College | Medical and Graduate | Postdoc and Fellow

NESS Applicant and Registrant Eligibility Checklist & FAQs

NESS Applicant and Registrant Eligibility Checklist:

  • Students in college (including community college), graduate school, medical school and other doctoral programs as well as recent graduates from these programs, residents and fellows are welcome to apply.
  • Please note that applicants and attendees to the New England Science Symposium are required to have obtained a high school diploma or the GED at minimum at the time of application/registration. Thus, current high school students are unable to participate in NESS as applicants or general attendees at this time.
  • Scientific research that has been previously published is not eligible for submission to NESS.
  • Permission of the principal investigator who supervised the research is required for the submission of the application.
  • Co-authors must be listed in the application when applicable.
  • Presentations can be made individually or as a group (2+).
    • If applying as a group, only 1 team member should submit the abstract and list all other team members as co-authors. All those listed as co-authors need to register for the symposium and email the NESS Program Manager of their membership to a presenting team/group by identifying the group member who submitted the abstract and the title of the abstract as it was submitted in the application.
    • If submitting as a group and the abstract is selected for a poster presentation, all members of the group may stand at the poster and present together.
    • If submitting as a group and the abstract is selected for an oral presentation, the group must elect 1 member to represent the team and deliver the oral presentation.
  • Case studies, clinical case reports, and case study series are acceptable to be submitted as research.  Applicants must be sure to convey scientific rigor, impact, and innovation in the abstract for these forms of research to meet judging criteria.
  • Literature reviews are not acceptable forms of research for submission to NESS, the only exception is meta-analyses.
  • Research parameters are broad, as long as the students’ research meets the above criteria and fits into one of the following scientific categories, listed below, the research is eligible for submission.
    • Public Health, Epidemiology, or Biostatistics
    • Microbiology, Immunology, Genetics and Molecular Biology
    • Cellular Biology, Neuroscience, Biochemistry or Physiology
    • Bioinformatics, Physics, Chemistry or Engineering
    • Clinical or Social Science, including Translational Research
    • Interdisciplinary or Specific Discipline Research


The categories for submitting an abstract are Public Health, Epidemiology or Biostatistics; Microbiology, Immunology, Genetics or Molecular Biology; Cellular Biology, Neuroscience, Biochemistry or Physiology, Bioinformatics, Physics, Chemistry or Engineering, Clinical or Social Science (including Translational Research). These categories are intentionally broad to accommodate a variety of research topics. The committee does consider all abstracts irrespective of field or focus. There will be awards for outstanding oral and poster presentations in various disciplines and categories: Ruth and William Silen, M.D. Awards, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Awards, Postdoctoral Awards, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Department of Neonatology Award, TACS BIO Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Award, American Cancer Society Awards, and Prophet Genomics Translational Research Award.

Yes. Never submit an abstract without prior approval from your PI or research sponsor. It is also best practice to make sure all of your co-authors are aware that the abstract is being submitted.

An invitation to present at the symposium is based on your submitted abstract. Only minor changes are allowed and must be consistent with the spirit of the argument presented in the original abstract.

Our judges are professionals from academia, the biopharmaceutical industry, government and the private sector. We do not disclose the list of judges prior to the symposium.

Your research will be judged on quality of research, scientific rigor, impact as well as your ability to communicate these points. NESS not only provides an opportunity to present your ideas to your peers and the scientific community, but also the chance to hone your presentation skills. A good research project will have a clear hypothesis, stated methods for testing the hypothesis, and clearly demonstrated results.

The NESS is an invigorating experience making students feel welcomed while emboldening them to explore curiosities and employ their voice in biomedical and health-related research. Most NESS participants leave with a sense of belonging to a larger scientific community and a validation that there are others with similar life experiences sharing their journey to impact healthcare, biomedicine and science. This validation is often cathartic and empowering, endowing a scientific confidence that can be very beneficial as attendees return home. This is a great opportunity to connect with peers and professionals in your field of interest, and also to see the research being done across the country.

Be sure to connect with people that you didn’t know prior to the conference. This experience is about expanding your network and creating a community of supportive peers and advisors who may offer advice at every junction of your career. Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity; connect with others and ask questions!

The conference attendees range from college and post-baccalaureate students to medical and graduate students to postdoctoral researchers. There are high quality researchers at each level and opportunities to network and learn from a cohort of individuals that span the academic spectrum.

There are many opportunities to network at NESS. Your attire should be compliant with these opportunities. You should look polished. Comfortable business attire is recommended.

Please see the website for the agenda and updates as we near the day of the event.

If you still have questions, please reach out to the Program Manager, Victoria Bhambhani, at for assistance.