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CAPE Policy Challenge: Scoping a New Deal for Workers in Islington

Summary | Context | The Policy Challenge | Evidence needs | Delivering the work | Application process | Eligibility | Timeline | About the Policy Challenge Fund | Islington New Deal for Workers


CAPE invites applications from staff at UCL and the University of Cambridge as part of the CAPE project to work with Islington Council to develop an evidence base which will underpin the development of a New Deal for Workers in Islington.

Funding of between £5k and £15k is available and it is anticipated the research will be carried out between 30 June and 28 October. Respondents to the call will be expected to work closely with the Council and other key stakeholders to deliver their proposed project.  


Islington Council has been developing a ‘good work’ agenda to improve pay and conditions for workers in the borough, including through the London Living Wage Group, launching the “Join a Union” campaign with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and initiating an Islington Good Work charter. This has resulted in the development of a New Deal for Workers strategy in Islington.

This Policy Challenge call follows three roundtable discussions convened by CAPE and the London Borough of Islington which have explored how good work can be defined, what role Islington can play in supporting good work in the borough, and lessons from initiatives developed elsewhere in the UK and beyond.

The Policy Challenge

Islington Council want to explore how to build a community movement and alliances to drive improved pay and working conditions in the borough through an Islington New Deal for Workers.

This will require the development of a local evidence base, drawing on both qualitative and quantitative research, to understand the nature of precarious work in the borough, which will underpin and inform their policy responses.

Islington Council have identified three sectors which are particularly vulnerable to low pay and poor working conditions:

Evidence needs

Informed by the development of the ‘Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise’ campaign, Islington have identified the following evidence needs:

Outputs should include

Delivering the work

Applicants are invited to set out the research plan they consider can best deliver the policy challenge identified by Islington Council as part of their application (see process below). This should include:

Applicants will work closely with Islington Council’s dedicated liaison and Islington colleagues more broadly, as well as regular engagement with the CAPE project team. Applicants will also work with the CAPE team to ensure necessary monitoring and evaluation of the project.

Application process

To apply please provide a short (no more than1- 2 pages) letter outlining:

All applications should be sent to [email protected]. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to present their proposal to a panel comprising representatives from Islington Council and CAPE.

UCL colleagues are invited to reach out with any questions to UCL CAPE coordinator Kayleigh Renberg-Fawcett ([email protected]), and University of Cambridge colleagues should reach out to Cambridge CAPE coordinator Milena Santos ([email protected]).


This opportunity is open to all staff at the universities of Cambridge and UCL. Applicants must be a member of academic / research / professional services staff at UCL and Cambridge with an employment contract in place at the point of application that covers the duration of the project.  

We particularly encourage applicants from early and mid-career colleagues, and those who are underrepresented within academic-policy engagement. No previous policy engagement experience is required, and CAPE are happy to support interested applicants who would benefit from additional support in understanding academic-policy engagement. If you have any accessibility needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  

Multi-person / team applications will be considered.  


6 May           Deadline for applications   

w/c 16 May   Panel meeting with applicants and their proposals

23 May          Award announced

30 June         Indicative project start

28 October    Indicative project end date (to discuss with successful applicant)

About the Policy Challenge Fund

Find out about the policy challenge process works, including presentation, panel and top tips.

Scoping out an Islington New Deal for Workers initiative

Read the supporting note on Islington’s New Deal for Workers.