If you are a researcher and don’t have a compelling answer to this question, you risk more than just boring your listener. You risk losing the attention of politicians, local leaders, potential donors and reporters. You could also lose public support for science funding if you can’t explain why your research is important.
How, you ask, can you improve your descriptive powers? Join our elevator pitch challenge, described here by our own Kevin McCormack and some cooperative CIRM staff members:
On March 7-9 many of our grantees will be in San Francisco for our grantee meeting. At that event, we’ll have a camera set up to shoot our grantees’ 30 second description of their stem cell agency-funded research. We’ll post those to our website and YouTube channel. The winner—as selected by our crack communications team—will earn fame, the admiration of their colleagues, and a small prize. (Only CIRM grantees are eligible to win.)
There’s more about this challenge on our website, including information for people who want to participate but who won’t be attending the meeting.
We’d love to hear from members of the public—the people who fund most research in the United States through either federal funding like the NIH or through CIRM in California—about which research descriptions they like best. We’ll be posting to this blog when the entries are up. Feel free to comment here or on the YouTube videos.