The lay summary of a research proposal is often needed to secure grants and get wide public support and engagement, especially in health research.
I understand that the more a scientist understands her research, the more her ability to explain it to the public and to write an excellent lay summary. It should be easily readable, and should use everyday words instead of complex terms and scientific jargon.
Apart from structuring the whole summary, the word choice could be challenging, especially for non-native speakers who don't directly work or have sufficient contact with the public.
ask for help from relevant patient and public engagement (PPI) groups or native colleagues: they can even help revising the whole document, but I think scientists should improve their own public writing skills in the first place
look for synonyms in dictionaries: this could help, but general dictionaries don't tell which synonyms are understandable by the average people
read related articles in websites that provide health information to the public: this is potentially very useful for familiarisation with non-jargon language, but may be time-consuming.
Other than asking for help from others, what are (other) effective ways of finding out whether the words and phrases I use in a lay summary are appropriate to the public audience, and if not (which is more important), finding better alternatives?
Is there something like a "dictionary" to translate common or domain-specific jargon words/phrase to simple English (similar to 'academic word lists')?