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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Social Media for Researchers

Feinberg's Communications Office works closely with faculty, staff, and students to bring ideas to the public via social media. Official Feinberg pages are maintained for a variety of different social media channels, including Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Scientists and academics are beginning to develop and maintain individual public social media profiles outside official University profiles as a means to educate the public about science, build a network of like-minded scholars and stay connected. The medical school encourages faculty, staff and students to engage in social media, and has created a set of guiding principles to raise awareness of current best practices and help members of the Feinberg community participate within social media channels.

Yet, despite the popularity of social media with American internet users (recently measured by the Pew Research Center as nearly 70 percent), the majority of university faculty and lab managers have been slow to adopt social media, as noted by Scientific American. 

Researchers in particular can benefit from social media:

  • Conveniently receive breaking news on higher education and research funding. Numerous funding agencies such as NSFNIHforfunding and HHMINews use Twitter to share news and funding opportunities and also look for updates about their funded work. Additionally, the Chronicle of Higher Education posts regularly about policies and news affecting higher education. 
  • Connect with researchers in your field or in your geographic area to share ideas and relevant information. Whether it's connecting on Twitter about an upcoming conference, sharing data or using LinkedIn to network with current and former colleagues and potential students or job seekers, social media gives you the power to tap into scientific minds around the globe for advice/help/knowledge/collaboration.
  • Share ideas and progress with the general public. Blogs, microblogs, podcasts and more can help translate knowledge without the gatekeeper of traditional media. Whether you share findings via a five-paragraph blog post or a 140-character tweet, your research has the potential to reach audiences in the U.S. and abroad. 
  • Engage with journalists and writers covering your area of research. As newsrooms have shrunk during the last decade, less funding exists for travel to campuses and conferences. However, most journalists now maintain social profiles and are willing to engage with sources online. 
  • Converse with the next generation of scientists. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, millenials, more than any other age group, use the internet primarily for connecting with others. They’re the only generation that thinks technology makes people closer together rather than isolated, and 86 percent of millenials who attend or have attended college identify themselves as social network users. 

Official Feinberg Social Media

list of primary social media vehicles and official Feinberg channels is available on the Office of Communications website. 

For Researchers

Additionally, Feinberg researchers may be interested in the following networks: 

LinkedIn logo
LinkedIn Feinberg Research Office Group
 (closed group)

Northwestern University Yammer
 (closed group) logo


Suggest another site or group: