CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA's 2020 Annual Meeting and Expo

APHA-Student Assembly

Meeting theme: Creating the Healthiest Nation: Preventing Violence

Submission Deadline: Thursday, February 20, 2020

APHA-SA invites abstracts from students in public health or other related fields presenting results of scientific research, program evaluations, policy analysis, and lessons learned from research or practice. We also invite abstracts pertaining to public health student issues in general (such as education, curricula, training, employment trends, student leadership, advocacy, etc.). Abstracts supporting the meeting theme are highly encouraged, and we accept submissions from the fields of:
  • Environmental/Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology/Biostatistics
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Health Education
  • Health Services Administration/Management
  • International/Global Health
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Public Health Law and Policy
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Student Training and Public Health Workforce Development
Submission: Abstracts of 250 words or less may be submitted for oral or poster sessions following the structure mentioned below. APHA-SA encourages first-time presenters, if you have never presented at an APHA Annual Meeting before, please make sure to mention your First-Time Presenter status in the Comments to Organizers box when you submit your abstract. All Abstracts must be submitted electronically using the APHA Meeting website by the date published for the Student Assembly. Hard-copy, fax, and email submissions cannot be accepted, nor can deadline extensions be granted. Email notices of abstract acceptance will be sent to authors by APHA in early June 2020.

Abstracts should be submitted in a structured format. Please use one of the following two formats:

Structured abstract format (suitable for abstracts on scientific research): 
  • Background: Study objectives, hypothesis, or a description of the problem; 
  • Methods: Study design-including a description of participants, procedures, measures, and appropriate analyses;
  • Results: Specific results in summary form;
  • Conclusions: Description of the main outcome of the study.

Alternative format (suitable for abstracts about policy, programs, interventions, and other types of research evaluations):

  • Issues: A short summary of the issue(s) addressed;
  • Description: Description of the project, experience, service, or advocacy program;
  • Lessons Learned: A brief description of the results of the project;
  • Recommendations: A brief statement of next steps. 

Review Criteria: All Abstracts are subject to masked peer review by at least three reviewers. Please remove any references to a specific institution in the body of the abstract to permit masked review and ensure fairness. Standardized criteria will be used to evaluate all abstract submissions. These criteria include: (1) adherence to specified format as indicated under structured abstract format, (2) importance/originality, (3) description of subject matter, (4) methodology/sound conceptual framework, and (5) clarity of content. Though we have accepted abstracts with research that is still in progress at the time of submission, the project must be completed by the Annual Meeting. Note that incomplete abstracts will not be judged. 

Final Program: The final program will be based on peer-reviewer evaluations of the abstract proposals with consideration for available time and space, program theme, and diversity of topics. Because of limited sessions and space, the programmers may not be able to accommodate your preference for presentation format (oral versus poster). However, if you will only present your abstract in your preferred format, please make note of this in the Comments to Programmers section. Topical sessions are determined based on accepted submissions. All topics related to the APHA Annual Meeting are encouraged. Only listed authors who are both APHA members and registered for the Annual Meeting may present accepted work.

APHA does not provide any financial support for author attendance at the Annual Meeting. All expenses incurred for presenting at APHA are the sole responsibility of the student author. Presenters must pay their own APHA membership, registration, travel, and lodging. If presenting at the APHA Annual Meeting is contingent on receiving financial support, please do not submit an abstract – there is only limited space for student presentations, and it is not fair to other students to withdraw your abstract just before the APHA Annual Meeting because of lack of funds. Also note there are NO free or reduced registrations for presenters. Student presenters must pay the student registration rate.

It is important to note that after the submission deadline has passed, NO CHANGES to the title or body of text will be allowed. Therefore, it is important that your abstract contain the correct information at the time of submission, which should include any preliminary results and/or anticipated results. Before preparing your abstract, it is recommended that you review the Abstract Writing Guide available at This document was written by a former programmer of APHA-SA, based on common errors seen in student abstract submissions in previous meetings.

Continuing Education Credit: APHA values the ability to provide continuing education credit to physicians, nurses, health educators, veterinarians, and those certified in public health at its annual meeting. Please complete all required information when submitting an abstract so members can claim credit for attending your session. These credits are necessary for members to keep their licenses and credentials.

 For a session to be eligible for Continuing Education Credit, each presenter must provide:

  1.  An abstract free of trade and/or commercial product names
  2. At least one MEASURABLE outcomes (DO NOT USE “To understand” or “To learn” as objectives, they are not measurable). Examples of Acceptable Measurable Action Words:  Explain, Demonstrate, Analyze, Formulate, Discuss, Compare, Differentiate, Describe, Name, Assess, Evaluate, Identify, Design, Define or List.
  3. A signed Conflict of Interest (Disclosure) form with a relevant Qualification Statement. See an example of an acceptable Qualification Statement on the online Disclosure form.

Contact Mighty Fine at if you have any questions concerning continuing education credit. Please contact the program planner for all other questions.

Submission of an abstract is an expression of the presenting author’s intentions of attending the Annual Meeting and presenting the work as scheduled should it be accepted. Abstracts should reflect work by the presenting author undertaken while in school- either in an undergraduate or graduate program.


Program Planner Contact Information:

Jennifer Mandelbaum, MPH
Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina
915 Greene St
Columbia, SC 29201

Emily Bartlett, MPH
School of Nursing, Columbia University
560 W 168th St
New York, NY 10032