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National Primate Research Centers' RFP for PR Services

November 11, 2015

Media Contacts

Lisa Newbern, 404-727-7709,

National Primate Research Centers

Request for Proposal for Public Relations Services

Proposal Deadline: Friday, December 18, 4 pm EST


The seven National Institutes of Health-designated National Primate Research Centers (NPRCs) collectively request proposals for Public Relations services to help the NPRCs achieve four specific goals (as noted below). The proposed contract period for services is for one year.

The selected firm will be asked to work in close collaboration with and in support of the NPRCs Public Relations Working Group (PR WG) and the NPRC Directors.

As a network of research, educational and nonprofit organizations that receive mainly government funding with some public and private support, the NPRCs are committed to the effective and efficient use of a limited PR budget.


The seven NPRCs are:

California National Primate Research Center

Oregon National Primate Research Center

Southwest National Primate Research Center*

Tulane National Primate Research Center*

Washington National Primate Research Center

Wisconsin National Primate Research Center

Yerkes National Primate Research Center*


Together, the NPRCs form a network of unique institutions that serve as a national scientific resource for research that advances human health through the use of nonhuman primates. The centers provide animals, expertise and specialized facilities and equipment to scientists conducting research with nonhuman primates. Approximately 1,000 research projects involving more than 2,000 investigators are conducted through the NPRCs each year with support from the National Institutes of Health, other government organizations, private foundations and industry. The NPRCs are an integral part of their host institutions and support a highly skilled faculty of core scientists and collaborators from around the world.

For additional information, please see:

NPRCs website:

The directors of the NPRCs communicate regularly through weekly conference calls and gather two times per year for face-to-face meetings: in the spring in Washington, D.C., and in the fall in conjunction with the annual Symposium on Nonhuman Primate Models for AIDS. In addition, the directors at the private institutions noted above gather at Capitol Hill on an as-needed basis to advocate for specific issues.


The NPRC PR WG, which has representation from each of the seven centers, has drafted a PR plan to help the NPRC directors achieve specific goals. The following information provides key components taken from the NPRC PR Plan:

PR Goals

  • Provide compelling scientific and public policy narrative for the importance of nonhuman primates (NHPs) in biomedical and behavioral research
  •  Improve awareness of NPRC resources among key audiences in an effort to increase use of NPRC resources by investigators
  • Increase awareness of the value of NPRC-based research with NHPs among funding agencies
  • Increase public awareness of the NPRCs and the value of NHPs in research


  • Determine NPRC brand, including look, messages and materials
  • Educate NIH, NIH-funded researchers and Foundations on the resources the NPRCs offer through information about NPRC research, successes with NHPs in research and other key messages
  • Educate the public and Congress on NPRC successes and the expert care we provide center animals through multiple communication channels (online, traditional media, direct contact)
  • Determine priority professional societies and strategic partners that can help us reach target audiences


  1. National Institutes of Health, including leadership; Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives; Office of Research Infrastructure Programs, individual institute leaders and program officers
  2. NIH-funded investigators, especially those who are early stage investigators and trainees
  3. NPRC employees
  4. Institutional leaders for NPRC host institutions
  5. Professional societies and other strategic partners
  6. Public-at-large
    1. Media
    2. Articles in NIH institute-specific newsletters, websites, other communication channels
    3. Information placed in professional society and strategic partner communications
    4. Foundations/funding sources
    5. Congress (education > advocacy) (Note: must approach carefully to respect lobbying restrictions for state institutions)
    6. Government agencies (including USDA, CDC and others)


The following is a description of services to be provided by the approved vendor. Please provide a description of your ability to provide the following support, with specific examples of prior experience. 


  • Evaluate and determine baseline understanding of NPRCs and NPRCs resources as well as NHPs in research among select key audiences via a baseline survey of NIH and NIH-funded investigators
  • Develop NPRC brand platform
  • Update the NPRC brand identity, including reviewing logo design, visuals and collateral materials and creating new pieces to support the updated brand
  • Assist with tailoring NPRC messaging

Online Presence and Outreach

  • Redesign website based on branding efforts, messaging and PR goals

Media Relations and Strategy

  • Develop national media list
  • Design tailored media training
  • Assist in creating media stories: Identify and prioritize translational research successes to highlight (see and develop these into disease-specific success stories
  • Create Media Placement Strategy: Use research support language from the 1/26/15 “Statement by NIH in Response to Concerns about Non-Human Primates in Research” in appropriate communications; also individual center/host institution statements of support for animals in research


  • Create and implement measurement methods pre- and post-campaign efforts (website traffic, understanding of NPRCs and NHP research, etc.)

Informational Services

  • Periodic topical updates (key topics TBD)
  • Annual presentation to the NRPC directors and six-month written updates


  • No external meetings on behalf of the group without a representative in attendance
  • No communications without prior approval


  • Firm must demonstrate it has a general level of subject matter competency
  • Experience working with NIH and its institutes (e.g., key institutes are the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Institute of Mental Health)
  • Experience educating but not advocating or lobbying to Congress
  • All staff must have a demonstrated ability to interact with senior leaders
  • Firm must have demonstrated competency in relationship-building
  • Firm must provide a list of biomedical research-related clients


  • Reponses should be limited to 5 pages; a staffing organizational chart may add one page
  • Provide a description of your firm’s structure, capabilities and ability to provide services identified in the Scope of Work sections, with specific examples of prior experience. 
  • List all services provided in-house and services provided by any outside consultants. If any services are to be provided by outside consultants, please provide a brief description of the people and/or firms, areas of expertise and capabilities.
  • Introduce your proposed project team, including consultants, and indicate the specific experience each team member would contribute to the project. Identify and define their individual roles. Please identify who would serve as the lead on the contract and who would be responsible for day-to-day engagement with the NPRCs if different from the lead contact.
  • Submit a detailed timeline with your proposal that includes critical milestones, assuming a start date of February 1, 2016 and a presentation to the NPRC directors at their Spring 2016 meeting, scheduled for April 21-22.
  • Provide a detailed fee-for-service proposal detailing the financial breakdown of estimated hours, hourly rate and/or retainer per each Scope of Work sections.
  • Provide at least three references that have used your professional services for similar work. Include contact name and organization, and contact phone number.


  • Submit documents as attachments identifying the submitting firm’s name in each document name.
  • Vendors should be prepared to convene for an in-person interview with the NPRCs in early 2016
  • Email proposal submission to Lisa Newbern, by December 18, 4 pm EST.


  • RFP issued week of November 9, 2015
  • Questions due November 20, 2015
  • Answers to questions released November 30, 2015
  • Proposals due by December 18, 2015
  • Invitation to present by January 4, 2016
  • Finalist presentations week of January 18, 2016
  • Decision by January 29, 2016
  • Work to begin February 1, 2016


The selection criteria below will be used to evaluate proposals. This RFP does not commit NPRCs to award a contract nor to pay any costs incurred in the preparation and/or submission of proposals. The NPRCs reserve the right to reject any or all proposals received in response to this RFP and to negotiate with any of the vendors or other firms in any manner deemed to be in the best interest of the NPRCs.

Selection of the successful proposal will be made based upon the firm’s:

  • Responsiveness to work scope and program needs (35%)
  • Demonstrated experience and expertise in similar projects (35%)
  • Cost effectiveness (10%)
  • Comprehensiveness (10%)
  • Personnel assigned: bios, qualifications (10%)


The proposed contract period is for one year. Continuation of the contract will be contingent on a successful annual review.

The consultant fee should be all-inclusive with the exception of travel outside of the selected firm’s base metropolitan area. Out-of-pocket (OOP) expenses will only be reimbursed if NPRC directors have given prior approval, and the NPRCs will not cover any OOP service charges/mark ups.

All material produced, data collected and reports generated by the firm and any of its consultants on behalf of the NPRCs are confidential and become the exclusive property of the NPRCs. The contractor may not share program materials, customer data and industry or program participant contact information, etc., unless explicitly authorized by the NPRCs to do so.

This RFP does not commit the NPRCs to pay any costs incurred in the preparation of a proposal or to procure or contract for services. The NPRCs reserve the right to accept or reject any or all proposals received as a result of this RFP, to negotiate with all qualified bidders and to cancel the RFP, in part or in its entirety, at its sole discretion.


Questions regarding this RFP should be submitted in writing to:

Lisa Newbern,

The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include the Emory University School of Medicine, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and Rollins School of Public Health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. Emory Healthcare includes: The Emory Clinic, Emory-Children's Center, Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Wesley Woods Center, and Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.5 billion budget, 17,600 employees, 2,500 full-time and 1,500 affiliated faculty, 4,700 students and trainees, and a $5.7 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

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