The non-technical summary may be the most important section of your project initiation and your reports. This will be accessed by legislators who make decisions about funding allocations, as well as the general public, community leaders, government staff, and other scientists.
The non-technical summary is your opportunity to sum up the importance of your project in terms that non-scientists can understand. A good non-technical summary is composed of 1-2 succinct paragraphs that cover three main points:
1. What is the current issue or problem that the research addresses and why does it need to be researched? When answering this question consider a perspective that goes beyond the primary end-users of the science you are conducting. Why is this topic important to the larger community in terms of economics, community and environment as well as agriculture?
2. What basic methods and approaches will be used to collect and produce data/results and subsequently inform target audiences? This should be different from your objectives list. Do NOT copy and paste the same text here. This section should explain, in plain, non-technical language what you intend to do.
3. Through the methods mentioned above, what ultimate goals do you hope the project will achieve and what is the general impact expected to be if this goal is met? What societal benefits may be realized?
In answering the above questions, make sure to provide enough detail so that you are touching upon the main purpose of the project, the expected accomplishments, and anticipated benefits of the research.