Telling Your Research Stories
IRIS provides rich and informative reports for member universities to use for a variety of outreach goals, including government relations, research communications, and raising awareness of the impact of research.
- University of Utah: “U research boosts the state and national economy, small business” (Media coverage)
- University of Kansas: “KU research employs more than 4,100 on campus, buys $53.9M in goods and services from Kansas companies” (Media coverage)
- Northwestern University: “Northwestern research provides economic boost of nearly $800 million”
- Boston University: “BU Research Has Powerful Economic Impact”
- University of Michigan: “16,000+ U-M employees supported by research grants, report shows” (Media coverage)
IRIS provides press release templates with all reports in order to help member universities with this type of public relations.
Use Case: Carlin’s Creations and the University of Michigan
In an effort to demonstrate the statewide impact of its research enterprise, the University of Michigan highlighted research activity in all parts of the state. Using IRIS data, U-M identified a small company in West Michigan, Carlin’s Creations, that experienced significant growth due to building and distributing treadmills for children with developmental disabilities — a product that was originally developed as part of a federal grant to the U-M Kinesiology Department.
The story was picked by several media outlets and featured in a university PSA that ran during the football team’s nationally televised New Year’s Day bowl game.
Example of Media Coverage
Several IRIS reports are focused on demonstrating the impacts of university-based research to elected officials and their staff. Reports that show the connections to people and business throughout a state can show the impacts of a university’s research enterprise far beyond the walls of the university.
“IRIS fact sheets have been invaluable for educating newly elected lawmakers and their staff about the crucial role university research plays in the state. We’ve been using them for years to help new legislators and their staff understand the economic impacts of sponsored research at Texas A&M.”
– Michael J. Hardy, associate vice president for government relations, Texas A&M University
Use Case: Appealing to a Specific Lawmaker
Data from a variety of IRIS reports, including the Impact Finder tool that allows for geographical searches for research vendors, can be combined to create handouts targeted at specific areas of your home state or for individual legislators. In the example below, the University of Michigan highlighted the research impacts in terms of spending and specific vendors in the district of a legislative leader.