The University of Iowa

Instructions for abstracts:

  • The abstract must be between 400 and 1,200 CHARACTERS maximum, including spaces. 
  • Use clear and concise language that can be understood easily by a layperson.
  • Write the abstract in third person and in active voice (e.g., Professor Smith completed research for her book on Shakespeare).
  • Summarize the outcomes of the award or fellowship.
  • Describe how the award has been or will be of benefit to teaching/students and the University of Iowa.
  • Describe how the award has been or will be of benefit to the state of Iowa or to society generally.
  • Career Development Awards: Please refer to the award as a “Professional Development Assignment” or “PDA.”  We are required to use this terminology in reporting to the Board of Regents.

Sample abstracts

Sample #1

The number of Americans with Alzheimer's and other dementias is rising rapidly.  Professor XXX used her PDA to do research on the important legal and public policy issues related to the care of these individuals.  Her work has already resulted in an article accepted for publication and a successful externally funded grant application.  She also has a second article in progress.  Here at Iowa, her work has figured centrally in her teaching.  Much of her research was incorporated in the Elder Law Colloquium which she coordinated and taught at the College of Law in 20xx.  In addition, it has been integrated into several other courses she teaches in health law and policy.  Her research provides elected officials and public administrators in Iowa and beyond with useful information as they struggle with policy design and implementation in the area of dementia.

Sample #2

Professor YYY used this PDA to expand the scope of his research program in cochlear implants.  Cochlear implants are a prosthetic device that can restore limited hearing in deaf individuals.  While they have been very successful, an important limitation is the variation in performance among individuals.  Professor YYY’s research focused on identifying the underlying causes of that variability.  In particular, he developed new methods for analyzing physiological data that is recorded through the implant.  The results will potentially provide clinicians with information to better tailor the device to meet individual needs, helping recipients of implants in Iowa and elsewhere.  The work will also be incorporated into his courses on hearing impairment as well as his research teaching with graduate students in audiology who work with cochlear implants.

Sample #3

During his 20xx PDA, Professor ZZZ completed the book manuscript entitled _________ and it is now under review by a major press.  The book explores representations of virtue in Russia and the U.S. from the 18th to the 20th centuries, exploring how heroic notions of virtue were transformed by the rise of commercial culture; in other words, what happened to courage when prudence became the dominant mode of masculine public behavior.  It examines why Russian thinkers resisted the idea that prudent actors such as businessmen might be considered heroic, especially by contrast to the American view of commerce as a drive belt for progress.  Professor ZZZ has developed new instructional material from his research which will be used in both undergraduate and graduates courses.  More generally, the work assists scholars and interested citizens to understand the evolution of and interaction between notions of virtue and our increasingly commercial society.