I need to prepare a 2-page abstract of my dissertation as part of a funding application. What are the essential points that such an abstract should cover?

This opportunity (and my PhD) is in the social sciences, and I know the points regarding tailoring the abstract to the opportunity advertised. But still what is the sort of information that the recruiter would scan my abstract for? For instance, I have seen Profs run their finger down a 2 page list of publications in an application; only occasionally pausing at some journal names. What are the fingers of my evaluators going to pause at?

1 Answer 1


Any abstract should cover 4 elements: context, problem, solution, and validation, in this order. The main thing you want to highlight is the contributions of your dissertation. The context and problem descriptions are essential to try to make your contributions understandable, and to convince the reader that what you have done is important. Describing the validation is important so that you convince the reader that what you have done is correct/valid.

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