NIHR Communications

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Welcome to the NIHR Comms site

This site aims to provide a one-stop-shop for communications staff across the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to find resources such as information and templates to support NIHR's visual identity,  social media guidelines, as well as writing resources to help with our day-today communications.

The NIHR sitekit guide offers help and support for those who need to create or add content to the NIHR website using the SiteKit CMS.

The site is a work in progress, with resources added as they become available. 

You'll find a key at the top of each page (see below) as a guide to indicate whether the  page content is relevant to your area of comms. 


Our Communications Strategy

The NIHR is the largest Government funder of health research in the UK and the aim of our Communications Strategy through to 2022 is to:

  • build upon the significant progress already made during the NIHR’s first decade
  • introduce an approach to communications that will deliver a ‘step change’ in levels of awareness for the NIHR
  • demonstrate to a wider set of audiences the positive impact that NIHR delivers.

It is the communications staff from across the NIHR who are delivering on our strategy's ambitions, ensuring notable research stories and campaigns from the NIHR engage the public, health and care professionals and other evidence users.  

Delivering the strategy through NIHR communications

  • Communications Programme Board lead our strategy, chaired by Frances Beves, NIHR Director of Communications, supported by seven NIHR-wide teams/sub-groups to deliver key aspects of the programme, namely: Brand Strategy; Campaigns; Content; Digital (Social Media/Web); Events; Internal Communications and Regional Engagement (incorporating the Regional Comms Leads programme); Press Office.
  • Ten Regional Comms Leads inform our activities, have their own forum, are represented on most NIHR Comms teams and provide invaluable feedback on, and input to, the Communications Programme. Each part of the NIHR also has a communications lead, from which our Regional Comms Leads are drawn.  
  • NIHR corporate communications team report to Frances Beves, with leads for Digital, Press Office and Internal Communications and Regional Engagement.
  • Coordinating Centres (CCs) contribute to the delivery of the Communications Programme through their communications teams, promoting the work of the NIHR they lead on as well as NIHR-wide campaigns and other projects.
  • Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) staff in the Media and Campaigns team and Science, Research and Evidence Directorate advise on national priorities and, through relevant CCs, provide quotes for news releases and can arrange ministerial visits to NIHR sites.

This virtual communications network:

  • meets on an annual basis at an NIHR Communicators' Day (see plans for 2019 and materials from 2018)
  • connects through this site and the NIHR Comms Directory, used for cascades from the NIHR (please contact with your name and part of the NIHR you lead comms for if you are not yet in the directory)
  • enables CCs to keep DHSC in sync with notable news and research developments from the respective parts of the NIHR they manage, via an advance notification process for press officers in which news releases and other media activity is flagged
  • ensures all parts of the NIHR have access to advice on applying the NIHR identity, naming or otherwise acknowledging the NIHR.