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Improving learning opportunities for policy engagement: lessons from the CAPE consortium

Gigi Tennant Research Manager, Nesta Kuranda Morgan Evidence Lead, Nesta Gigi Tennant and Kuranda Morgan from CAPE partner Nesta, who lead our training workstream, share their reflections on what they’ve learnt about how to improve training and learning provision for academics who are engaging with policy.  Why are we doing this? We want to understand the enablers and barriers to delivering effective policy engagement training and professional development offers at CAPE partner universities. Through a series of interviews and focus groups, we sought to learn how training and other professional development activities dedicated to policy engagement are currently being designed, … Continued

Spending 12 months embedded in the academic world: reflections from CAPE Policy Fellow Roshnee Patel

Roshnee Patel, Deputy Director in the Policy and Strategy Group at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), has recently started a year-long CAPE fellowship at UCL to explore what framework she might develop to address complex social welfare legal need better across vulnerable groups. Below, she explores why she’s taken a year out from the MoJ, the importance of taking time to reflect deeply on how she has approached policy and implementation in a central Government context, and what she’s been up to so far “Learning never stops” – a phrase I wholeheartedly agree with. As a child, I was always … Continued

CAPE fellow to work with Department of Culture, Media & Sport to develop Areas of Research Interest (ARI) 

We are pleased to announce our fellowship with the Department of Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has been taken up by fellow Elizbeth Lomas, Associate Professor in Information Governance at University College London. DCMS is currently outlining its plans to refresh its Areas of Research Interest (ARI) document, which will outline the Department’s research needs through a series of questions. Lead by the Department’s Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA), Elizabeth will support this project through external engagement, governance and evaluation of the process. As CAPE fellow, Elizabeth will also ensure that experts, researchers and industry professionals can see and understand DCMS’ … Continued

CAPEcast episode 7: 1 million scientists, 100 million hours with Ruth Morgan

In our latest episode of CAPEcast, we talk to Ruth Morgan, Professor of Crime and Forensic Science at UCL and World Economic Forum young scientist, about her call to get 1 million scientists doing 100 million hours of policy engagement – that’s two hours a week each for 10% of the world’s scientists. Ruth chats to Sarah Chaytor, CAPE co-lead, about why it’s important to spend time building bridges and networks between science and policy, and how two hours a week can create a momentum for networks to grow and get science into places where it affects decision making. We … Continued

CAPE launches fellowship with Newham Council on participative democracy

CAPE is pleased to launch a new 12-month policy fellowship with Newham, taken up by Darren Sharpe, honorary Research Fellow at the UCL Institute of Finance and Technology and Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the Institute for Connected Communities (ICC) based at the University of East London (UEL). Talking about his fellowship, Darren commented – My motivation for applying for the CAPE Fellowship was the ability it afforded me to build meaningful relationships between academy and the public sector to tackle real world policy challenges. Specifically, the project based in the London Borough of Newham will focus on … Continued

CAPE launches knowledge brokerage fellowship with the Greater London Authority

CAPE is pleased to launch a new 12-month fellowship starting this week with the Greater London Authority (GLA), taken up by two fellows, Sarah Jasim, Research Fellow in Social Care at LSE, and Ilias Krystallis, Assistant Professor in Enterprise Management at UCL. The fellowship will provide a dedicated knowledge brokerage function in the GLA to build knowledge networks between GLA staff and academics in London and beyond, bringing together communities of practice and engaging closely with the London Research and Policy Partnership (LRaPP). London is one of the world’s leading research and higher education capitals, with over 40 Universities and … Continued

CAPEcast episode 6. Why we need evidence synthesis: exploring academic policy engagement with the International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO)

In our sixth episode of CAPEcast, our podcast exploring academic-policy engagement, Sarah Chaytor talks to Joanna Chataway and Geoff Mulgan from the ESRC-funded International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO) at UCL. Created during the pandemic, IPPO have mobilised swiftly to assess evidence from around the world to inform UK policy makers, enabling social science evidence to bear on policy making in a more effective way. In this episode, we discuss the key strands of IPPOs work, spanning care, homeless and mental health, and right now looking at issues such as population level mental health, social capital and the importance of communities … Continued

CAPE begins project on rapid evidence reviews with the International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO) and Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)

Policymakers tell us that there is a pressing need for swift summaries of evidence. But how can we deliver rapid reviews of research without cutting corners and compromising on quality? This pilot project will test different ways to marry policymaker demand with academic rigour. A partnership between International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO) and Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), it will develop and evaluate training, templates and toolkits for rapid reviews by university-based researchers. A year-long project, it will create a series of reviews needed by House of Commons select committees, covering health, COVID-19, or social science topics. The … Continued

Defra seek Digital Sequence Information expertise ahead of COP15 – register your interest by 16/01

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are seeking to convene a panel of experts on the treatment of Digital Sequence Information in the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The panel will focus discussions on Access and Benefit Sharing and discussions will help inform UK’s negotiation strategy ahead of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).  CAPE are exploring the role universities can play in supporting engagement around rapid-policy needs, through the convening of ‘pop-up’, or short-term expertise groups that differ from the Scientific Advisory Council models. CAPE are encouraging colleagues from across UK Higher … Continued

CAPEcast episode 4: An inside look into the Ministry of Justice’s Evidence and Partnerships Hub

In our fourth episode of CAPEcast, our podcast exploring academic-policy engagement, Kayleigh Renberg-Fawcett talks to Amy Summerfield, Head of Evidence and Partnerships in Data and Analysis (formerly the Data and Analytical Services Directorate) at the Ministry of Justice (MOJ). We take an inside look into how the MOJ is structured and why they created their Evidence and Partnerships Hub, which provides a centralised and dedicated function within the department to allow MOJ colleagues to make the best use of academic expertise. Through this, they are engaging with academics to transform the way evidence is used to generate policy insights, and … Continued