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Photo by Yulia Agnis on Unsplash

Interconnecting islands: evolving the research policy ecosystem

When we think of the current research-policy ecosystem in the UK, what image does it conjure? Some may picture an archipelago; islands of research-policy engagement initiatives separated by surrounding waters. What if we could better connect these islands so that resources can be shared and communities can learn from each other more easily?

CAPE team members reflect on the key insights that emerged from a workshop that sought to explore the development of a more mature engagement ecosystem.

A typology and discussion of interactions between CAPE academic policy engagement mechanisms

CAPE has been running for two years now, and in that time we have observed interactions between our policy engagement mechanisms which we did not necessarily anticipate at the outset. We’ve developed a typology of these interactions which we hope can provide valuable insights into how having multiple, connected project mechanisms can support academic-policy engagement.

Collaboratively and at scale: lending CAPE’s experience to the challenge of describing knowledge mobilisation

Across Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and in policy domains, there has been increased support for and investment in knowledge mobilisation activities and roles. At a time in which funding decision makers and awardees need to evidence the value of investments, questions arise: what is knowledge mobilisation, what does it do and why does it need investing in? Through our work in CAPE, we are seeking to contribute insight into the ways that academic policy engagement is enacted through knowledge mobilisation. We reflect on what our experience of knowledge mobilisation practice collaboratively and at scale tells us, and why a deeper appreciation of the way it works at systemic levels might be useful for the sector as it develops.

Applying for co-production funding in academic policy engagement: lessons from the CAPE Collaboration Fund

From September 2021 – April 2022 we ran three funding calls for our CAPE Collaboration Fund and awarded £400,000 for co-production projects between academics and policy partners. While our projects are ongoing, we explore what we funded, what made for strong applications, and share our recommendations for writing an application for a collaborative project with policy professionals.

Why are knowledge exchange events in academic policy engagement so important?

Many of us run knowledge exchange events to support academic policy engagement, but can we articulate easily why and how they are important? Following a CAPE Sharing Session, we reflect on what we learnt about what works when running knowledge exchange activities.

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

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