Resources for researchers
Low-cost tools for outreach and collaboration
The Health Communication Core (HCC) produces low-cost outreach materials to meet the needs of researchers attending scientific conferences and other events that offer the opportunity to:
- Increase access to the technologies they offer
- Collaborate with other investigators
- Recruit participants to their studies
- Disseminate their research results
- Attract talented new research staff
Seasoned conference attendees are selective when presented with takeaway materials and ruthless about what they actually take home with them. If it doesn’t attract their attention, they’ll leave it on the display table. If it’s bulky, they’ll leave it in their hotel room. They are most likely to notice and hold on to materials that:
- Attract their attention
- Clearly target their specific needs
- Provide at-a-glance information
- Look professional and high quality
- Prompt follow-up action
HCC developed Understanding PReP (UP), an online decision aid for men having sex with men who may benefit from HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The UP tool and website needed a program card (see image above) to help recruit providers and patients to a study to test UP's effectiveness.
Here are some additional examples of oversized “conference cards” HCC developed to help researchers make the most of opportunities for visibility and connection at scientific events. Each card has a distinct audience and goal, and its content and visuals are strategically developed to engage people and prompt action.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer Program
The Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute needed to provide newly diagnosed patients with information and support to access expert care through Dana-Farber’s IBC program.
Audience: Potential and new patients
Goal: Affirm the information communicated in clinical meetings about the benefits of receiving care at DFCI and the resources available to address the most pressing barriers (housing, parking)
Center for Cancer Genome Discovery (CCGD)
CCGD develops new technologies for discovering genomic alterations and evaluating their clinical significance for cancer diagnosis and therapy.
Audiences: Basic, translational, and clinical investigators
Goal: Increase collaboration and access to technologies
Lurie Family Imaging Center (LFIC)
LFIC is a pre-clinical imaging facility that provides investigators with access to all major pre-clinical imaging and therapeutic modalities and new radiochemistry technologies. This conference card is a companion piece to the LFIC website developed by HCC.
Audiences: Pre-clinical and translational cancer researchers
Goal: Increase access to services and expertise
MoodNetwork is a PCORI-funded patient-powered network that aims to engage 50,000 people with depression and bipolar disorder. MoodNetwork’s study team at Massachusetts General Hospital partners with major national and international associations, alliances, and foundations, who disseminate the MoodNetwork card at their events.
Audience: People with depression or bipolar disorder, physicians, and researchers
Goal: Increase awareness of, and engagement in, MoodNetwork
Tobacco Research Network on Disparities (TReND)
TReND, a five-year NCI-funded research network, disseminated information and resources to support efforts to eliminate tobacco-related health disparities.
Audiences: Researchers, policymakers, and practitioners
Goal: Translate research into practice and policy