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Office of Communications & Public Liaison

How NIH Brings Health and Science to the Public

NIH communicates science and health to patients, families, scientists, industry, teachers and students, health professionals, and the press. As a public agency, NIH is committed to ensuring that accurate information reaches the diverse American public.

Where can I find NIH resources on science and health?

Does NIH provide health advice for patients with specific diseases?

No, the NIH web site does not offer personalized medical advice to individuals about their condition or treatment and urges online visitors to work with medical care providers for answers to personal health questions. Visit the FDA web site External Web Site Policy for answers to questions about specific foods, prescriptions, or over-the-counter medicines.

I am a student. Can I do research at NIH?

Yes, NIH sponsors summer internships for high school and college students, and various other programs for graduate and medical students.

How does NIH interact with students and teachers?

The free NIH Curriculum Supplement Series is a set of K-12 interactive teaching units that combine cutting-edge NIH research discoveries with state-of-the-art instructional materials. These 2-week lesson plans on science and health are aligned with state and national science education standards and incorporate real scientific data.

Can I share my ideas with NIH?

Yes! NIH urges the public to get involved. You can contribute to the nation's medical research agenda by joining public liaison opportunities all around the country. Subscribe to the NIH Public Bulletin to find out about events in your community, health resources for the public, and newly released NIH publications.

How does NIH interact with the press?

NIH works directly with the press every day, answering questions about health, the latest scientific findings, and science policy issues. Some reporters work regularly with science and/or health information and are constantly looking for new stories with health implications. Other reporters do not have a science background, and NIH works hard to give them accurate and understandable explanations of complex science and health information.

What about scientists—should they talk to the press?

Yes, it is important for medical scientists to convey to the public the meaning and implications of taxpayer-funded research. NIH works regularly with a community of scientists who are extremely engaged in this process and who want to share their knowledge of science and health with the public. While some researchers are better at talking directly with the press or with the public, others help in different ways, by developing health resources, participating in meetings, or in reviewing materials for accuracy.

How can reporters learn more about science and medicine at NIH?

With the public's increasing appetite for health news and information, it is more important than ever that journalists covering health and medical science have the skills to critically evaluate and translate research reports into meaningful messages for the public.

  • Keep track of developments in science, personnel, and policy at NIH by subscribing to the online version of the NIH Record.

How can I find NIH-sponsored educational programs across the U.S?

NIH's Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program, which brings together researchers, educators, community groups, and other interested organizations in partnerships to create K-12 educational materials.

This page last reviewed on July 22, 2014

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