What’s Your SPARC Story?

SPARC Stories are engaging narratives wherein the community showcases their scientific breakthroughs, discoveries, lessons learned, and successes earned. SPARC will showcase your work by using these stories to help develop content that can be featured on NIH and SPARC program websites and social media.

Promoting your work contributes to a community of followers among SPARC awardees and the general scientific community. If your story is selected, the SPARC communications committee can work with you to help tell your story in a compelling way.

What is the structure of a SPARC Story?

A SPARC Story is a short written piece of approximately 500 words total in three sections: Problem, Solution, and Impact.

What stories are we looking for?

We seek stories showing how SPARC datasets, maps, models, and/or software tools are used, and how your project may impact others – not just your organization. Examples include stories highlighting a new, cutting-edge, or translational development.

Stories including collaboration among different teams and/or partnerships with non-SPARC entities
Stories that point to lessons learned and compelling results (e.g., IP filing, commercial collaboration).
Stories that may evoke an emotional reaction, so others can experience “aha!” moments, and gain inspiration to use the Portal in similar ways

Note: People learn as much from experiments that did not work well, as they do from experiments that produce strong results!

What makes strong content?

SPARC Stories are enhanced by the following media:

  • High resolution visuals support the telling of your story so others can easily understand your experiment at a glance.
  • A link to a 30-to-60-second video testimonial can also help bring your story to life.

SPARC Story template

Note: The author must submit a completed NIH Media Release Form for SPARC so the NIH and DRC can showcase your SPARC Story.

  • Story Title:
    Example: Seeing the Light - Infrared Results I Never Imagined
  • Short Subtitle:
    Example: Illuminating the path to FDA approval of cardiac neuromodulation by combining experimentation with SPARC computational models

The title and subtitle should reference the relevant disease or condition, biological target, and/or the technology and methodology employed.

The content is divided into three sections:

  • Problem:
    One or two sentences describing the research problem
  • Solution:
    A written narrative including subheadings to make stories easy to read. Narratives should use clear, lay-friendly language (150-450 words).
  • Impact:
    A written narrative featuring colorful details to contextualize your story.

Narratives should:

  • Include facts , figures, and images with clear descriptions, to show the program’s impact.
  • Connect your story to the SPARC Data and Resource Center (DRC) and/or neuromodulation breakthroughs.
  • Credit members of the team (with ORCID IDs).

Supporting information can include links to reference or citation instructions for associated journal articles, repository submissions, and dataset DOIs, for example.

Figures, images and video content

You can include up to four visuals with the story. YouTube videos can be linked directly.
Social media hashtags and links:
You may include your institution, team member names, and NIH social media hashtags
Examples: #NIH_SPARC @sparc_science @NIH_CommonFund

Share your draft story to [email protected], and we will follow up with you for additional information.