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Reflection: CAPE Fellowship to Support Digital Skills in Nottingham

⌚ Estimated reading time: 5 minutes Laura Koch CAPE Policy Fellow, Digital Nottingham Moving from a policy-focused environment to a university setting can offer both challenges and rewards. In this blog, CAPE policy fellow, Laura Koch (from Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) provides a reflection on her latest policy fellowship, highlighting how exposure to new settings and perspectives as part of the experience has influenced her own approach to policymaking. I am over seven months into my CAPE Policy Fellowship at the University of Nottingham to support local digital skills and it feels like a good time to … Continued

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The ‘evidence mosaic’: helping parliamentary committees understand complex issues through Areas of Research Interest

⌚ Estimated reading time: 5 minutes Hannah Johnson Knowledge Exchange Lead, Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru Areas of Research Interest (ARIs) are lists of policy issues or questions that can be used by parliamentary committees to invite research evidence for decision making. They are designed to build dialogue between researchers and policymakers, providing a new mechanism to broaden the research evidence submitted to parliamentary committees and the expertise available to them. In this blog, Hannah Johnson (Knowledge Exchange Lead, Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru) discusses how the use of ARIs has helped to encourage diversity in the evidence submitted to the Senedd committees, encouraging … Continued

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Call for academic expertise on artificial intelligence in weapons systems

The House of Lords select committee on Artificial Intelligence in Weapon Systems has launched a new Area of Research Interest (ARI) alongside their Call for Evidence. Academics, research institutions and experts with technical and other expertise concerning AI in Weapon Systems are invited to complete a short survey about their research.

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Informal networks: How policy knowledge brokers across the UK connected to support academic-policy engagement

As part of our exploration into the importance of knowledge exchange events in academic-policy engagement, we reflect on a pilot network within CAPE called the Policy Knowledge Brokers Forum (PKBF). The network bought together policy knowledge brokers in policy organisations to meet and share experiences. Kayleigh Renberg Fawcett and Jenny Hasenfuss, CAPE coordinators who supported the network, share reflections on what we’ve learnt based on the collective experience from founding members of the network from the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology, Government Office for Science, and the Evidence & Partnerships Hub at the Ministry of Justice . Our insights from this initiative show that knowledge exchange events are a great way to build networks, provide a safe space for disruptive thinking, and work well when there is a diversity of voices present. 

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House of Commons International Development Committee updates Areas of Research Interest (ARIs)

The House of Commons International Development Committee has now updated its Areas of Research Interest for 2023 to support the Committee’s scrutiny of the UK’s international development strategy and funding. Academics at all career stages, research institutions, and experts are encouraged to register their interest in these ARIs, add their existing research in the topic areas to the ARI repository, provide their insights, and suggest questions that the Committee could be asking the Government. 

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Space for community voices – how peer research contributed to a deeper understanding of social infrastructure

‘Social infrastructure’ is a phrase often used by policy makers and academics to describe places where people come together. But what does this phrase mean to local communities and how can we include them in discussions about these spaces? In 2022 the Bennett Institute for Public Policy ran a CAPE funded project with the Institute for Community Studies to explore. Owen Garling, Knowledge Transfer Facilitator at the Institute, reflects on the experience of talking about social infrastructure with community groups, how the project effectively engaged the public, and why it’s so important they are included in conversations.

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Evidence: from engagement to impact

In this blog Ben Hepworth from the Ministry of Justice describes how civil servants working in knowledge exchange roles across government have been supported by CAPE to convene a forum – the Policy Knowledge Brokering Forum (PKBF) – to discuss topics of mutual interest. The substantive content of this blogpost explores and summarises one session of the PKBF that discussed evidence usage, academic engagement, and ‘impact’.

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Using diversity of thought in universities to be a more inclusive leader in policy

Taking yourself out of your comfort zone, moving from a policy environment to a university one, can throw up big differences in practice but it can also have great rewards. 

CAPE Policy Fellow Roshnee Patel (from the Ministry of Justice) gives an honest and thoughtful account of her year at UCL and how being exposed to the diversity of thought has influenced her own thinking about policy making. In turn, she shares how she’s used her expertise to contribute to UCL’s work on Equality and Diversity as well as helping UCL articulate how it is shaping public policy. 

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Six months at the heart of science in Government – reflections from a knowledge mobiliser

Florence Greatrix, CAPE Policy Fellow, has been working with the Government Office for Science in their Emerging Technologies team. In sharing her reflections on her time working in policy, she explores the value of doing a policy fellowship and offers insights into what it’s like working in GO-Science.

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Insights into the co-production process in understanding the role of modular homes in addressing homelessness

Gemma Burgess and Katy Karampour from the University of Cambridge reflect on their CAPE Collaboration Fund project which evaluates modular housing schemes for homelessness in Cambridge. They discuss how co-production and collaboration has worked with their partner Jimmy’s Cambridge and how this will help to inform future policy decisions by Cambridgeshire County Council.

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