The BRC communications team aims to stimulate patient and public interest in research at UCLH/UCL and beyond, in particular reaching people not normally engaged in research.
The team aims to promote our researchers’ work to the outside world and within UCLH and UCL. BRC-supported researchers are reminded they are contractually obliged to:
The BRC requires investigators with BRC support to let us know with plenty of notice that their research will be published. This information is treated in the strictest confidence but allows the communications team to prepare and maximise coverage as soon as any press embargoes are lifted.
This includes planned work by third parties, such as research funders and journals. As a condition of funding, the BRC is required to notify the NIHR of all media activity involving our researchers. This is so that the NIHR and Department of Health and Social Care is aware of and can plan for media activity around the research – especially where the research may be sensitive, high-profile or both.
The NIHR monitors our BRC on this requirements, and has been clear that failing to notify them of media work can result in the termination of funding, which in turn puts at risk research across UCLH and UCL which is vital for patients and the public.
Notifying the NIHR of planned work also means the NIHR can support our efforts to gain positive coverage for the research.
If a press release is planned, please let us know at the earliest opportunity, even if you are only able to share a draft. The NIHR ask for 28 days’ notice of planned media work.
For media activity that researchers are involved in at short notice, we ask that researchers let us know as soon as they agree to such media work, so that we can inform the NIHR.
The NIHR expects the BRC to be acknowledged in press releases and statements relating to the BRC-supported research.
The NIHR outline on their website the ways in which they expect to be acknowledged in releases.
If investigators wish to seek media coverage while a study involving patients is ongoing, they should make sure they have research ethics approval to do this.
The UCLH/UCL Joint Research Office has put together guidance for researchers on media activity during research involving patients.