Lay summaries

These examples give guidance about the sort of language to use and the level of simplicity we’d like you to aim for when summarising your work for lay summaries.

Description of your study

Your lay summary or a simplified version will be published on our website.

In the description of your study please include:

  • Brief background/context
  • Aim of study
  • How you will go about the research
  • The information the research will provide.

Study A

How your scientific text might look

Previous work has shown that pulmonary arterial vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) exhibit cytoskeletal variation. We hypothesise that these translate into VSMC phenotypic differences in contractile properties.

How it might be simplified

We have seen that muscle cells from lung artery walls differ from each other in their ‘cytoskeleton’ – their structural scaffolding. We believe that these cells have distinct and important individual functions and behaviour.

Study B

How your scientific text might look

Blood macrophages play a crucial role in atherosclerosis due to scavenging oxidised LDL. CD36 receptors bind and internalise OxLDL. We will use whole genome microarrays to evaluate the transcriptional profile of macrophages after stimulation of CD36 with OxLDL.

How it might be simplified

White blood cells known as macrophages are important in the process of fatty build-up in the artery wall, called atherosclerosis. A specialized protein receptor, CD36, on the macrophage surface sticks to ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol and brings the fatty deposit into the cell. Using ‘gene chip’ technology, we will study the changes that occur inside macrophages when CD36 recognises and interacts with cholesterol.

Study C

How your scientific text might look

In patients with non-obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy whose symptoms are refractory to standard drug therapy, there are no therapeutic options. We will randomise 50 patients with medically refractory non-obstructive HCM to drug X or placebo for six months. The primary end-point of the study will be peak oxygen consumption.

How it might be simplified

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a relatively common inherited heart muscle disease. Many patients experience symptoms of breathlessness, fatigue and chest pain. These symptoms are not always controlled with current therapies. We will test whether drug X improves the ability to exercise in patients with HCM, compared to placebo.