GPSC Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is this conference?

This conference is organized by the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS). It accepts abstracts from all graduate and professional students at Iowa State University. The conference's main goal is to give an opportunity for graduate and professional students to present their work and gain experience communicating that work to an audience (either through talks, posters, exhibitions or lightning talks). The conference will begin on April 7th with a social and networking event as well as our keynote speaker. Oral and poster presentations will occur throughout the day of April 8th along with workshops and an awards dinner.

  • Why was the 2021 Conference Virtual?

Due to COVID-19 it was not safe or responsible for us to organize an in person conference at this time. It is our hope that this expereince will allow us to provide a combination of virutal and in person presentations in the future.

  • I don't do "research", is the conference for me?

Yes!  This conference is meant to give all graduate and professional students a space to talk about their work and provide an opportunnity for professional development. Present a proposal, case study, research, or take part in an exhibition.

  • What are the five research themes? 

ISU has identified five research themes that will help enhance ISU's research profile and address the grand challenges of the 21st century. The themes are:

  • Enabling healthy lives
  • Building sustainable human and natural ecosystems
  • Designing next-generation materials and manufacturing technologies
  • Creating data-driven science and information systems for societal challenges
  • Developing global citizens and our workforce

The conference presentations will be divided into these five themes. If you are submitting an abstract and have questions about the themes, please check the abstract submission section.

  • How do I register for the conference?
  • All presenters (graduate and professional students submitting abstracts) are automatically registered to the conference. Non-presenters affiliated with ISU will have to register separately for the conference. Registration for non-presenters will open in January.
  • All presenters (graduate and professional students submitting abstracts) are automatically registered to the conference. Non-presenters affiliated with ISU will have to register separately for the conference. Registration for non-presenters will open in January.
  • Is there a registration fee?

There is NO registration fee.

  • Who can register for the conference?

ISU graduate and professional studentsStudents who submit abstracts are automatically registered for the conference. All registrants are welcome to attend presentations, workshops and the talk by the keynote speaker. However, the social and networking event is only open to ISU graduate and professional students, post-docs, professors and people invited by the Career Services Council.

  • Is food provided?

Yes, free breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided for all presenters, conference registrants, and judges. However, it is not provided to ISU members who do not register for the conference, and for non-ISU persons.

  • Can I invite family and friends not affiliated with ISU to the conference?

Sure! However, non-ISU persons cannot register for the conference. They are welcome to attend presentations and the keynote speaker talk. However, they will not receive food and cannot attend the social and networking event.

  • Who is the keynote speaker?

TBD for 2022.

  • Who can submit abstracts to the conference?

Only ISU graduate and professional students can submit abstracts and present at the conference.

  • How do I submit an abstract to the GPSC 2022?


  • I want to present my work at some other conference and/or I want to submit it to a journal. Can I still submit an abstract to the GPSC?

Yes. Since GPSC would not be publishing any kind of proceedings, you can still submit the abstract to the GPSC and present it later to any professional conference or journal of your choice.

  • I have already presented my work in some other conference and/or I have submitted it to a journal. Can I still submit an abstract to the GPSRC 2020?

Yes, you can submit an abstract for the GPSC even if you have already presented it elsewhere or submitted to a journal.

  • Can I submit an ongoing research to the GPSC?

Yes, it is fine to present an ongoing work. However please make sure that the abstract is properly structured as per the submission guidelines. For instance, it would be expected that the abstract would have few words on conclusion and future work, even if it comprises of an ongoing research.

  • Why is the conference divided by these grand challenge themes?

Good question! We want students to think about how their work will contribute to the five grand challenges identified by ISU. Also, we hope having five themes will result in a diverse audience and open minds. We can all learn how student with different skill sets and knowledge are helping to solve a problem/challenge, and this might also encourage interdisciplinary collaboration. 

  • I don't think my research fits into any theme?

Do not worry, you can submit in the open session (no theme). Most likely, if we think your research fits better in a theme, we will move you to that theme and inform you. Themes are just a way to divide the conference and encourage interdisciplinary ideas and collaboration.

  • I am not sure which theme my research falls in/I think I may have selected the wrong theme?

Do not worry, you can select the theme which you think is closest to your research question. On reading your abstract, if we think you belong to a different theme, we will move you there and inform you. Your choice of theme will not impact your selection to talks, posters, exhibitions or Lightning Talk.

  • What non-research presentations can I do?

Non-research presentations are geared towards young graduate students, professional students, and students who need to do a required conference presentation for their course. Research hypothesis, case studies, and specific course requirement topics are accepted.

  • Will I get an email after submitting abstract or registration?

No, you will not get any confirmation email after submitting the abstract or registering for the conference. However, you can email to confirm your abstract submission.

  • What should I do if I face any problems while submitting an abstract?

If you face any problems in abstract submission, please contact the GPSRC Officer (

  • When will I get to know if my abstract is accepted for presentation?

You will know by the second week of March if you are accepted for the presentation and in which session you will be presenting. We will not be able to change the presentation time, so we request you to not plan anything else on TBD.