The purpose of the abstract is to describe succinctly every major aspect of the proposed
project except the budget.
The abstract is an important part of your application. It is used in the grant referral process, along with a few
other parts of the application, to determine what study section is appropriate to review the application and to what
institute at NHI it is most relevant. Members of the Study Section who are not primary reviewers may rely heavily on
the abstract to understand your proposal.
The recommended length of the abstract will vary among different funding agencies,
but the NIH abstract is a half-page and confined to the designated space provided in the application.
The abstract should include:
- a brief background of the project
- specific aims or hypotheses
- the unique features of the project
- the methodology (action steps) to be used
- expected results
- evaluation methods
- description of how your results will effect other research areas
- the significance of the proposed research
- Be complete, but brief.
- Use all the space allotted.
- View the abstract as your one-page advertisement.
- Write the abstract last so that it reflects the entire proposal. Spend time reviewing it.
- Remember that the abstract will have a longer shelf life than the rest of the proposal and may be used for purposes other than the review, such as to provide a brief description of the grant in annual reports, presentations, or in response to requests from top management at NIH.