Differentiating the world’s premier bio-medical university
Rockefeller University, located in New York City, is a graduate research institution focused on biomedical sciences. Despite its relatively small size, the university is one of the world’s leading sources of breakthrough discoveries in basic and applied research with 24 Nobel Prizes, a #1 Leiden ranking, and a higher concentration of National Academy members than any other university. Although they are well-recognized in elite academic circles, the university has had trouble recruiting the brightest scientific minds, sometimes losing out to better known brand-name institutions such as Harvard and Stanford.
Our research revealed that Rockefeller has several unique strengths. Since their founding, they have held an unwavering focus on “science for the benefit of mankind.” In support of this focus, the university has developed a culture, environment and operational structure designed exclusively to provide total support to top scientists and their research efforts. This has led to our second differentiating strength, the Rockefeller Scientist – a rare distinction awarded to those few who exhibit exceptional talent and a willingness to put it all on the line in the name of science. Rockefeller Scientists, given the freedom and support to pursue their scientific interests, are expected to have an outststanding track record in producing scientific and world-changing breaththroughs. These four key traits: focus, culture, environment, and top scientists, combine to create the Rockefeller Advantage, a highly attractive proposition to the world’s top scientific talent and to the funding sources looking for the highest return on their investment.
This story, titled simply as the Rockefeller Advantage, gave the university a platform to accomplish one of its three strategic priorities, which was to improve and amplify the University’s communications. Rockefeller has begun to train its scientists, its development department and its communications staff to craft messages that connect the high-level story in resonant ways to the needs and perceptions of top graduate students and ambitious donors.