Research Projects / Funding of Projects / Guidelines For Executive Summaries

Guidelines for compiling an executive summary

to accompany reports

For each project a comprehensive progress report, together with a well-motivated application for continuation must be submitted by 31 July of each year.

A final report must be submitted within four months after completion of the project. Each such report is required to be in the format of a scientific paper.

These reports must be accompanied by an Executive Summary to be used in the annual research report of the PRF.

The following guidelines are provided in the drafting of an Executive Summary:

  1. The Executive Summary, of maximum length four pages, must precede the report proper and must be paginated independently. (The report proper should start again with the title, and names of the authors and address, preferably followed by an Index, particularly if the report is a long one.)
  2. Start the Executive Summary with a brief statement of the objectives of the project, followed by a statement of the methods used (if warranted).
  3. In the main part of the Executive Summary, summarise the results obtained (including negative results, as appropriate). You may, if necessary, refer the reader to the most important tables and/or figures summarising the research results, but use this practice sparingly in the report, as the Executive Summary may be at hand entirely on its own.
  4. Evaluate the importance of the results in terms of their value to other researchers or to the relevant industry, and in the planning of future work. Also indicate to what extent economically favourable results have been produced.
  5. Make recommendations on the use of the results, as appropriate, and how one should proceed to put them to practical use.
  6. If necessary, indicate any setbacks in the research programme (e.g. experimental animal(s) died unexpectedly, hail destroyed plants).
  7. Make a brief projection of any future research activities which may be conducted as a follow up on the completed project.
  8. Finally, indicate how you intend to publicise the results of the project, e.g. by publishing in the form of a research paper, by reading at a technical congress, by writing a semi-popular article for a journal, or by presenting a talk at a farmers' day.