Our mission is threefold:

  • To harness the collective research power of UPEN members to increase the impact of research on public policy.

  • To collaborate with policy professionals to provide coordinated, diverse and efficient access to evidence and expertise.

  • To share learning and best practice around knowledge exchange and policy impact between UK universities.

About UPEN

The Universities Policy Engagement Network - UPEN - is a community of UK universities and policy professionals committed to increasing the impact of research on public policy.

UPEN offers a dedicated 'one stop shop' for policy professionals looking to engage with research at universities from across the UK. This includes providing a coordinated and diverse response to requests for evidence, co-designing mechanisms for academic-policy engagement, and sharing knowledge and experience of what works and doesn't work.

UPEN organises knowledge exchange events with key stakeholders around policy impact; from Universities, UK government, parliament, devolved bodies and local authorities. In addition, UPEN provides a weekly overview of opportunities through its newsletter UPEN Updates.

UPEN also acts as a champion for the emerging academic-policy broker role at universities, enabling members to develop their skills, share best practices and collaborate with one another.

For 2021-2023, our key areas of focus are:

  • Government department's Areas of Research Interest

  • Equity, diversity & inclusion

  • Professional Development

  • Communications

  • Sustainability of the network

UPEN Chair

The Chair of UPEN is provided by one of its member universities on a rotation basis.

The 2021-2023 Chair is Matt Flinders, Professor of Politics at the University of Sheffield.


Previous Chairs:

Stephen Meek, University of Nottingham, 2019-2020
Gavin Costigan, University of Southampton, 2018-2019


UPEN Secretariat

The UPEN Secretariat will act as the central contact point between UPEN members and policymakers. The Secretariat is provided by Alex Clegg