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Coordinating with NIH Communications Offices to Help Bring Your NIH-Supported Research to the Public
How can we help you?
- Provide contact information for NIH PIOs to quickly facilitate communication and collaboration
- Coordinate news releases and media relations activities when helpful and appropriate
- Arrange interviews with NIH experts as secondary sources for reporters
- Offer background and other information about a grant
- Provide notification when we learn about papers by investigators at your institution
- Put you in contact with an NIH expert for a quote about your researcher’s work
- Acknowledge your institution in NIH releases and resources
- Enhance your news distribution by reaching different audiences
- Offer disease experts in areas that are new or unfamiliar
- Include links to your material on appropriate NIH web sites
- Highlight your researchers’ advances on our web site, in Congressional material and other publications
- Help identify researchers at your institutions who are doing exciting and innovative work
- Help make your research understood by many audiences
How can you help us?
- Let us know when you’re writing about NIH-funded research
- Include a quote from an NIH official, funding acknowledgement, and an active link to www.nih.gov in your news releases
- Send reporters to us for additional comments on your researcher’s work
- Help us explain to your readers and the public the link between taxpayer dollars and research advances at your institution
Planning news releases
Planning news releases
We may both be planning to issue news releases on the same work. For this reason, it's very important that we coordinate our activities and distribution plans so that we maximize our efforts. If more than one NIH institute or center funded the work, we will determine who at NIH should take the lead on our activities and be your main contact.
When you learn that an NIH-funded scientist at your institution has a paper accepted for publication, please let us know. We may also want to issue a news release to further promote the work. If the paper will soon be published, we'd still like to hear from you. We may have other opportunities to help promote the work and your news release.
Options can include:
- An informal note to reporters who you may not reach with your release, posting a brief summary on the NIH institute's web site, or highlighting your release or the work in the institute's publications
- A short "media availability" announcement informing reporters about the latest work and that an NIH expert is available for further comment
- Issuing a joint release. If you do not plan to issue a separate release, you might consider tailoring ours for your local reporters or press contacts. Our releases undergo extensive review both for scientific accuracy and editing, so they may serve as excellent background for preparing your own materials
Regardless of the strategy, NIH communications staff will work closely with you to determine how best we can help promote the research. We follow the same embargo policies that you do and won't do anything to jeopardize paper publication.
We also do not want slow you down. If we know we will not be able to meet your deadlines, we will let you know immediately so that you can proceed.
Including quotes from a director or other expert
If you are preparing a press release about NIH-funded research, consider including a quote from an expert at the NIH institute funding the work. These comments offer outside perspective on the significance of the finding and the value of supporting such research. If you'd like a quote, please contact us.
Including funding acknowledgments
We have an obligation to tell the public how their tax dollars are being used. For this reason, it is important to acknowledge NIH funding whenever possible.
How to acknowledge federal funding
Each publication, press release, or other document about research supported by an NIH award must include an acknowledgment of NIH award support: “Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01GM085232.”
We encourage mention of NIH early in the text of the release (grant number, etc., can be in the footer).
Prior to issuing a press release concerning the outcome of this research, please notify us.
NIH communications offices may be able to highlight your release on NIH websites.
We will notify you when
- We learn about a paper by a researcher at your institution
- Large grants are about to get funded and we can offer a heads-up, budget and background information, and/or a quote. We will also work closely with our grants management staff to keep you up-to-date on the official award date
- We publish a feature article or podcast based on your release and/or about a researcher at your institution
News release distribution
All NIH news releases are posted to our News & Events page and sent to a self-subscribing listserv including an extensive list of reporters, advocacy groups, scientific organizations, NIH constituents, and members of the public. (Click to subscribe). In addition, individual NIH institutes and centers post their releases on their respective news sites and conduct media outreach and distribution unique to them. Please contact the most relevant institutes and centers to your institution for more information and to collaborate. Please contact us to locate institute and center PIOs.
NIH's main source for distributing news releases under embargo is EurekAlert!. NIH's EurekAlert! Web site features NIH news releases, as well as NIH-funded news releases. If posting to EurekAlert!, be sure to click NIH as a funding source and it will appear on our EurekAlert! web site.
Other news release questions?
If you have general news release questions or suggestions, please contact Craig Fritz at 301-402-4507 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Craig works with science writers and PIOs on press releases across NIH's 27 institutes and centers.
This page last reviewed on April 4, 2016