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NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP): Branding and Website Launch

The Background

NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP)

NIH’s biomedical research is divided in two parts: Extramural programs fund external institutions while Intramural programs conduct research within the many Institutes and Centers on NIH campuses. The Intramural Research Program (IRP) receives around 10% of the overall NIH budget, which in 2010 was approximately US $3.2 billion

The Challenge

As a result of task force recommendations, which called for the IRP to refresh its mission and identity in the service of improving public health, we were retained to brand the program, and to create, launch, and support a unifying online presence for the intramural programs housed in 23 NIH Institutes and Centers.

The Solution

In Q2 of 2010, our team embarked on a rebranding exercise that included the design and development of a content-rich, visually stunning, and user-friendly Web 2.0 approach that:

  • Conveys the commitment to make a difference in improving human health
  • Demonstrates its creativity and innovative approaches for disease intervention
  • Highlights the scientific accomplishments of intramural scientists and clinicians
  • Provides a coherent and crucial resource for the many IRP scientific research communities
  • Provides digital access to a database of all intramural tenured and tenure-track investigators
  • Showcases all open and available IRP-related career opportunities
  • Provides patients and healthcare professionals an entry point to the entire NIH Web universe
  • Engages a broader, interconnected audience through established Social Media channels  (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn)

The Outcome

On September 19, 2011, the new NIH Intramural Research Program Web site was launched by Michael Gottesman, Deputy Director for intramural research at NIH. Describing the IRP has now having “a bold, new online presence” he lauded the unification, synergy, and design of the site in an email to the many thousands of researchers, clinicians, and staff members of the NIH. Within 24 hrs of launch the site had:

  • 32,830 total page views
  • 6,901 unique visitors
  • 1,220 repeat visitors

Over 6 months later and the site is still generating over 1,300 visits per day, with embedded social media tools like Facebook, and Twitter contributing to the newly sparked interest and discussion on all things intramural.