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Summaries of the thesis

Before the public defence you must submit two summaries of your thesis to the Faculty.

According to § 17.1 of the Regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo, the following electronic summaries must be submitted by the PhD candidate in connection with the public defence:

  • A popular account of the thesis in Norwegian
  • An abstract of the thesis in English

The summaries should be written according to standardised length, font size and line spacing. Guidelines regarding content and disposition should be followed.

Send your summaries (docx) (pdf) to your executive officer with a copy to . If you would like to, you can send a photo of yourself that we will use on the webpage of the defence.

Norwegian summary

Please read the following information to find out how the Norwegian popular account should look like. An example of a summary is also found below.


Length: Maximum 2000 characters (with spaces)

Letter size: 11

Line spacing: 1,5

Font: Georgia

Popular account of the thesis – writing for the media

The Norwegian summary should be a popular scientific account that the Communications office can forward to national media such as Aftenposten newspaper and NRK television (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation). Have in mind that newspaper readers and internet users do not have your academic background and are not familiar with the scientic terminology you use. The summary should therefore not be characterised by scientific terminology, but should be a popular account of your research project.

Media interest in your doctoral work is dependent on your ability to popularise your research.  Please follow the guidelines below when writing your summary:

Start with conclusions and results

Journalists are taught to delete backwards (this is due among other things to space), and expect to get the most important information at the start of a text. For the press it is your results that are the most important.

To attract attention to your research you have to start where you would in a scientific presentation end: With conclusions and results. Write about the impact of your research, and any practical consequences.

Use everyday language

Academic language does not only consist of scientific terminology, it also has its own jargon. Use everyday language as much as possible when you write a popular account of your thesis in Norwegian.

An English slogan for research communication is: ”Better roughly right than precisely wrong”.  In other words, something that has been written more or less right may be understood more precisely than something that has been written accurately using difficult academic language.

Take up the challenge to master other writing genres than you are familiar with from research.

Let your grandmother quality control

A useful rule of thumb is to imagine telling your grandmother about your thesis.

You can also get friends or family who do not know your line of research to read through your summary.

Example of Norwegian summary.

English summary


Length: Maximum 2000 characters (with spaces)

Letter size: 11

Line spacing: 1,5

Font: Georgia

Abstract of thesis in English

The summary should include the following information:

  • Which area(s) of research does the thesis belong to
  • Which research questions / hypotheses does the thesis address
  • Which method(s) and data have been used
  • Which conclusions and findings are central to the research result(s)

Scientific, but not too complicated

The English abstract does not need to be as popular scientific as the Norwegian summary. Scientific terminology and jargon can be used to a greater extent, but remember that the readers do not know your field of research like you do.

The abstract can be used by the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association and as back cover of the thesis. Please note that the Graphic center has their own specifications for the summary on the back cover, please see the Graphic center's web pages for more details. It is not mandatory to have a summary on the back cover.

Example of English summary.

Thesis requirements

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Published Dec. 1, 2015 3:24 PM - Last modified Oct. 10, 2022 9:56 AM