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PhD summary and photo

In connection with your PhD defence, you have to send us a brief description of your project by e-mail no later than 14 days after submitting your dissertation, whereupon we will announce your defence here on the GSNS website. We will also forward the description of your project to selected media, including newspapers.

We encourage you to think carefully about the description – see hints below. Experience shows that good, informative descriptions increase the likelihood of having the defence published in the media, and the media may even contact you with a view to writing a more in-depth story.

How to make a PhD summary and photo

No later than 14 days after submitting your dissertation, you have to:

  1. Decide on a title (which is different from the title of your PhD project) and a brief description of your PhD project (no longer than the example shown in the next section), as well as the other points shown in the example. Please use the template for project description in both Danish and English located in the menu to the right. 

  2. If you can provide a relevant illustration (such as a photo, a drawing or a figure) from your research or your project, including captions and legends, you are more than welcome to send that as well. This increases your chances of being mentioned in the media.

  3. The description of your PhD project must be submitted in both Danish and English.

    English-Danish translation service:
    You can send the English version of your project description to translator Erling Grønlund (e-mail: erling@tradumail.dk) who will translate it into Danish and return it to you. If you wish to use this service, the project description must be sent to Erling Grønlund no later than the same day as you submit your PhD thesis to the GSNS. Please write ‘SUMMARY TRANSLATION’ in the Subject field in your e-mail to Erling. The project description will be translated within 2 weeks.

  4. Find a photo of yourself for use in the project announcement. The photo does not have to be a traditional passport photo – a more casual or descriptive photo would be better. A good example would be a photo showing you at work, for example bent over your books, doing fieldwork, teaching or something similar, or a photo of you in your spare time. Note: The photo should be in JPG format, at least 10 cm wide, with a resolution of at least 150 DPI (pixel/inch). Please send the photo separately as an attached JPG file and not inserted in the Word document or similar. 

  5. Submit the Danish and English version of your project description (Word, RTF or TXT format) along with the photo of yourself to your PhD partner at the GSNS.

    Please indicate in the e-mail whether you would like us to send the description to selected local media, for example a paper in the town where you went to school. Normally, we forward the description to Danish newspapers such as Politiken, Jyllands-Posten, Århus Stiftstidende, Ingeniøren and Aktuel Naturvidenskab, and websites including science.au.dk and your department’s website.
    If you would like us to forward it to local media, please provide the relevant e-mail address(es). It is a good idea to also send us a separate version or an additional comment in which you mention your association with the local area in question (e.g. “… [your name] is a student from xx Upper Secondary School …”).

Tips and tricks on how to write a PhD summary

  • Create a heading that grabs the attention of the readers and at the same time gives an idea about your project and defence.
  • You cannot fit it all into ten lines, so choose what is most important and simplify it.
  • Think of your target group as the average newspaper reader, not someone from the same subject area or department.
  • Avoid using specialist terms and technical jargon, both in the heading and everywhere else.
    You can use technical terms, but only if they are sufficiently common to appear in the science sections of newspapers.
  • If possible, it is a good idea to give examples of how your research results have been used in practice.
  • Ask your friends, family or partner – who do not work in your field – for feedback about your heading and the text.

Example of a summary

The following is an (fictitious) example of how a summary can be structured:

Analysis of proteins in connective tissue – gaining an understanding of rheumatoid diseases

PhD defence, Sunday 24 December 2024. [your name].

During his/her studies, [your name] researched the proteins in human connective tissue. Connective tissue is special in that its cells form a strong network of highly water-binding carbohydrates and proteins located outside the cells. [Name] studied how one of the proteins, the so-called inter-a-inhibitor, stabilises the carbohydrates and how the protein is broken down in connection with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

The new research findings contribute to the understanding of how the connective tissue is formed and the mechanisms the body uses to counteract the breakdown of the connective tissue seen in rheumatic diseases.

The PhD degree was completed at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Faculty of Natural Sceinces, Aarhus University.

This summary was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Sunday 24 December 2024 at 24.00
Place: Building 1532, room 116, Lecture Theatre G1, Department of Mathematics, Ny Munkegade 120, Aarhus University, 800 Aarhus C.
Title of dissertation: Inter-alpha-inhibitor a proteoglycan in the extracellular matrix
Contact information: [your name], e-mail: [your e-mail address], tel.: +45 [your telephone number – your mobile number, if applicable]
Members of the assessment committee:
[Professor xxxx xxxx, Department of xxxxx, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Professor xxxxx xxxxx, Institute of xxxxxx, University of Oslo, Norway
Professor xxxxx xxxxx (chair), Department of xxxxxx, Aarhus University]
Main supervisor:
[Professor xxxx, iNANO, Aarhus University]
[Professor xxxx, iNANO, Aarhus University]
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Natural Sciences/GSNS, Katrinebjergvej 89F, building 5132, 8200 Aarhus N.

Additional illustration and corresponding text (optional):

Photo: Peter Gabriel

Image of the development of rheumatoid arthritis
The dark round holes are where the inflammation is in the process of breaking down the connective tissue cells, thereby developing rheumatoid arthritis.
In his/her PhD project, [your name] developed a new technique that makes it possible to monitor and photograph the breakdown of connective tissue protein. This provided the researchers with a new tool to gain insight into the development of rheumatoid diseases.

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