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Media Relations

Federal regulatory bodies view media relations material as a form of participant recruitment and an element of the informed consent process. Media relations material includes press releases, scripted broadcasts, non-scripted interviews or information distributed on the Internet.

When to submit the Media Relations Form and accompanying materials to the IRB

  • When the material pertains to a study that is still open at NU (data lock is not in place and medical records may still be accessed for research purposes); or 
  • When the activity involves a non-scripted interview of a study participant who is currently enrolled and actively participating in the research study.  The participant should sign a Media Relations Permissions Form.  The Media Relations Permissions Form (HRP-516) should be submitted with the Media Relations Form (HRP-216) for IRB review.         

The study participant should be reminded that the study data is still being collected and/or analyzed and that statements claiming efficacy of the treatment should be avoided.  The University will provide the participant with a Multimedia Release Form to sign, granting Northwestern University and its agents the right to record the participant’s appearance and participation on videotape, audiotape, film, photograph or any other medium.

When the Media Relations Form and accompanying materials do NOT need to be submitted to the IRB

  • When the material pertains to a study that is closed at NU (data lock is in place and includes no further access to medical records for research purposes).

This form should not be submitted with participant recruitment material unrelated to a media relations piece.  Such recruitment material requires IRB approval, but may be submitted to the IRB without this form.