A Letter to the Editor is a short response to a recent article, and is often an easy way to get your opinions in print. You’ll be more successful getting your letter published if:
- It is prompt. If you see an article relevant to research funding, respond right away.
- It is related to something the publication recently covered. Draw that connection in your letter.
- It is short. State your case succinctly and never exceed the publication’s word limit. If you have a lot to say, consider submitting an op-ed. (An op-ed should not be in direct response to an article, but must still have a relevant connection to news and current events, generally. Generally, you are allowed +/- 750 words for an op-ed.)
- It follows the rules. Read and follow publication guidelines for submitting letters.
Sample Letter to the Editor
Your contact information
Dear Editor (or writer of the article),
The recent article on the budget discussed many of the impacts that reduced government funding would have on individuals and the economy. However, it didn’t mention research. Reduced funding for federally funded research affects us here in [location] because our local economy is closely tied to [university/high-tech companies, other].
Explain the connection between research and the local community and economy.
Beyond the immediate economic benefits, we are also affected by the missed opportunities that result from a lack of research funding. When the federal government invests in research, discoveries are made with profound implications for our health, safety and quality of life. Life-saving vaccines, the laser, MRI, touchscreens, GPS and the Internet are just of few of the products of past federal investment in research. While we don’t know what the next great discoveries will bring, we do know that without strong and consistent federal funding for science these discoveries – and all the benefits that come with them – won’t be made in the United States.
If America wants to maintain our innovative edge, create meaningful jobs, and realize economic growth, then we must make funding for scientific research a national priority. It is essential that Congress work toward a long-term plan to reduce our budget deficits without undermining wise and impactful investments such as federally-funded research that hold the key to our future. We must do this before it’s too late.
Your name, affiliation