Attention Researchers: Three Reasons to Submit Your Research to 2016 Prize in Public Interest Communications

I won’t beat around the bush here. There’s $10,000 at stake.

That’s the grand prize for The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications annual prize in public interest communications research. This week, researchers are invited to begin submitting their peer-reviewed work.

The prize is in its third year celebrating leading research that informs the growing discipline and practice of public interest communications. Meaning, research that builds movements, contributes to the betterment of society at large and moves the needle.

Last year, we learned from winner Sara N Bleich, PhD, how communicating easy-to-understand caloric information on sugary sodas may help consumers make healthier decisions. And in 2014, Jina Yoo shared ways in which our emotions conveyed in communications can have varying impact on our decision-making process, especially when it comes to our health.

Learning from this kind of research is what makes public interest communicators in the frank community do our jobs better. But, what’s in it for you, the researcher? Here are three reasons why you should consider submitting your peer-reviewed research to the 2016 Prize in Public Interest Communications.

  1. Did I mention the $10,000 prize? The grand prize winner will walk away with $10,000, and two other runners-up will win $1,500 each.
  1. Present your research to people who will actually use it. The frank gathering, where prize finalists will present their work, is the foremost conference for social change communicators. Here, experts and key decision-makers around the country gather to network with the frank community and glean inspiration for real programmatic changes within their organizations. If there is one community who can use your research to advance change, it’s this one.

To set you up for success, frank conference organizers provide a free workshop on communicating research to prize winners. This workshop will include a one-on-one session with a pro to prepare for individual frank talks.

  1. Get media attention. Landing a $10,000 prize for your research will generate fresh attention to your research that can bring media knocking. Prior to her win, Sara Bleich earned stellar NPR coverage for her research, and has since been effective at resurfacing the research, tying it into relevant current events and being a resource for news reporters. 2015 runner-up Brendan Nyhan also leveraged the ongoing focus on his research to land media attention in ThinkProgress and Columbia Journalism Review, illustrating his expertise in the field.

Get the full submission guidelines here. We’d love to hear which public interest research has piqued your interest lately. Share in the comments below.

Posted: July 16, 2015