NIH Urges Scientists to Communicate Research Value in Applications

The nation is investing billions of dollars in research each year, and information about what is funded at NIH is made available to the public through its RePORT website.

Recognizing the importance of clearly communicating to the public what is being funded with tax dollars and why the research is important, NIH is getting the word out to applicants that they should state in plain language the value and potential impact of the research on public health. NIH is aware that it can be challenging for researchers to “strike the balance” between communicating the relevance of the research to reviewers as compared to the public, but is urging scientists to “use language that best expresses the importance of your research for the portions of your application that will reach a wider community.”

NIH is notifying reviewers that plain language is to be expected in parts of the application – namely the application title, abstracts, and statements of public health relevance. The technical details needed to evaluate the scientific merit of the application should be included in the research plan and other parts of the application.

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