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.
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
- Sustainability of the network
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
The UPEN Secretariat will act as the central contact point between UPEN members and policymakers. The Secretariat is provided by Laura Bea.