Research Ambassador Program
In a world of messages, YOU and your story are vital to improve public trust in the practice, integrity, outcomes and enterprise of biomedical research.
Become a Research Ambassador. Contact Jen Wroblewski, Public Engagement Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-957-3337.
Ken Gordon, NWABR's Executive Director, training one-on-one with a Research Ambassador
What is the Research Ambassador Program?
Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR) is launching a new Research Ambassador Program to accomplish the goal of leveraging the translational research community to dramatically expand our collective outreach to take the message about research and its importance to every household in the Northwest.
Research Ambassadors share their work with members of the public, either live or by video chat. Ambassadors engage others about their everyday work, the personal and professional reasons they work in the field and tell stories about the same.
Ambassadors will have as much or as little support from NWABR as they wish. We will offer periodic trainings, ongoing as-needed support for presentations and hands-on activities, video resources and ingredients for successful presentations. NWABR staff will also be available to accompany Ambassadors to their presentations for support.
The time commitment is really up to the individual Ambassador, but we expect a minimum of two engagements per calendar year.
Ambassadors exercise listening, humility and empathy to build both rich relationships and trust. To support our Ambassadors we will equip and collaborate with them to use best practices in public communication.
Why Public Outreach Through Research Ambassadors?
NWABR has a simple and at the same time expansive mission. What we know is we can build robust public support for biomedical research by enabling people who work in science with the training, tools, stories and forums where they can share their work. Medical scientists are among the most trustworthy community, so who better than to communicate about science (Pew, 2019)?
DId you know that opinion polls show that when someone knows a medical scientist and what they actually DO, they show a 36 percentage point increase towards high trust in medical science, compared to peers who did not know a scientist and their work? The influence of knowing someone who actually does science and talks about it is more than the influence of high scientific literacy alone (19% point increase over people with low scientific literacy) when measuring trust. This is substantial!
The bottom line? Medical scientists are the best, most trustworthy source of information in the field, but we have a way to go. The more the public soaks in forthcoming messages, encounters science, and meets people working in biomedical research, the more confidence will grow.
What You Can Do
One person can make a difference by telling why they do research or directly support research in their work, contributions and/or time. Just imagine the impact of the thousands of whys from medical research professionals in Washington State alone.
That's why we ask you to 1) become a Research Ambassador and 2) why we ask that you use #ThanksResearch in social media whenever you tout, critique, brag, publish or plead about biomedical research happenings.
WHO should be an Ambassador?
Ambassadors should be individuals who work along any point of the translational research pathway. We are seeking people in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research in all biomedical fields. You might be a project coordinator, a research tech, a clinical lab tech, a staff scientist, a principal investigator, an institutional review analyst, a data scientist, a registered nurse, a patient care coordinator, a clinical or research safety specialist, an attorney, a veterinary tech, a post-doc fellow or a biostatistician.
Thank you for considering a role as a Research Ambassador. We look forward to working with you and your peers.
Funk, Cary. “Mixed Messages about Public Trust in Science.” Issues in Science and Technology 34, no 1 (Fall 2017).
Trust and Mistrust in Americans’ Views of Scientific Experts. https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2019/08/02/trust-and-mistrust-in-ame... Accessed 9.6.19