review abstracts. Submitters can access their submissions/reviews but cannot submit new ones
Why does the IAS offer the AMP?
The IAS offers this programme to support professional development for young and less experienced HIV researchers. The programme enables participants to submit higher quality abstracts, which increases the chance of them being accepted into the conference programme. The aim is to build capacity for a new generation of young researchers and increase the diversity of speakers and presenters at the conference.
The AMP for IAS 2021, the 11th IAS Conference on HIV Science, for example involved 122 mentors and 54 abstracts where reviewed; 82% of which were submitted to the conference and 30% selected for presentation.
Who can use the mentoring service?
The AMP is open to anyone with a proficient level of English, and who is willing to improve their scientific abstract writing skills.
Who can be an abstract mentor?
We welcome scientists with experience in HIV research who have had at least two abstracts accepted for an international conference (IAS-convened or other) and who have co-authored at least one manuscript accepted by a peer-reviewed scientific journal within the past five years.
Mentors will be asked to anonymously review up to four abstracts. Each abstract review can take up to two hours to complete. The peak period for review will be between 4 and 20 January 2022. Mentors will receive a mentoring certificate from the IAS in recognition of their support.
Is the mentoring free?
Yes. Each participant can submit up to two draft abstracts.
Do I have to be registered for AIDS 2022 to participate?
No. Neither mentors nor mentees need to be registered for the conference to participate in the AMP. However, should your abstract be selected for presentation at the conference, you will be required to register as a regular delegate or apply for a scholarship. The same applies to mentors who wish to participate in the conference.
What kind of questions can I ask my mentor?
You can ask mentors questions on practical issues, such as clarity of writing style and general abstract requirements, as well as any methodological or scientific questions that may arise from the abstract content. Their answers should guide subsequent edits and improvements to the abstract before you officially submit it to the conference.
Here are some examples of previously asked questions:
- Is my introduction extensive enough?
- Are my conclusions clear and well supported by the data?
- Have I described the method well enough?
- What part of the abstract could I edit to shorten the text?
- Would a graph or table be useful?
- What other conclusions/lessons learned should I include?
Note: Mentors do not write, translate or make changes to the draft abstract on your behalf.
What kind of questions am I not allowed to ask mentors?
Mentors will not answer questions related to:
- Whether or not they think your abstract will be accepted for the conference
- Grammar issues
- Other conference programmes, such as scholarships.
What happens after I have submitted an abstract for review?
We match your abstract with a mentor specialized in your field of research and you will receive feedback within 10 working days.
What is the timeline?
Mentors review abstracts based on guidelines and provide feedback within 10 working days, at the latest by 20 January 2022 (excluding the end-of-year holiday period: 24 December 2021 to 1 January 2022).
Is the service available only in English?
Yes. Abstracts submitted to AIDS 2022 must be written in English, and so the AMP is also only available in English.
Is abstract mentoring part of the AIDS 2022 abstract review and selection process?
No. Mentoring is completely independent of the abstract review and selection process. Once you have finalized your abstract, you need to submit it to the conference through your conference account.
I need help to plan and develop my abstract. Can you help?
Before your first submission, you will be able to consult the online abstract writing module, developed by JIAS, to help you develop your abstract. The module will be available on the AMP platform.
Testimonies from previous AMP participants
“Since 2019, I have consistently participated in the IAS AMP. I have over the years noted the quality of abstracts significantly improve over time.”
“2020 was especially most fulfilling for me. A mentee I was assigned from Uganda was extremely responsive to guidance on improvement. He was awarded a poster presentation at the IAS meeting that year and reached out to me to help improve the manuscript. We have consistently worked together and, in July 2021, our manuscript was published in a renowned scientific journal. I remain dedicated to the AMP for the foreseeable future.”
“As an early-stage investigator, I look for every opportunity to hone my own research analytical skills while assisting others. The IAS AMP provides an excellent avenue for me to do both while getting to appreciate the quality of abstracts that are submitted from research around the globe. Aspiring investigators often just need an added level of support to take their ideas and make them shine. The programme helps us uncover research diamonds in the rough.”
“I signed up for IAS 2021 AMP because I wanted to learn more about the research world, and I wasn’t wrong about that. AMP is a fantastic program where I can hone my skills as an investigator and submitter at the same time. Happiness in helping early-career researchers to get more immense opportunities related to abstracts submitted in the IAS program is priceless. Being involved in this program is such a blessing; thank you, IAS.”
“The AMP gives a good opportunity for early-career researchers, especially those from non-English-speaking backgrounds, to work with experienced scientists and enhance their scientific presentation capabilities. The AMP has improved the quality of my abstract and reinforced my scientific research.”