Research and Innovation Services


Research studentships abstracts

Find out what you need to include in your research studentship project abstract.

What should be included in the abstract?

For UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Research Councils to be able to classify the project, the summary must include:

  • The key objectives/aims of the research.  What questions does the project intend to answer?
  • The novel approaches, physical sciences/engineering/methodologies that will be carried out during the course of the project.

As the project details will be added to Gateway to Research (GtR) and Researchfish, you may also wish to include some potential applications or context describing the value of the research.
The description should be written for a lay audience and jargon or unexplained abbreviations should be avoided.

What shouldn't be included in the project details?

  • Lots of background or potential applications with no description of the aims or the novelty of approach/methodologies.
  • Unexplained subject-specific jargon/abbreviations that an educated lay person could not understand.
  • If the project summary does not clearly describe the key objectives and novel science of the project, the project summary will be returned to be updated.  If the relevance to the councils remit is unclear from the project description it may be tagged as “out of the council remit” and they could cease funding that studentship.

What happens to the student project details entered into Je-S?


  • Being able to classify student projects is important as it allows the Research Councils to understand their portfolio.

Gateway to Research (GtR)

  • Student project details are added to GtR to enable users to search and analyse information about publically funded research.
  • Via GtR users have easy access to information about current projects and the outcomes of past projects. 


  • The information Research Councils gather via ResearchFish enables them to demonstrate the impact and benefits of the research they fund.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where do I enter a student’s project details?

Universities are asked to enter details about students’ projects into the Je-S student portal. The 'Student Details' section of Je-S asks you to provide a 'Project Title' and a 'Summary'. There is a free-text box for each of these (character limits apply).

What if the Research Council can’t classify the project based on the information provided?

If it is not clear which research areas the project fits into, the Research Councils will record that not enough information was provided. They will contact universities to ask them to add more information to these records so that they can classify them. You should try to be as clear as possible when entering project details into Je-S to avoid being asked to amend them later. 

If the project can’t be classified because it is out of the Council's remit, they will record this. Research organisations are required by the training grant terms and conditions to ensure that Research Council-funded projects lie within their remit. Councils monitor the number of projects that are out of remit and may take further action if a university records numerous out-of-remit projects. 

What sort of information should be provided? 

Research Council staff reading the project details will be trying to determine which of their research areas the project fits into (it could be more than one). To help them do this, the project details provided should be as specific as possible and clearly describe: 

  • the research questions the project is trying to address/the objectives of the project
  • the approach that will be taken to answer these questions (what the student will actually be doing)
  • the novel engineering and/or physical sciences content of the research (the science that places it within the Research Council's remit). 

If you think you know which of the Council's research areas are relevant to the project, it will be helpful to include this. The project description should be written so it can be understood by an educated layperson and any acronyms should be defined. 

What sort of information shouldn't be provided?

Common reasons why a project description cannot be used include: 

  • Only the project title is given
  • The description is vague and it isn’t clear what the student will actually be doing
  • There is no description of the novel Research Council science content. A project using only established techniques to address new questions in an area not covered by the Research Council is likely to be out of their remit
  • The description gives lots of context/background but doesn’t describe the project's aims
  • The description says that the student is in a CDT and will choose their project next year – and this has never been updated. (It’s fine to enter this description in the student’s first year but it should be updated when the project is known). 
When do I need to enter student details?

Information should be entered within one month of the student starting their studies and updated as soon as any changes occur.

What if the student doesn’t have a project yet?

Research Councils are aware that many CDT students do not decide on a project until their second year. For first year CDT students who don’t yet have a project, please write this into the project details field in Je-S. You will not be prompted for more information until the student’s second year. 

When the student chooses their project, Je-S should be updated with the new project details (within one month of the student starting the project). If the details are not updated at the start of the second year, the Research Council will contact the university to ask for more information. 

Can I write “TBC” if I think the project might change? 

Only write this if the student is a first-year CDT student who will not be assigned a project immediately. Please write, "CDT 1st year – project to be confirmed."

For all other students, try to write a project description with the information you have. You can update the details at any time if the project changes or develops.