Public summary of dissertation

Communicating the results of research to audiences outside the academic world is becoming ever more important, for public support and for funding. That’s why the university asks all its PhD candidates to write a public summary of their theses.

A public summary, written in laymen’s vocabulary, will make it more accessible not only to the audience at large, but also to academics in other fields, to journalists and to industry or entrepreneurs. And of course also to family and relatives.

PhD-students are assisted by the TU/e science information officers of CEC in realizing a public summary that is accessible to a layman’s audience. Candidates are requested to prepare a draft with a maximum of 600 words, six weeks prior to the defense date. After that the candidate and the science information officer do the editing, in close consultation.

CEC puts the final summary in the calendar of upcoming PhD defenses on the website, and takes care of publicity. Especially for journalists it is important that summaries are available some weeks before the defense date, so they can timely assess whether it is a subject they want to cover.

Guidelines, examples and the template for writing the public summary can be found in the right side-bar.

You can send in your draft public summary via

More information about the finalizing steps of PhD courses. and the place of the public summary in it, can be found in the Information brochure on the doctorate regulations.

If you have any questions, please contact one of the science information officers: Ivo Jongsma ( or Barry van der Meer (