Using a 360-perspective policy-messaging approach to maximise awareness, interest and action!
Posted 31/05/2023 14:58 by - Future Leader Fellows Development Network
This blog is reshared from the Future Leader Fellows Development Network
From research evidence to policy change; the long and winding road
Posted 24/05/2023 12:05 by - FLFDN
Blog reshared from the Future Leader Fellows Development Network
Taking ARIs north of the border
Posted 03/05/2023 10:34 by - Sarah Weakley and Ben Hepworth, April 2023
In October 2019 Policy Scotland partnered with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to host an Areas of Research Interest (ARI) engagement workshop. In this blogpost Sarah Weakley (University of Glasgow) and Ben Hepworth (former DWP; now Ministry of Justice (MoJ)) unpick what made the event a success and reflect on best practice for hosting an ARI workshop.
Engaging UK Parliament with Climate and Environmental Research
Posted 19/04/2023 15:19 by - Juliet Jopson
Please note: this article was originally published on Policy Leeds Blog.
Advising government: navigating complex and fast-paced policy environments
Posted 24/01/2023 10:11 by - Julia Kreienkamp
The important role of research in supporting policymaking is increasingly well recognised. This is evident, for example, in the worldwide proliferation of university-based policy engagement bodies over the last decade. However, a new report by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) also highlights an array of obstacles to fruitful engagement between research and policy, including frequent mismatches in timescales, expectations and communications.
Commercialisation and Policy Research
Posted 19/12/2022 11:45 by - Luca Mannocchi
On 27th October 2022, Cambridge Enterprise and the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) organised a roundtable discussion involving social sciences researchers, policymakers, representatives from large and small research organisations and knowledge exchange experts working in the policy space.
Data for Policy: working with data from the Office for National Statistics
Posted 13/12/2022 12:15 by - Louise Corti
In this blog Louise Corti, Head of Analytical Insights and Impact at the SRS, Official for National Statistics (ONS) speaks about how policy impact managers and knowledge brokers can work with ONS to connect and promote policy research being done in their institutions. This follows from the UPEN webinar, Data for Policy: working with secure microdata at the Office for National Statistics held on 9 November 2022.
Writing and Presenting Reports for Government: Five Do’s and Five Don’ts
Posted 04/11/2022 10:08 by - Naresh Pandit
Academics are increasingly being encouraged to engage with government policy-making. Academic journals are asking contributors to more clearly and comprehensively state the government policy implications of their research; funding bodies are allocating larger sums for work that has government policy impact; and Higher Education Institutions are more clearly linking staff progression and promotion to government policy engagement.
Enter the dragon: Senedd committees Areas of Research Interest pilot project
Posted 04/11/2022 10:00 by - Rob Davies
In September, two Senedd committees launched the Senedd’s first Areas of Research Interest (ARIs) as a new way to improve committees’ engagement with the research community. ARI topics include climate change, modal shift and active travel, sustainable communities, and health literacy. In this blog Rob Davies, CAPE Policy Fellow, outlines how researchers can engage with the ARIs and how they aim to support parliamentary scrutiny.
Five steps for engaging policymakers with research
Posted 01/11/2022 14:13 by - Ben Walmsley
Many academic researchers struggle to engage policymakers with their work. They are often unsure where to start and sometimes feel that any approaches they make might be unwelcome or superfluous.
Building UPEN's vision for a sustainable academic-policy engagement ecosystem
Posted 23/08/2022 09:47 by - Kayleigh Renberg-Fawcett
During my first month as Vice-Chair, which has been spent listening and reflecting with UPEN members, I feel very grateful and hugely excited to have been voted in with a remit of exploring UPEN’s transition to a ‘national centre’ as laid out in the Sealey Report. What this means to me is that I’ll be working with you (UPEN members) to look at what systems (eg structures, stakeholders) we need to support sustainable and inclusive academic-policy engagement and to better understand UPEN’s position in this.
Policy and Placemaking in REF2021 Impact Case Studies
Posted 02/08/2022 12:33 by - Jackie Reynolds
At Staffordshire University, placemaking – and how we can contribute to it - is a key concern. Our main campus is in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent, a city that is renowned for high levels of deprivation, yet also for its unique cultural heritage, and sense of community. As Co-Director of our C3 Centre: Creative Industries and Creative Communities, I am especially interested in the role of arts and culture in creating place, including through storytelling. ‘The Levelling Up agenda’ is also generating much debate within and beyond our university walls. Stoke-on-Trent City Council has secured £56m from the government in Levelling Up funding, and the University is a major delivery partner for Levelling up activities. Our Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Martin Jones – an economic geographer – has highlighted both the contributions that modern higher education institutions like Staffordshire can make to Levelling Up, but also the critical challenges.
Lessons from literature and practice: how to support successful academic-policy engagement
Posted 19/07/2022 12:17 by - Ariana Darvish, Sarah Chaytor and Robyn Parker
This blog was originally published by CAPE. You can read it on their website here
Engaging with policymakers: learnings and reflections on the Heseltine Institute's policy briefing series
Posted 01/07/2022 10:10 by - Tom Arnold
Policy briefings can be effective tools for academics to engage with a wide range of policymakers. In this blog, Tom Arnold of the University of Liverpool’s Heseltine Institute reflects on some of the learning from their own series of policy briefings, which has published over 50 papers since launching in 2020. The Heseltine Institute policy briefings can be read at https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/heseltine-institute/policybriefs/.
Planning for the Electricity Transmission
Posted 24/06/2022 08:44 by - Scott Cunningham
This blog post describes the upcoming electricity transition, and the necessity for better planning for our future energy requirements.
How universities can embed equality, diversity and inclusion within public policy training offers
Posted 28/06/2022 08:28 by - Audrey Tan
Steps higher education institutions can take to make their policy engagement training programmes as diverse and inclusive as possible, based on the experience of a UK university
A code of ethics for citizen journalists
Posted 17/06/2022 09:34 by - Natascha Engel and John Steel
Traditional, legacy journalism operates in a framework of ethical standards. Whether these are the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines, the NUJ’s code of conduct, IPSO’s editors’ code of practice or IMPRESS’s standards code, journalists and editors are obliged to adhere to ethical standards in their journalistic practice. The principle of ethical standards can be expanded into digital and citizen journalism to help build trust.
Understanding attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination before and after vaccine development and rollout.
Posted 21/06/2022 12:02 by - Sue Sherman
Dr Sue Sherman reflects on the importance of rapid funding and collaboration for her and her colleagues’ research on attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination and the impact it had.
Real World Change: When Academic Research Informs Policy
Posted 17/06/2022 09:21 by - Eghosa Ekhator
Women are still being discriminated against in Nigeria across a range of areas from Labour Laws to Sexual Violence Laws but using this research to inform NGO policy can effect real world change.
How can the UK accelerate the journey to net zero transport? A headlight look at the German transport decarbonisation approach
Posted 14/06/2022 07:32 by - Amy Thompson
Transformation of our transport systems to achieve net zero emissions mobility is one of the many significant challenges we face to avoid the impacts of extreme climate change. Yet transport decarbonisation also offers us a powerful opportunity to achieve positive change and improve the quality of mobility for all, and the health and quality of life of many.
How do we make politics more attractive for women?
Posted 07/06/2022 09:36 by - Carole Stimpson
Just over a third of newly-elected Scottish councillors are women, what can we do to make politics a more appealing job prospect?
Daring to be a Daniel - Against Policy Impact
Posted 31/05/2022 12:02 by - Matthew Flinders
In order to contribute to the debate concerning the ‘impact agenda’, in general, and policy engagement, in particular Matthew Flinders challenges what he suggest is the existence of ‘a self-evident truth’ that policy engagement is always a ‘good thing’. In doing so the current chair of the Universities Policy Engagement Network suggests that although significant progress and understanding has been achieved in relation to nurturing and incentivising non-academic engagement by researchers fundamental questions still remain unanswered and generally unacknowledged.
‘What Works’ when it comes to Policy Engagement? A question we should be able to answer
Posted 31/05/2022 12:13 by - Matthew Flinders
But how do researchers know how to engage with policy-makers? Where are the docking points? How might engaging with policy-makers at different levels of government or in different policy areas demand different skills? What are the risks of engagement as science advice increasingly comes under pressure? What does ‘efficient’ engagement look like and how do we make all processes ‘EDI aware’?
Engaging the public on active travel policymaking
Posted 26/04/2022 12:55 by - Stephanie Lasalle and Jeeshan Gazi
Bringing the public and policymakers together on the matter of active travel
How Imposter Syndrome can create barriers to academic-policy engagement
Posted 25/04/2022 11:59 by - Dr Camila Devis-Rozental
Dr Camila Devis-Rozental reflects on how imposter syndrome can create barriers for researchers wanting to engage in policy impact.
A new way to synthesise evidence for policy for a fraction of the time and cost of a traditional systematic review, while giving Early Career Researchers a skill, paper and impact
Posted 15/03/2022 11:28 by - Mark S. Reed, Gavin B Stewart, Anthonia James and Ged Hall
In this blog, Mark Reed, Gavin Stewart, Anthonia James and Ged Hall describe a programme that delivered evidence syntheses and policy briefs for a fraction of the cost of a typical systematic review, whilst building evidence synthesis skills among early career researchers.
What do policymakers want from the humanities?
Posted 11/03/2022 13:18 by - Jessie Simkiss
Jessie Simkiss reflects on an event co-hosted by Oxford and UPEN last year which asked, ‘What do UK policymakers want from the humanities?’
Working in partnership to influence policy. Insights from The Open University in Scotland
Posted 22/02/2022 11:26 by - Derek Goldman
The Open University is a unique player in the Higher Education environment, and builds on its partnerships to engage policy makers and the policy agenda
Understanding the link between climate change, conflict and internal displacement: Engaging policymakers in Sub-Saharan Africa
Posted 15/02/2022 11:29 by - Olayinka Ajala
In the last few decades, there has been an increase in migration and displacement in several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). While the focus has been on migration across the Sahara and subsequently towards Europe through several channels including the Mediterranean Sea, research has shown that this form of migration accounts for less than 15% of total migration. Due to factors such as cost of the journey, potential risks, and connections abroad, most migration occurs within individual countries or regionally. A large percentage of these internal migrations are often ‘forced’ and could be classified as internal displacement.
Are You Ready? The UPEN Annual Conference and Lecture 2022
Posted 08/02/2022 14:59 by - Matt Flinders, UPEN Chair
If the Covid-19 pandemic has shown anything it’s the importance of being able to work across the research-policy interface in an agile and efficient manner. Beyond the pandemic response, policy-makers from the local to the international level are increasingly keen to learn from and work with researchers. And more broadly, the priorities of research funders such as UKRI and Wellcome continue to emphasise the need to facilitate the mobility of people, knowledge and talent across organisational, professional and disciplinary boundaries.
Can Public Engagement Improve Lives?
Posted 04/02/2022 11:13 by - Jules Pretty
Types of public engagement matter if we wish to improve lives
Policy Impact and Public Engagement– Two Sides of the Coin?
Posted 01/02/2022 10:00 by - Stephen Meek
In a blog I wrote for Wonkhe to coincide with the launch of the University of Nottingham’s Institute for Policy and Engagement back in October 2019 (hard to imagine that we had an actual, physical launch – with people, canapés, drinks and no sticky mute buttons or intermittent broadband connections to spoil the fun) I explored how the two parts of the Institute’s remit – policy impact and public engagement – connected and had the potential to reinforce one another.
Bringing More History into Policy
Posted 18/01/2022 11:04 by - Henry Irving
Dr Henry Irving, Senior Lecturer in Public History at Leeds Beckett University, reflects on how to bring more historical expertise into policymaking.
Social mindfulness matters – for all of us. What may sound like an esoteric new year’s resolution is actually at the core of the social fabric of our society, new behavioural research shows
Posted 11/01/2022 10:09 by - Karin Moser
This research tried to address some of the biggest challenges in my field of social psychology and behavioural science: connecting individual behaviours with large scale political and societal developments while using rigorous experimental research methods. It’s by no means perfect, but some of the best we can offer in behavioural research and it has important implications for policy makers and educators alike.
Incoming Policy Fellowships - Best Practice and Open Questions
Posted 14/12/2021 15:29 by - Nicola Buckley and Milena Mueller Santos
Incoming Policy Fellowships are one example of academic-policy engagement fellowship schemes. They can be effective ways for promoting knowledge exchange, networking, and professional development. The Centre for Science and Policy (University of Cambridge) has been offering Incoming Policy Fellowships for over 10 years and has, in collaboration with the CAPE consortium, collected some learning points.
UPEN Report Launch: Meeting the challenge of creating a more inclusive approach to academic-policy engagement
Posted 08/12/2021 07:39 by - Kathryn Watson
How do academics become involved in engagement with policy makers? Why do some people have close policy connections and others seem to be left out in the cold? Are the right voices represented in policy and evidence-based discussions with Parliaments (Westminster and devolved). A UPEN report launched today looks at the challenge of bringing about positive change for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in policy engagement. The report, ‘Surfacing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within Academic-Policy Engagement’ provides evidence from UK Higher Education Institutions, looking at the problem from a knowledge broker perspective and what institutions should be doing to make sure that there are more diverse voices around the table when it comes to influencing policy change.
The rewards of letting go: putting young people’s voices centre-stage at COP26
Posted 30/11/2021 10:43 by - Kate Smith and Briony McDonagh
In a ground-breaking Knowledge Exchange collaboration between academics and young creatives, researchers from the University of Hull have been working with the National Youth Theatre to create a powerful, site-specific response to the climate crisis for COP26.
Dispelling Apprehension and Promoting Energy for academics to work with policymakers
Posted 23/11/2021 10:45 by - Rich Pickford
How do you get colleagues to recognise their broad skills and knowledge based and to translate it beyond academia?
Academic-Policy Engagement: Representing the voices of others
Posted 16/11/2021 11:58 by - Dr Sinéad Furey
Against a backdrop of escalating food insecurity in the United Kingdom, my research policy engagement work has strategically positioned me to advocate effectively and meaningfully for those experts by experience, enduring food insecurity in Northern Ireland, who have entrusted me to represent their voice.
The importance of underlying evidence for policy engagement
Posted 09/11/2021 15:51 by - Phil Ward
Before we engage actively with policymakers and politicians, we need to understand our own position. What’s our starting point? How have contemporary issues and events affected our work? What policies are needed to ameliorate the bad and reinforce the good?
How to engage and involve policymakers in research
Posted 26/10/2021 13:37 by - Susie Crossman and Tara Tancred
At the onset of a research project or programme, engaging with policymakers can be a daunting challenge. But careful planning at the research proposal writing stage and nourishing strategic partnerships can make engagement with policymakers the foundation for achieving impact. After all, policymaker buy-in and knowledge is essential for promoting sustainability and embedding the intervention.
COP26: the role of research and time for action?
Posted 19/10/2021 13:57 by - Dr Marie Claire Brisbois
The 26th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference starts in less than ten days. Each COP is an opportunity for world leaders to come together to jointly address climate change. Dr Marie Claire Brisbois, an expert in energy policy, discusses whether, despite 50 years of academic research highlighting climate change problems, the moment for change is now.
Change is a Kaleidoscope of Colour
Posted 12/10/2021 10:40 by - Nishan Canagarajah
Professor Nishan Canagarajah explains why it is vital to drive forward EDI initiatives in HE in order to influence change both outside and within universities.
Lighting the way? Helping knowledge brokers span the space between evidence and policy
Posted 07/10/2021 15:13 by - John Boswell & Gareth Giles
Dr John Boswell and Gareth Giles from the University of Southampton explore the role of the 'boundary spanner' in academic policy engagement.
Teaching students how to influence policy and engage with stakeholders at Canterbury Christ Church University
Posted 05/10/2021 10:57 by - Dr Susan Kenyon
UPEN is doing valuable work in opening up policymaking to academics. In Politics and International Relations at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU), we are working to open up policymaking to students.
Not Just an issue for policy engagement – my ED&I journey
Posted 28/09/2021 10:14 by - Lisa Hodgson
Read Lisa's journey as she tries to understand the complex issues around the diversity in contributions to public policy initiatives and the importance of Parliaments and Governments in hearing from more diverse voices to better represent a wider range of views and population. How she has learnt that more needs to be done and how this is not just an issue for public policy engagement.
Evidence and learning for development impact – what works? K4D: a model for effective evidence and learning
Posted 22/09/2021 09:28 by - Joanna Howard, Paul Knipe, Neringa Collier and Kerry Millington
The UK Aid sector has faced unprecedented challenges over the last 18 months due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, reduction in funding, and shake up of the politics and policy driving development. Constant throughout all the debates and changes has been the importance of quality evidence and learning to enhance development impact. But how can this take place in an organisation such as the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)? Put simply, what works?
Opening doors I never knew existed!
Posted 08/09/2021 07:42 by - John Oliver
Reflections on an Academic Fellowship with the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology (POST).
Increasing the focus on peer recovery and empowerment in drug policy
Posted 18/08/2021 10:06 by - David Best
People recover from even the most horrendous addictions. And we now understand the process of how they do it. CHIME – (positive) Connections generate Hope that creates a virtuous circle of a new and valued Identity that leads to engagement in Meaningful activities and a sense of Empowerment. Since 2010, this has been recognised in policy but translating that recognition to action has been much more challenging.
Avoiding 'groupthink' in policy making
Posted 18/08/2021 09:43 by - Sean O'Connor
The former Head of Global Projects and Policy at Queen Mary University of London reflects on a career in academic-policy engagement and the benefits of avoiding 'group think'
Avoiding one-size-fits-all: a tool for tailoring policy engagement
Posted 03/08/2021 10:24 by - Jenny Bird
How can policy intermediaries help researchers to take a more strategic approach to policy engagement? Jenny Bird shares one idea that might help avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to policy engagement.
Levelling-up: using the language of the government to maximise policy engagement opportunities
Posted 26/07/2021 15:03 by - Nathalie Goodsir and Simon Russell
The levelling-up agenda is central to current government policy. This blog considers how researchers can make the most of this.
Probing the Patchwork of Welfare Services in Scotland: The Experience as Specialist Advisors to a UK Parliamentary Committee
Posted 23/07/2021 12:52 by - Dr Hayley Bennett and Dr Sarah Weakly
In this blog Dr Hayley Bennett (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Sarah Weakley (University of Glasgow and Policy Scotland), reflect on their work supporting a Parliamentary inquiry into multi-level ‘welfare’, including identifying evidence, unpicking complexity, and developing recommendations.
Protecting global biodiversity through UK academic engagement
Posted 16/07/2021 10:59 by - Phil McGowan
Conservation of biodiversity is one of the most prominent issues of our age. A major UN report published in September considered that humanity was at a crossroads in our relationship with nature, and that a transformational change is needed to ensure a safe and healthy planet.
The role of universities in leveraging local change
Posted 16/07/2021 10:20 by - Philip Catney
Universities need to remember that the projects that they develop are not just demonstrating that projects are feasible at a technical or economic scale but are sensitive to the needs of the communities that these developments serve and ensure that are socially inclusive.
How can more academics be encouraged to engage with Parliament?
Posted 06/07/2021 16:45 by - Liz Fawcett
Efforts are being made at Westminster to open up the UK Parliament to a wider range of public voices, including a more representative selection of academic researchers. So what can universities and Parliament do to encourage a more diverse range of academics to engage? UPEN decided to carry out a survey of university academics and researchers to find out.
Influencing, Engaging, and Adding Value: Impact and Innovation at the University of Wolverhampton
Posted 23/06/2021 08:15 by - Ben Coleman, Chris Wyatt and Jo Mills
At the University of Wolverhampton, we are passionate about making a positive impact on our students, our local community and beyond.
Welsh Parliament Academic Fellowship: influencing policy to support post Covid-19 music industries in Wales
Posted 08/06/2021 08:36 by - Paul Carr and Donna Szuran
Welsh Parliament Academic Fellowships give researchers an important voice in policymaking and offer an opportunity to get your research on the desks of key stakeholders who contribute to government policy formation.
How to embed sustainable development in universities in Wales
Posted 01/06/2021 15:47 by - Lynnette Thomas
Sustainable development is core to Welsh universities’ civic mission and the new Civic Mission Framework supports universities to demonstrate their actions for the purpose of promoting or improving the economic, social, environmental or cultural well-being of Wales and beyond.
Blame games: how can blossoming policy-research relations survive the COVID-19 recriminations?
Posted 28/05/2021 12:04 by - Matt Flinders
The fact that public accountability generally comes cloaked in a ‘Gotcha!’ mentality threatens the spirit of collaboration that has developed during the pandemic. Matthew Flinders asks how to ensure positive new partnerships are not shattered by the stresses of scrutiny.
How Can We Realize Evidence Based Politics?
Posted 26/05/2021 11:24 by - Tomas van den Broeke
Never before in modern history has there been a stronger demonstration of evidence based politics than in the current Covid-19 situation. The pandemic delivers the right momentum in the policy and political realm to implement long lasting ambitions for structuring evidence informed policies or to generate new ones. When doing so, it is highly instrumental to make use of ambitious new initiatives in different parts of the world.
ReaCHing out in response to COVID-19
Posted 18/05/2021 09:16 by - Michelle Ierna
The mission of the recently launched Research Centre for Health (ReaCH) at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is to reach out to communities to make a positive difference to the quality of people’s lives in Scotland and around the world through research excellence in managing public health and long-term conditions.
Influencing the Corridors of Power: A Direct Vehicle between academic staff and Westminster
Posted 11/05/2021 08:45 by - Katie O'Reilly-Boyles
Katie examines the importance of having a concise and direct vehicle for policy engagement between SOAS academics and Westminster.
Bringing evidence to policy on the UN Climate Conference
Posted 05/05/2021 13:22 by - Alyssa Gilbert
As the COP26 climate summit draws nearer, Alyssa Gilbert from the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London explores how the COP26 Universities Network builds relationships between academics and policymakers to make the summit a success for action on climate change.
A new King or Queen of the North – Mayors and their networks
Posted 04/05/2021 09:23 by - Michael Taylor
On the eve of the Local and Combined Authority Mayoral elections in the UK, Michael Taylor at Manchester Metropolitan University looks at the role Metro Mayors play and how universities can engage with them
Lost in (the third) space: knowledge brokers need career paths too
Posted 04/05/2021 09:00 by - Matt Flinders and Sarah Chaytor
Those who blur the lines between academic and professional staff are the connective tissue in the research ecosystem, say Matthew Flinders and Sarah Chaytor
Tips for influencing policy: Why it requires a slightly different way of working
Posted 27/04/2021 14:55 by - Justin Fisher
Justin Fisher is Professor of Political Science and Director of Brunel Public Policy at Brunel University London. In this blog he looks at how engaging with policy-makers and legislators is hugely rewarding, but requires a slightly different way of working.
Introducing the new UPEN Network Manager – Alex Clegg
Posted 21/04/2021 11:49 by - Kayleigh Renberg-Fawcett
As UPEN transitions to the University of Sheffield, UPEN welcomes the new network manager, Alex Clegg, to the team! Alex joined UPEN on the 12th of April on three-days a week (Monday-Wednesday). We catch up with Alex to find out a bit more about the colleague who will be helping to shape UPEN over the next couple of years.
Navigating the industry route for successful policy engagement
Posted 31/03/2021 10:16 by - Professor Neil Crosby and Dr Ruth Pugh, University of Reading
When considering how research can inform policy, the challenge is to understand the myriad of different routes of engagement.
Building new bridges between research and policy during a national lockdown
Posted 25/01/2021 14:20 by - Professor Annette Boaz and Dr Kathryn Oliver, ESRC Government Office for Science ARI Fellows
Annette Boaz and Kathryn Oliver are social scientists with expertise in production and use of evidence for, policy. In this blogpost, they reflect on their recent experiences putting their knowledge into practice at the heart of government during a national lockdown.
Why scientists should think like policymakers
Posted 16/02/2021 09:55 by - Gloria Mensah, University of Sheffield
In this interview, Grantham Scholar Gloria Mensah explains why scientists (and engineers) should think like policy makers. Further she explains how her research into the rise and fall of CCUS on the UK government’s agenda reveals lessons for all sustainability researchers.
Optimising civic collaboration in Leeds
Posted 09/02/2021 18:30 by - Dr Nicola Caroll and Camilla McCartney, University of Leeds
Nicola Carroll and Camilla McCartney of Leeds Social Sciences Institute discuss how a review of collaboration between academics at the University of Leeds and officers at Leeds City Council is informing an action plan for enhancing research-policy engagement.
Policy development for organisational resilience
Posted 26/01/2021 13:31 by - Alice Millington, Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge’s Alice Millington reviews the insights into resilience shared by Policy Fellows of the Centre for Science and Policy.
Creating a climate of engagement at a critical juncture
Posted 20/01/2021 18:19 by - Dr Petra Minnerop, Durham University
Durham University's Dr Petra Minnerop discuses the importance of policy and public engagement, within and across states, in the lead up to COP 26.
Identity, Inequality and the Media in Brexit COVID-19 Britain
Posted 12/01/2021 13:56 by - Prof Dan Stevens, Prof Susan Banducci, Dr Lazlo Horvath and Dr Andrew Jones
The research team of Identity, Inequality and the Media in Brexit-Covid-19 Britain reflect on the impact Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic are having on inequalities in Britain.
The Norwich Good Economy Commission
Posted 05/01/2021 10:58 by - Dr Noel Longhurst and Richard Clarke, University of East Anglia
The Norwich Good Economy Commission is a new two-year collaborative project through which the University of East Anglia and Norwich City Council are creating the space to explore what a good city economy might look like, and what steps could be made to get there.
Engaging with policymakers as a researcher in the Arts and Humanities: a guide to how, what and why
Posted 14/12/2020 11:24 by - Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson, University of Oxford
Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson is a Classicist at the University of Oxford where she leads a project which investigates the impact of learning Classical languages on children’s cognitive development.
Academic perspectives on civic engagement: case studies from the University of Bristol
Posted 16/12/2020 16:08 by - Dr Helen Manchester, Dr Ola Michalec and Professor Morag McDermont, University of Bristol
In this blog, three academics from the University of Bristol share their experiences of civic engagement in 2020, outlining their perspectives on what went well, barriers they faced and their hopes for the future.
Increasing capacity for policy engagement through training and partnership
Posted 15/12/2020 12:18 by - Matt Francis, Public Affairs Manager, University of Stirling
Matt Francis, Public Affairs Manager, reflects on the development of policy engagement activity at the University of Stirling.
The ‘West Yorkshire Way’ to policy engagement: Place-Based Economic Recovery Network (PERN)
Posted 10/12/2020 09:21 by - Dr Andy Mycock, University of Huddersfield
The University of Huddersfield's Andy Mycock discusses place-based policy engagement as the region looks to elect its first metro mayor in May 2021.
Communicating the importance of the higher education sector through the pandemic
Posted 07/12/2020 12:59 by - Professor Marion Campbell, Vice-Principal for Research, University of Aberdeen
The University of Aberdeen's Vice-Principal for Research reflects on the role of Universities, and specifically the University of Aberdeen, during the pandemic.
University Policy Engagement: Looking forward to 2021 (and beyond)
Posted 07/12/2020 10:36 by - Prof Matt Flinders, UPEN Chair 2021-2023
UPEN's upcoming Chair (2021-2023) reflects on the role of UPEN and it's priorities going forward.
Challenging social problems: how longitudinal studies can make a difference
Posted 30/11/2020 10:57 by - Raj Patel, University of Essex
In this post, Raj Patel outlines three types of challenging problems and argues that longitudinal studies can play an important role in addressing them.
Continuity in a crisis: how WISERD’s relationships enabled research on young people’s learning in lockdown
Posted 26/11/2020 09:38 by - Alice Taylor, Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data
The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data demonstrates how strong relationships with the education sector in Wales helped researchers understand young people’s experience of learning in lockdown.
Policy impact has too many stories and not enough data
Posted 17/11/2020 13:02 by - Euan Adie, Founder of Overton.io
Euan Adie, founder of Overton.io, discusses how the platform can help universities measure and track the policy impact of their research.
The beating heart of the Government’s green industrial revolution
Posted 17/11/2020 16:56 by - Professor Dan Parsons and Louise Smith, University of Hull
The University of Hull reflect on how The Humber is paving the way for the UK's green industrial revolution - through harnessing its research excellence, strategic location and engagements with industry stakeholders.
The future of digital Knowledge Exchange between researchers and Parliament
Posted 16/11/2020 09:48 by - Dr Sandra Messenger and Dr Sarah Foxen, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
Are you a researcher or do you support knowledge exchange at your university? The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology are seeking your views on the use of digital communications in knowledge exchange.
Engaging with policymakers internationally
Posted 11/11/2020 14:36 by - Dr Shonagh McEwan and Dr Madeleine Beveridge, University of Edinburgh
In this blog, the Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team from the University of Edinburgh share learning and discussion points from an internal learning event on Engaging with Policymakers Internationally.
City researchers: NHS contact tracing app can be a success if linked to testing
Posted 10/11/2020 18:14 by - Amy Ripley, PR and Communications Manager, City, University of London
The government’s beleaguered Covid-19 NHS app hit the headlines again recently after the Sunday Times revealed exclusively that it failed to send alerts to thousands of people to tell them to self-isolate after coming into contact with infected people.
Playing our part against Covid: a love letter to collaborative colleagues
Posted 09/11/2020 15:00 by - Rich Pickford, Nottingham Civic Exchange, Nottingham Trent University
Rich Pickford, Knowledge Exchange and Impact Officer, draws on lessons learned from Nottingham Trent University's continuing work with the C19 National Foresight Group.
Change needs everyone to learn something new: a view from India’s classrooms
Posted 02/11/2020 15:31 by - Dr Sonali Nag, University of Oxford and Archana Ganesh Raaj and Gideon Arulmani, The Promise Foundation
The authors reflect on India's new National Education Policy, what this means for young children, and the new ways of learning required to ensure it's success.
How foresight and futures thinking can play a role in developing a radical new policy agenda
Posted 02/11/2020 13:09 by - Professor Chris Fox, Manchester Metropolitan University
In order to address the complex issues of today, Manchester Metropolitan University's Policy Evaluation and Research Unit Director, Professor Chris Fox, suggests that futures thinking should be at the heart of policy design.
Covid-19 recovery: collaborative civic engagement in Surrey
Posted 28/10/2020 10:52 by - Professor Amelia Hadfield and Dr Tamsin Woodward-Smith, University of Surrey
The University of Surrey discuss how they've collaborated with Surrey County Council and other regional Higher Education Institutions to develop a Covid recovery plan for the region.
Making room for Arts and Humanities in policy
Posted 21/10/2020 10:51 by - Rosie Anderson, Impact Development Manager, Kingston University
Kingston University reflect on the GO-Science Covid-19 ARI call, and why there was less engagement from the Arts and Humanities than other disciplines.
Changing behaviours and rebuilding economies: The vital role of social sciences in tackling COVID-19
Posted 22/10/2020 10:31 by - Zoe Russell, London School of Economics
The London School of Economics discuss how they've supported vital coronavirus-related research in the social sciences to better inform policy.
Generating policy impact through civic engagement
Posted 19/10/2020 13:34 by - Dr Louise Rutt, Impact and Knowledge Exchange Manager, University of Plymouth
How the University of Plymouth supports academic engagement with civic partners to generate a culture of policy impact.
Equality of voice in policy impact: seizing the pandemic moment
Posted 12/10/2020 14:16 by - Chris Sims, Head of Policy, Institute for Policy and Engagement
How the pandemic is bringing equality questions to the foreground in academic-policy engagement.
Delving under the hood of academic-policy engagement
Posted 28/09/2020 10:24 by - Capabilities in Academic and Policy Engagement
How do we know if academic-policy mechanisms are working? And what can be done to ensure thatknowledge exchange brokers are valued in the process? CAPE outline their thoughts below.
Trust, empathy and communication – a toolkit for better collaboration with local government
Posted 05/10/2020 10:06 by - Yaryna Basystyuk, Senior Policy Officer, Public Policy | Southampton
Public | Policy Southampton outline how a project on climate change and behavioural insights with their local authority was a success.
Posted 28/09/2020 09:43 by - Cornelia Sorabji, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and Gregory Messenger, University of Liverpool
What happens when a civil servant and an academic trade places?
Government strategies and international response to the Coronavirus
Posted 21/09/2020 10:53 by - Professor Scott Cunningham, University of Strathclyde
In this piece I’ll draw upon international comparisons to better understand how different nations have addressed the challenges of coronavirus.
Preventing the spread of infection through contaminated surfaces
Posted 21/09/2020 10:38 by - Jeremy Swan, Public Affairs Manager, University of Birmingham
What made you want to work in higher education?
The Open University: Combining national policies with local strengths across the UK Nations
Posted 15/09/2020 11:56 by - Dr Muriel Swijghuisen Reigersberg, Senior Research and Knowledge Exchange Impact Manager, The Open University
As an institution which has a presence in all the Nations, The Open University has unique opportunities to engage with policy makers across the UK as part of its knowledge exchange and impact portfolio.
Why should anyone listen to us?
Posted 14/09/2020 09:48 by - Professor John McKendrick, Co-Director, Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit
UPEN’s mission is admirable, but it also has the potential to be truly transformative.
Prevention is better than cure: avoiding future pandemics
Posted 31/08/2020 10:04 by - Dr Ray Kent, Director of Research and Innovation Services, Royal Veterinary College
Over the course of this year, pathogens that have crossed the species barrier from animals to humans – so-called ‘zoonotic’ diseases – have moved from relative obscurity to centre-stage in the public eye.
Navigating the seas of knowledge exchange
Posted 26/08/2020 09:04 by - Ben Hepworth, Ministry of Justice
In his essay, ‘On justice, and how to know it is there’, the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman remarked: “It is in times of crisis that the routine, daily, perpetual and habitual distribution of privileges and deprivations is abruptly recast as ‘extraordinary’, a fatal accident, emergency – and so brutally drawn to the surface and brought into dazzling light for everyone to see.”
Resilience, agility and value-based health care
Posted 14/08/2020 08:40 by - Dr Simon Brooks, Morgan Academy, Swansea University
There could hardly be a more apposite time to be talking about resilience.
Harnessing hydrogen fuel for a green and industrial recovery
Posted 11/08/2020 08:03 by - Laura Brown, Newcastle University
As the UK looks toward its economic recovery from the impacts of Covid-19, there is a real and urgent need to build a greener economy. By harnessing the potential of hydrogen fuel, we can drive innovation, skills and industry whilst enabling green growth and providing solutions for the UK to meet its net zero target by 2050.
How UPEN can support Universities and Government's Areas of Research Interest
Posted 23/07/2020 10:03 by - Kayleigh Renberg-Fawcett, UPEN
Following the recommendation of the Sir Paul Nurse review in 2014, the UK Government launched an innovative mechanism to make it clearer to the outside world what their long-term thinking is, and what research they’d like to engage with. These are now Government’s Areas of Research Interest (ARI).
Energy-PIECES: providing policy secondments for early career researchers
Posted 09/07/2020 17:07 by - Dr Chris Foulds, Anglia Ruskin University
Policy has focused on gathering evidence and insights from the more technical disciplines. Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) research has often been overlooked as an evidence base, especially within energy policy making.
Universities and the recovery of local communities from the Covid-19 Crisis: A role for the social sciences
Posted 06/07/2020 11:05 by - Professor John Goddard and Des McNulty
While universities face major challenges to their funding and business models as a result of COVID-19, many are nevertheless deepening connections and collaborations with the NHS, local authorities, businesses and the community and voluntary sectors in the areas they serve.
Awkward sandwiches and melting snowballs
Posted 29/06/2020 16:35 by - Dr Rachel Ramsey, University of Sunderland
Snowball effects have great value in policy influence.
Imperial College London’s The Forum: Policy engagement during the pandemic
Posted 22/06/2020 15:40 by - George Hope, The Forum lead, Imperial College London
The Forum, Imperial’s policy engagement programme, connects Imperial researchers with policymakers. This has been no different during the lockdown and The Forum has been helping researchers to ensure that their latest findings reach policymakers.
Applying research to the Covid response: how Durham University modelling is helping local planning
Posted 10/06/2020 10:31 by - Dr Camila Caiado, Professor Brian Castellani and Neil Heckels, Durham University
As many of the recent posts at UPEN have articulated, COVID-19 presents universities with a number of challenges regarding their civic responsibilities and contributions.
Social Security and COVID-19: An inadequate response to crisis
Posted 01/06/2020 11:22 by - Dr Ciara Fitzpatrick, Ulster University, School of Law
Lockdown due to the Covid-19 global pandemic has had far reaching consequences for life as we know it.
A good beginning
Posted 02/06/2020 09:36 by - Nick Bibby, Director of the Scottish Policy & Research Exchange
To coincide with the Scottish Policy & Research Exchange’s first AGM, its director Nick Bibby reflects on what has been achieved and the lessons learned along the way.
How academics and policy makers can work together during a pandemic
Posted 26/05/2020 14:59 by - Dr Gina Yannitell Reinhardt, Department of Government, University of Essex
It is no secret that we are living in unprecedented times. What should we believe? Can we trust the information we read online, or see on television? How can we make the best decisions for ourselves, our families, and our people?
Sustainable Development Goals and the Pandemic
Posted 26/05/2020 11:24 by - Ruth Segal, Research Fellow in the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) form an ‘integrated and indivisible’ framework of goals and targets to guide all countries towards a sustainable and just future.
Experts aren’t just for emergencies: How COVID-19 is changing evidence-based policy making for the better
Posted 18/05/2020 12:58 by - Anthea Terry, Interim Head, PolicyBristol
Michael Gove famously said in 2016 that ‘people in this country have had enough of experts’, and with social media ‘bubbles’, fake news, and the media desire to present opposing viewpoints – however marginal - it can often feel this way.
Public attitudes on compliance with COVID-19 lockdown restrictions
Posted 12/05/2020 12:22 by - Professor Simon Halliday, Dr Jed Meers and Dr Joe Tomlinson, University of York
Understanding the role of law in society, and not only in strict ‘legal’ terms, has rarely been so important.
Towards a Carbon-Free Campus: How a Balanced Energy Network can reduce our dependency on fossil fuels
Posted 11/05/2020 13:57 by - Dr Aaron Gillich, London Southbank University
Despite decades of protests and raising awareness, carbon emissions have continued to increase steadily.
Policy engagement in lockdown - the University of Birmingham view
Posted 06/05/2020 15:03 by - Jeremy Swan, Public Affairs Manager (Policy Impact), University of Birmingham
Let’s not beat about the bush, the last few months have been challenging.
Looking ahead to party political conferences 2020: Academic engagement during conference season
Posted 07/04/2020 12:41 by - Megan Marsh, Senior Public Affairs Officer, London School of Economics
Dr Grace Lordan, Megan Marsh, Professor Tony Travers and Dr Anna Valero describe how academics and the public affairs team at LSE have used party conferences to contribute to policy debates and drive the impact of academic research. A longer version of this blog appeared on the LSE Impact blog, @LSEImpactBlog.
New report on academic engagement with UK legislatures
Posted 06/04/2020 10:35 by - Dr Danielle Beswick and Dr Marc Geddes
The authors have recently published the report, Evaluating academic engagement with UK legislatures, a project which is funded by the ESRC IAA and supported by the UK's four legislatures.
Building a 'Wellbeing Economy': is there a role for social enterprise?
Posted 30/03/2020 15:14 by - Professor Michael Roy, Economic Sociology and Social Policy, Glasgow Caledonian University
An Early Day Motion was recently laid in the UK Parliament calling for:
Research making a difference in our communities and businesses
Posted 19/03/2020 12:25 by - Amy Ripley, PR & Communications Manager, City, University of London
Many of us have worked in retail at some point in our lives and would welcome the news that proposed legislation to protect shop workers from violence, verbal and physical abuse was put before the House of Commons on Monday 16th March.
UPEN shares experiences of engaging with UK Government Areas of Research Interest
Posted 20/03/2020 17:19 by - Stephen Meek, UPEN Chair 2018-19
This week, the Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN) publishes its first report, looking at how universities can use the “Areas of Research Interest” statements published by UK government Departments to strengthen the evidence base for policy decision making.
Generating impact in the absence of government: Northern Ireland’s unlevel playing field
Posted 09/03/2020 12:13 by - Vanessa & Gstrein & Maria Prince, Ulster University
Impact assessment regimes are largely a-spatial, in that they assume that the academics they assess have equal access and opportunities to influence at different scales (e.g. local, regional, national, international etc) regardless of where they are located. Taking the example of Northern Ireland, Dr Vanessa Gstrein and Maria Prince explore how the lack of a functioning government has limited the role that research focused on Northern Ireland can play in developing public policy in the province and the implications this has for universities in Northern Ireland, who have to compete for research funding with other universities in the UK.
Harnessing the power of our PhD community
Posted 04/03/2020 12:05 by - Jav Ghuman, Senior Policy Adviser, Coventry University
As a relative newcomer to the higher education sector, it is extremely fulfilling working with such brilliant academic minds on so many different issues and as part of the Group Policy Unit here at Coventry University, we’re keen to support our academic colleagues to get involved in the policy making process.
Listening makes for better policy making
Posted 26/02/2020 13:42 by - Sally Burlington, Head of Policy (People), Local Government Association
We are starting a new decade with a new government and fresh debate about what skills the civil service needs. One angle on this debate is about how best to answer the age-old question of “What makes effective policy?”
What if citizens not tech hold the key to a radical new policy agenda?
Posted 25/02/2020 13:47 by - Professor Chris Fox, Manchester Metropolitan University
As a society we face some big challenges. Take your pick from a list that includes climate change, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an ageing population, urbanisation and the growth of cities, and the rise of populism.
Overseas policy engagement: a postcolonial approach to the sustainable development goals
Posted 19/02/2020 16:36 by - Katie O'Reilly-Boyles, External Engagement and Public Affairs Directorate, SOAS
While the SOAS community does have strong working relationships with UK government departments, incoming changes in the REF structure and a redirection of government funding mean that as an Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences university we must also set our sights further afield and look at global priorities for higher education such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Posted 18/02/2020 17:29 by - Gareth Giles, Head of Public Policy|Southampton
When policy makers have needed expertise in the past they have always been able to get it.
Why isn’t government policy more preventive?
Posted 10/02/2020 13:23 by - Paul Cairney and Emily St Denny, University of Stirling
For decades, UK governments have used the phrase ‘prevention is better than cure’ to describe a new direction in policy and policymaking.
Join us in March to discuss improving policy engagement with the Global South
Posted 06/02/2020 08:53 by - Chris Sims, Head of Global Policy Impact, University of Nottingham Institute for Policy and Engagement
Countries in the Global South factor prominently in both the research conducted and curricula taught in UK universities.
Support for policy engagement internationally – how can we strengthen our offer?
Posted 04/02/2020 08:48 by - Eleanor Bayley, Deputy Head of Policy Engagement, University of Oxford
As relative newcomer to the higher education sector it’s a privilege to work more closely with leading researchers whose evidence is making a difference. Policy engagement initiatives within UK universities are clearly making strides in facilitating the formation of evidence-based policy in local and national government.
Building links between academia and policymakers - A MHCLG Perspective
Posted 21/01/2020 11:22 by - Stephen Aldridge, Director for Analysis and Data, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
There is a tremendous thirst amongst policymakers to make better use of academic research says Stephen Aldridge, Director for Analysis and Data at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Engagement for Policy Impact - A Welsh Perspective
Posted 20/01/2020 16:59 by - Jane Williams, Acting Director, Morgan Academy
Years ago, working as a UK Government lawyer, I often pondered the gap between the policy process - the realm of Ministers and their officials, often (not always well-enough!) informed by research - and the people and places affected by its legislative outputs.
Diversity of ideas: we need more tools in our toolbox
Posted 15/01/2020 11:56 by - Isobel Stephen, Executive Director, Strategy, Performance and Engagement at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
My favourite metaphor for diversity is one of a toolbox.
Universities need to do more to support impactful researchers
Posted 14/01/2020 09:04 by - Dr Benedict Wilkinson, Associate Director, King's Policy Institute
For anyone who has worked in or on policy engagement, the image of the furiously busy policymaker will be all too familiar.
The Impact of Campaigning
Posted 06/01/2020 17:10 by - Emma Rundle, Impact & Partnership Development Officer, University of Exeter
On International Women’s Day 2019, ‘Speak Up’ a book aimed at inspiring others to ‘use your voice to change the world’ was published. This book told the story of Laura Coryton’s experience of running a successful campaign and ultimately changing international taxation laws. However, as the book made its way around our office we started to notice similarities between running a successful campaign and delivering impactful research.
Effective Collaboration: how the corporate world could learn a thing or two from the higher education sector
Posted 10/12/2019 11:33 by - Rachael Richards, Director of Public Affairs, Durham University
I am still relatively new to my role as Director of Public Affairs at Durham University, having joined at the beginning of October. Prior to that my career has been predominantly in the corporate consultancy world, working with national and international companies, as well as some NHS Trusts and HE institutions for good measure.
University research thinking needs an extra level
Posted 28/11/2019 11:32 by - Jack O'Sullivan
Jack O’Sullivan argues that new think tanks and policy institutes should widen their mission – to embed interdisciplinary thinking about research.
What’s next from Parliament’s Knowledge Exchange Unit? Three more things to support you to engage with UK Parliament!
Posted 03/12/2019 09:58 by - Naomi Saint and Sarah Foxen, UK Parliament's Knowledge Exchange Managers
The KE Unit at the UK Parliament has been going for just over a year now, and at the end of November we celebrated our one-year Twitterversary!
Mobilising meaningful connections between evidence and practice
Posted 26/11/2019 09:54 by - Megan Park, Research Apprentice, Wales Centre for Public Policy
At the Wales Centre for Public Policy (WCPP), we are continually reflecting upon our role as a ‘knowledge brokerage organisation’ (KBO). We see ‘knowledge brokerage’ as the practice of connecting researchers and decision makers to help inform public policy and professional practice. Although knowledge brokerage has great potential, we also recognise the complexity inherent in our work.
Policy at Strathyclyde
Posted 18/11/2019 15:03 by - Phil Considine, Director, Policy at Strathclyde
This has been an extremely exciting few months for Policy at Strathclyde where we have been working on a wide range of programmes that aim to support and enhance policy making in Scotland, the wider UK and beyond.
Nottingham's Good Work Programme: A place-based approach to addressing economic insecurity
Posted 11/11/2019 14:10 by - Paula Black and Rich Pickford, Nottingham Civic Exchange
Bringing together policy development, civic engagement, student experience and academic research.
Reality TV, Emotional AI and Governance of Digital Futures
Posted 04/11/2019 13:39 by - Vian Bakir and Andrew McStay, Bangor University
Vian Bakir and Andrew McStay regularly engage with policy-makers in the digital media field, under the auspices of the Network for Study of Media & Persuasive Communication and the Emotional AI lab.
Tackling climate change together – through partnerships, policy and engagement
Posted 28/10/2019 10:01 by - Jane Robinson, Dean of Engagement and Place, Newcastle University
As I write this blog, the impact and realisation of climate change becomes ever more apparent. Amid Brexit, climate change dominates the news – from the recent Queen’s Speech to Extinction Rebellion protests across the country.
Five ways to increase diversity of voice and make academic-policy engagement more equitable
Posted 17/10/2019 11:25 by - Sarah Chaytor, Siobhan Morris & Olivia Stevenson - UCL Public Policy
For those of us working in academic-policy engagement, consideration of how to ensure a diversity of expertise in engaging with public policy is increasingly pressing. The recent House of Commons Liaison Committee inquiry into the effectiveness and influence of the select committee system inquiry (to which UPEN submitted evidence) provided a timely opportunity to reflect on the responsibility of both parliament and knowledge brokers to increase diversity in academic-policy interactions.
IPR launches new event series on the future of UK farming, wildlife loss and climate change
Posted 10/10/2019 17:42 by - Amy Thompson, Head of Policy Programmes and Communications, Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath
'The Future is in Our Lands’ is a new public event series which will address issues around the future of UK land and farming, sustainable food production, and the protection of our ecosystems.
Carving out the time to take a step back
Posted 07/10/2019 09:12 by - Lauren Milden, Policy Adviser, Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge
Like most of those reading this blog, the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) at the University of Cambridge has spent a fair amount of time considering and trialling methods of brokering relations between academics and policy makers.
Posted 26/09/2019 10:23 by - Stephen Meek, Director of the Institute for Policy and Engagement, University of Nottingham and Chair of UPEN (2019-20)
UPEN gathered for its first meeting of the Academic year in Bristol on Monday, kindly hosted by Policy Bristol in their rather nice, and wonderfully located, offices between College Green and Bristol’s Waterfront.
How media engagement brings benefits for policy brokerage
Posted 18/07/2019 14:07 by - Amy Ripley, Senior Communications Officer at City, University of London
There are clear benefits for academics who engage with the media to publicise their research and expertise. By learning how to explain their research to new audiences, they improve their communication skills and boost their personal profiles and that of their university.
Making an impact with research: how to engage critically with well-meaning advice
Posted 18/07/2019 15:31 by - Paul Cairney, Professor of Politics and Public Policy, University of Stirling and Kathryn Oliver, Associate Professor of Sociology and Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
The 'impact' agenda has prompted many academics and organisations to recommend how to use research to influence policy and practice. In this post, Paul Cairney and Kathryn Oliver reflect on the value of this advice and warn against taking it too firmly to heart. The post trails their forthcoming contribution to 'UoN Engaged', hosted at the University of Nottingham on the 17th of September.
A year in the life of a new policy engagement function
Posted 09/07/2019 14:57 by - Dr Rachel Hayward, Head of Government Affairs at the University of Warwick
12 months ago, I joined the University of Warwick as the new Head of Government Affairs, charged with the exciting, and equally daunting, task of developing and implementing the institution’s strategic approach to government policy engagement. The last year has flown by in a whirlwind of meetings, long days and policy events, in-between the bread and butter of all policy roles – intelligence gathering and horizon-scanning. Here I share a few of the many lessons I’ve learned from my experiences over the past year.
UPEN: Plans and Objectives for Academic Year 2019-20
Posted 12/06/2019 15:23 by - Stephen Meek, Director of the Institute of Policy and Engagement at the University of Nottingham and Chair of UPEN for the 2019-2020 academic year
UPEN has formally existed for barely a year, and yet done a huge amount. And for that Gavin Costigan, the founding and outgoing Chair, deserves huge plaudits.
UPEN- A year in review led by the Public|Policy Southampton
Posted 12/06/2019 15:12 by - Gavin Costigan, Chief Executive of the Foundation for Science and Technology, Chair of UPEN for the academic year 2018-19
In the summer of 2018, I was exchanging emails with colleagues in policy brokerage roles across a number of universities. There had been an informal network of us for a year or two, which had met from time to time, but had no formal structure or specific plans. Yet when I mentioned this putative network to contacts in Government, several were excited and keen to attend meetings. The question I provoked last summer was: Is this the time to develop and agree a formalised network?
Badgers, bees, beams, floods, and hormones: being an honest broker to policymakers
Posted 02/07/2019 11:50 by - Dr Ella Adlen, Research and Programmes Manager at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford
On 13 June UCL kindly hosted a welcome opportunity for UPEN members to discuss policy brokerage with Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, Professor Sir Ian Boyd, Professor Robin Grimes and Dr Kathryn Oliver. Several participants touched on evidence synthesis – a potentially neutral way for researchers and academics to act as brokers to help policymakers understand evidence.
Changing Policy of Traumatic Brain Injury in the Criminal Justice System
Posted 27/06/2019 15:11 by - Prof Huw Williams, Associate Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology and Co-Director of the Centre for Clinical Neuropsychology Research (CCNR), University of Exeter
As a Clinical Neuropsychologist I am interested in how the brain works, and what happens when people have injuries to the brain - from assaults, car accidents and falls and such like. Most injuries are “mild” – often thought of as “concussion” - but some – around 20% - are significant – with changes to the brain – and mind – that lasts a lifetime. The changes are typically in parts of the brain that allows people to remember, to plan ahead and to follow that plan (remember!). But also – importantly – to manage emotions. To rein ourselves in. How would it be if we acted on an impulse?
The Wales Centre for Public Policy: our Theory of Change
Posted 25/06/2019 10:14 by - Professor James Downe, Professor in Public Policy & Management in Cardiff Business School and Director of Research at the Wales Centre for Public Policy, Dr Hannah Durrant Senior Research Fellow at WCfPP, Dr Eleanor MacKillop Research Associate at WCfPP
The Wales Centre for Public Policy works with leading policy experts to provide Ministers, the civil service and public services in Wales with independent and authoritative evidence and expertise. It also conducts research on the processes and practices of policy-making and evidence use to contribute to knowledge and inform its own ways of working.
What Works Now
Posted 20/06/2019 11:00 by - Stephen Meek, Director of the Institute of Policy and Engagement at the University of Nottingham and Chair of UPEN for the 2019-2020 academic year
I spent a fascinating afternoon earlier this week at a roundtable hosted by NESTA (the National Endowment for Science and the Arts) to discuss What Works Now – Evidence Informed Policy and Practice (Policy Press 2019), a book edited by Annette Boaz, Huw Davies, Alec Fraser and Sandra Nutley. The collection of essays build on the earlier What Works? (Policy Press, 2000), and brings together pieces that look comprehensively at how evidence is used to inform practice and policy making across different sectors and in different countries.
Open Innovation and Policy Engagement at the University of York
Posted 18/06/2019 12:06 by - Dr Chris Hewson, Faculty Research Impact Manager (Social Sciences), University of York
As universities seek to up their game with respect to policy engagement, a range of proactive and reactive strategies, alongside associated processes, have arisen within Higher Education. Both forms of strategy are bound up in the dynamics of a sector that is geared towards sharing best practice, yet at the same time attuned to the increasingly competitive dynamics that characterise the university research funding landscape.
Student engagement: Serving the needs of society by influencing policymakers of the future
Posted 12/06/2019 17:48 by - Lizzie Ellen, Communications Officer at the Policy Institute, King's College London
Like many similar units, the Policy Institute is primarily concerned with producing academically rigorous solutions to policy challenges. But in addition to research, we’re also passionate about working with students, partly to help develop those solutions, but also to add to their experience of King’s, and ultimately their employability and personal development.
The Scottish Policy and Research Exchange
Posted 06/06/2019 10:45 by - Nick Bibby, Director of Scottish Policy and Research Exchange
The Scottish Policy and Research Exchange is a network of academics and officials working in new ways to expand the evidence base available to policymakers. Much of this involves encouraging and supporting new voices from the academy to engage with policy.
Ageing to be next mission for social business incubator Zinc – a partnership between universities and business to help find solutions to grand challenges
Posted 06/06/2019 10:44 by - Megan Marsh, Public Affairs Officer at LSE
Entrepreneurial engagement with Zinc’s programme of missions show how the private sector can draw on social science research to tackle pressing societal issues that policy makers are looking to solve. The programme, supported by the ASPECT initiative, is currently looking at a third mission around the topic of ageing writes Megan Marsh, Public Affairs Officer at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
Don’t forget to look local
Posted 04/06/2019 10:06 by - Dr Chris Peters, Communications & Engagement Manager at the University of Manchester
While national Government has an ever increasing amount of support available for policymaking, it’s important not to leave local and regional policymakers out when it comes to providing scientific advice.
From catalyst to conduit
Posted 21/05/2019 17:05 by - Michael Taylor, Head of Regional Affairs at Manchester Metropolitan University and a Co-convenor of the MetroPolis think tank
We’ve learnt a lot since we started MetroPolis, our think tank at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Collaborative Engagement: How Research and Practice is Impacting Communities
Posted 16/05/2019 12:49 by - Dr. Gina Yannitell Reinhardt, Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor in the Department of Government, University of Essex and Dr. Dragana Vidovic, Research Officer and a Fixed Term Teacher, University of Essex
There is a common and persistent belief out there that entrepreneurship is about creativity - that it's about having a great idea. But it's not, really. Entrepreneurship isn't about creativity. It's about organization-building - which, in turn, is about people.Andrew Yang
Shaping Futures: Working for Better Housing Outcomes in Britain, Canada and Australia
Posted 14/05/2019 11:09 by - Prof Duncan Maclennan, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Glasgow
Shaping Futures grew out of a tradition of housing research at the University of Glasgow and, supported by the universities of New South Wales and Toronto, it developed into an international collaborative partnership of 17 non-profit housing providers, cities and government agencies. It exchanged and produced knowledge in three face-to-face meetings to plan and progress joint-working over three years about housing processes, problems and policies in Australia, Britain and Canada (ABC countries).
What academics really think about policy engagement
Posted 09/05/2019 15:15 by - Dr Danielle Beswick, Senior Lecturer in the International Development Department, University of Birmingham
In May 2018 I began a parliamentary academic fellowship with the House of Commons Select Committee on International Development. This committee, like many others, hears mainly from a small group of universities, mainly in London and the South East, and wanted to know how to engage a wider range of academic expertise across the country.
The ‘5 Ts’ of policy engagement: PolicyBristol’s approach to supporting academics
Posted 01/05/2019 16:38 by - Dr Lindsey Pike, PolicyBristol Associate
Supporting academics across the University of Bristol to achieve policy impact from their research is a diverse and fascinating job. In the process of doing this, our team at PolicyBristol is constantly learning about new topics; from the value of NHS managers to refugee rights, enhancing peace processes to the role of universities. Although each project uses a bespoke approach, this can be summarised under the following key principles for engagement which we refer to as the ‘five Ts’:
Blogging for a policy audience
Posted 29/04/2019 15:24 by - Nick Bibby, Director of the Scottish Policy and Research Exchange
Blogs can be a useful tool to reach policymakers, says Nick Bibby of the Scottish Policy and Research Exchange, and can be made all the more effective by following a few simple guidelines.
Leeds Social Sciences Institute engaging policy
Posted 25/04/2019 14:19 by - Katie Barclay, Communications Coordinator, Leeds Social Sciences Institute
In January 2019, LSSI and Leeds Barc University Business School hosted a workshop which brought together researchers at Leeds with those operating in policy and analysis at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Informing a national conversation on child hunger
Posted 11/04/2019 14:25 by - Prof Iain Wilkinson, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent
As the number of children living in poverty grows, academic research is informing a UK-wide, cross-party inquiry on how we can ensure that children get the nourishment they need. Its report will be launched in Westminster on 25th April 2019.
Ten lessons for policy engagement
Posted 09/04/2019 12:04 by - Lauren Milden, Policy Adviser, Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge
The Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) is part of the University of Cambridge and its mission is to improve public policy through the more effective use of evidence and expertise. We do this by creating opportunities for public policy professionals and academics to learn from each other. Since CSaP was founded in July 2009, we’ve learnt a few things! So, in anticipation of CSaP’s 10th anniversary, we thought we’d share ten lessons from our journey.
Understanding street gangs and youth violence
Posted 04/04/2019 13:57 by - Dr Andrew Whittaker, Associate Professor and Head of the Risk, Resilience and Expert Decision-making (RRED) research group, London South Bank University
Most academics enter into academia because we are curious and love our subject. But this means we can struggle with the challenges of influencing policy and practice in a complex world that is often indifferent to our research. Occasionally, research is recognized as having something to say outside of our network of researchers and this can be both exciting and demanding.
Making space for new models of academic-policy engagement
Posted 02/04/2019 11:19 by - Dr Olivia Stevenson, Head of UCL Public Policy and a Co-founder of the Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN)
As Head of UCL Public Policy, I lead UCL’s institutional initiative to support academic-policy engagement. I haven’t always had this role and reflecting back on my career to date, I have been on a journey of discovery to get there.
A new dawn in evidence informed policy?
Posted 28/03/2019 13:24 by - Rob Davies, Public Affairs Manager, CLOSER
Much has changed since my 2017 blog on engaging with policymakers. Brexit dominating the policy landscape has impacted both international and domestic agendas, often limiting opportunities to get research seen and heard by decision makers. However new developments are starting to take shape, helping to feed more scientific evidence into policy. I explore some of these here, highlighting a few examples of the routes I have taken over the past year.
Of Mice and MPs: a year of engaging with Parliament
Posted 26/03/2019 14:39 by - Neil Heckels, Senior Policy Engagement Manager at Durham University
A week in politics might be a long time, but a year of working with parliament flies over. Or at least that was one reflection I had recently, when attempting to capture the range of Durham University’s contributions to the UK and devolved parliaments over the last 12 months. We’ve had a big push on increasing our parliamentary engagement in the last year and it has been hugely encouraging to see many of our Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and PhD students getting involved, as well as more experienced colleagues, for whom working with policymakers has long been core to their work.
It’s not all plain sailing: providing navigation on Post-Brexit trade policy
Posted 21/03/2019 16:39 by - Charlotte Humma, Research Communications Manager at the University of Sussex Business School and Business Manager for the UK Trade Policy Observatory
There is (probably) no greater nor more topical example of the complexity of policymaking than Brexit. As has been evident over the last two years – which culminated in a fascinating series of Parliamentary votes last week – policymaking is far from a discrete one-off decision, but rather a complex non-linear process that involves a multitude of actors and forces, both inside and outside Parliament, operating at multiple levels.
Public Policy|Southampton – the journey so far
Posted 19/03/2019 11:01 by - Gavin Costigan, Specialist Advisor, Public Policy|Southampton/ Chair, Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN)
Whenever I tell people that I work at a university, their first question is usually: What do I teach? Even amongst people who know the complexity of university structures and the vast number of roles that exist across Professional Services, explaining what a public policy team does is not straightforward – because we are still the new kids on the block within higher education institutes. So as I look back at the last three years at the work of the public policy team in Southampton since its establishment as a cross-university unit in 2016, it’s worth reflecting – what have we actually achieved?
Third mission accomplished? Why are universities bad at engaging with local and regional government and what we can do about it.
Posted 14/03/2019 15:10 by - Liliana Fonseca, PhD fellow in Public Policy at the University of Aveiro, Portugal and ESR fellow of the RUNIN project
Universities are increasingly called upon to engage with local and regional government, namely as part of a ‘third academic mission’, but how effectively do they incentivize academics to do so?
Human skills will always be needed in a technological age
Posted 07/03/2019 17:13 by - Dr Grace Lordan, Associate Professor of Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics
The ambitions in the Industrial Strategy are lofty and far reaching.
Over 10,000 problem solvers at your disposal
Posted 25/02/2019 16:20 by - Sir Patrick Vallance, FRS, FMedSci, FRCP, Government Chief Scientific Adviser
Essentially, the role of Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) is to ensure that the Prime Minister and the government have advice based on world-leading science, and that policies and decisions are informed by scientific evidence and strategic long-term thinking.
Social media and screen-time: To ban or not to ban – that’s probably not the question
Posted 18/02/2019 16:02 by - Rob Davies, Public Affairs Manager, CLOSER
Informed by evidence from academics, royal societies, health officials, social media companies, young people, teachers, government ministers, research funders and more, the Science and Technology Committee report on the impact of social media and screen-use on young people’s health covers a range of issues: from risks, harms and benefits, regulations and guidance, to resources for schools and teachers.
How to live to 100 and tell people about it!
Posted 18/02/2019 13:59 by - by Teresa McGowan~ Source ESRC
We are all living longer; since 1850, we’ve gained around 2.5 years of life expectancy per decade and it’s estimated that one in three children born today will live to be 100 years old. In Europe there is one retiree for every four people of working age, by 2060 this is expected to rise to one in two.
What makes an academic paper useful for health policy?
Posted 12/02/2019 16:16 by - Christopher J. M. Whitty
Evidence-based policy ensures that the best interventions are effectively implemented. Integrating rigorous, relevant science into policy is therefore essential. Barriers include the evidence not being there; lack of demand by policymakers; academics not producing rigorous, relevant papers within the timeframe of the policy cycle. This piece addresses the last problem.
2018 in review: round-up of our top posts on connecting research with policy
Posted 08/02/2019 14:44 by - Source: LSE Impact Blog
A round up of top posts from 2018.
Six important things about impact you need to know from the REF2021 guidance
Posted 05/02/2019 15:04 by - Mark Reed
The final guidance for REF2021 was released this week. Most of the guidance on impact is consistent with what I expected from the consultation. For the full guidance on the submission of impact case studies to REF2021 see pages 68-76 of the and do a keyword search for “impact” to find any specific guidance for your Main Panel or Unit of Assessment in the Panel Criteria and Working Methods.
Do we need to “fail fast” to achieve open access?
Posted 24/01/2019 12:33 by - Toby Green, Source LSE Impact Blog
Progress to open access has stalled. After two decades of trying, the proportion of born-free articles is stuck at 20%. Kicking off the Impact Blog’s Open Access Week coverage, Toby Green suggests the solution to our financially unsustainable scholarly publishing system may lie in rethinking traditional processes using internet-era norms. Embracing the principle of “fail fast”, all papers should first be published as freely available preprints to test whether they “succeed” or “fail”, with journals then competing to invite authors to publish. This would reduce the costs of the expensive, straining peer review system while ensuring all papers are available to all readers.
Building a culture of research impact
Posted 17/01/2019 11:56 by - Louise Shaxson, Manager of the Evidence & Policy Group (EPG) of the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme. Source LSE Impact Blog
Drawing on case study evidence from the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme, Louise Shaxson suggests that developing a culture of engagement and collaboration is just as important to achieving research impact as following best practice, and presents five principles that underpin an effective research impact culture.
Lifelong consequences – the importance of early intervention
Posted 19/11/2018 11:39 by - Rob Davies, Public Affairs Manager, CLOSER
Following over 100 pieces of written evidence and oral evidence from 26 witnesses, yesterday the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee published their report on ‘Evidence-based early years intervention’, calling on the Government to draw up a new national strategy for early intervention approaches to address childhood adversity and trauma.
Public policy impact (and how to get paid for it)
Posted 08/10/2018 15:20 by - Gavin Costigan Director, Public Policy|Southampton Chair, Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN)
In all the restructuring of higher education in recent years, the primacy of the message about needing to ensure impact from research has remained consistent.