Nature: What’s the point of the PhD thesis?

Nature: What’s the point of the PhD thesis?

Doctoral courses are slowly being modernized. Now the thesis and viva need to catch up.

What is the best way for a PhD student to summarise their work from the past three, four, five (hopefully not more!) years? Given how much the PhD has changed over the last few decades (from a form of apprenticeship to something encompassing career training, work placements, sometimes even grant writing, and much more), is the PhD thesis an appropriate way to summarise it all?

Theses across the world are different, and in What’s the point of the PhD (published in Nature on July 6 2016), I explored some of these different theses, and discussed what might be the best option.