Effectively Communicating the Value of Nursing Research

Research America

Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHU SON) researchers are not only working on innovative research leading to effective interventions for youth and pregnant women in abusive relationships, they are also committed to strengthening their science communication skills. Students, faculty and staff participated in a science communications workshop on June 8, 2017 led by Research!America Vice President of Communications Suzanne Ffolkes and senior manager Anna Briseno.

During the workshop, attendees had the opportunity to share information about their current research and practice communication techniques, such as crafting an elevator pitch. “In theory, I know what everyone’s research focuses on but it was cool hearing them talk about it in a way that would engage a lay person or someone who would want to give them funding,” Shannon Seopaul, administrative program coordinator of the Office for Science and Innovation, JHU SON.  

The session enabled participants to describe the purpose of their research in such a way that would resonate with the target audience, said Bing Zhao, visiting scholar, JHU SON. 

“[Thinking about] why your audience or whoever you are speaking with be interested in your research and what impact it could have on them personally or someone they know or the society as a whole… that has been the most helpful to me,” added Yvonne Commodore-Mensah assistant professor, JHU SON.

The workshop also focused on strategies to incorporate patient stories into messaging and leverage social media to disseminate research to a broader audience.  “By coming to events like this…it really helps you to understand how to message your work, connect it to people’s priorities and better understand how to make that work more meaningful,” said Erin Van Dyke, research and evaluation associate at John Hopkins Hospital.

For more information about Research!America science communications workshops, contact sffolkes@researchamerica.org

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana