When the thesis is nearing completion, doctoral students should write a popularised summary, preferably in Swedish, to be included in the thesis. The summary should also be published on the Internet in conjunction with the online announcement of the date of the public defence. It then becomes available to interested parties and can be found using search engines.
A summary of this kind can help you as a researcher in your contacts with, for example, funding bodies (which increasingly ask for popularised summaries), partners and future workplaces, not forgetting friends and family! It can also make it easier for the University’s information officers to find interesting topics for press releases, which are then written in consultation with the doctoral student. This also increases the chances of a research journalist taking an interest in your work.
When you write the summary, the most important thing is to write in a way that is simple and comprehensible. People with no knowledge of the subject should be able to understand what your research is about. Explain your conclusions and, if possible, what use the research could have. The summary should be between 1 500 and 4 000 characters.
Good questions to answer are:
- What conclusions have you reached?
- In what way could the results be used?
- What impact do your findings have on people and society?
- Why is your work important?
- What did you do?
It is best to start with the most important and exciting information, which is often the results and the consequences. You can talk about the background, method and conditions after that.
More theoretical basic research may of course lack a direct link to society and people’s daily lives. However, it is still relevant to explain it in an educational manner and place it in a wider context.