In addition to your interim reports, an abstract is due at the end of your seventh week.

Please provide the final title of your project. Often titles change from the original proposal to submission of the abstract. We need your final project title now for preparation of program materials. We will use the title you give us now in the annual report, abstract book, and proceedings for each of the seminar days.

The abstract is a succinct outline of your research project. For experimental projects, it (1) presents the principal objective and scope of your project; (2) describes the methodology; (3) summarizes the results; (4) states the principal conclusions. If you have no results yet, give the conclusions or recommendations for continuation of the project or for subsequent work to be done. For a theoretical paper, the abstract (1) describes the issue; (2) describes the analysis; (3) states implications for further research. Use clear, significant words when writing your abstract; eliminate extraneous words. Do not use abbreviations, jargon, or specialized words. Abstracts rarely cite references. Your abstract should stand alone and be intelligible without reference to your final paper.

Abstracts should be no longer than 100-200 words. Abstracts that exceed the word limit will be returned to the student for editing and resubmission.

Abstract Formatting Guidelines for All Students

  • Verdana font if available; if not, Times Roman
  • Size 8 font
  • Left justified
  • Title in bold using title case
  • Student name (no bold, no italics). JPL students should add their home institution after their name.
  • Mentor line in italics. JPL Students should add "Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology" after mentor's name.
  • If you have more than one mentor and/or a co-mentor, list the primary faculty/JPL mentor first, followed by secondary mentor and then co-mentors. Also, be sure "Mentor: " becomes "Mentors: ".
  • Do not use Dr. or Prof. on mentor line.
  • Caltech students, doing an off-campus SURF, should also add their Caltech Associate Mentor.
  • Only one space after a period or colon.

Examples can be found in the most recent abstract book.

Submitting Your Abstract
If you have special symbols or formatting as part of your abstract, it must be formatted for a PC in Microsoft Word. We do not have the software capability to translate other programs. (This is especially important if you include equations or a graphic - it must be reformatted to Word.) For the two or three of you who need to insert a chemistry graphic - it needs to be embedded in the Word document.

We need two versions of your abstract, one submitted as a PDF document and one as a Word document. You will submit these to your SFP Online account.