Policy Fellowship with DCMS: Developing Areas of Research Interest
Through the Capabilities in Academic-Policy Engagement (CAPE) project, we are pleased to announce a new policy fellowship opportunity with the Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS).
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. The Department’s Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) will be leading this process in collaboration with colleagues from the Central Analysis Team (CAT). This process will also involve external input from DCMS’ new College of Experts, Science Advisory Council and collaboration with organisations such as the Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN) and UKRI research councils.
As part of this process, DCMS is introducing a CAPE fellowship that will see a researcher from a CAPE partner institution work in the Department specifically on the ARI project by supporting external engagement, governance and the evaluation of the process. This will feed into CAPE’s aims to test out different ways to improve research to policy processes.
This role will require the successful candidate to work closely alongside staff at DCMS, as well as with a wide range of external stakeholders and organisations. The main responsibilities of this role will be to:
- Support DCMS to consider its research priorities, identify its evidence gaps and outline a comprehensive document of research questions that can be used to engage external expertise.
- Ensure that experts, researchers and industry professionals can see and understand DCMS’ research priorities, as these should then be used by them to engage productively with DCMS policymakers to support policies with robust and strong evidence bases.
Priority tasks will include:
Phase 1: Co-Development: Through liaising with DCMS colleagues and external experts, the fellow will support the designing and development the ARI document. This will involve internal consultation and workshops on identified themes with the research community. (This would include and use existing mechanisms such as College of Experts, Science Advisory Council etc as well as new and innovative ways to engage).
Phase 2: Dissemination: Working on dissemination via social media, in person engagement, roundtables and ultimately a Launch event of the ARI document with the academic community (UPEN supported).
Phase 3: Evaluation: Throughout the process, the follow will collate feedback through surveys, social media analysis and engagement data in order to evaluate the process and ultimately produce a report on best practice. This should involve key stakeholders such as Go-Science, UPEN and CAPE.
- Creating and engaging with up to 5 working groups during the development of the ARIs.
- Conducting surveys to formulate feedback on the ARI process from both external and internal sources.
- Conducting a social media analysis to evaluate the ARI process.
- Developing metrics to evaluate academic ARI engagement which will inform the GO-Science overall ARI evaluation.
- Monitoring and capturing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion data on engagement where appropriate to better understand who is engaging with the ARIs.
- Supporting with the ARI launch event after publication
- Excellent research and analytic skills, with demonstrated experience or transferable skills in designing and carrying out evaluations of this kind .
- Expertise and experience in using research as a means of informing and contributing towards policy development.
- Ability to operate effectively, openly and collaboratively within sensitive political contexts; ability to demonstrate neutrality and impartiality while negotiating competing internal and external needs and perspectives.
- Excellent communication skills and ability to effectively engage with people from different backgrounds and at different levels of seniority. Ability to communicate to both academic and non-academic audiences.
- Understanding of the academic policy-engagement environment, and an ability to grasp project priorities quickly.
- Ability to work proactively, managing and prioritising your own workload, whilst also being able to effectively coordinate and engage with a team.
- Experience of working within a governmental context;
- Experience of organising and hosting workshops;
- Comprehensive understanding of the factors that contribute to effective external engagement and experience of cultivating these.
Please note specific terms and conditions will be stated in a fellowship agreement, which the successful candidate will be required to sign at the start of their fellowship.
In DCMS we are lucky enough to work on some of the most exciting, positive and important policies for the future of the UK. We are here to drive growth and enrich lives and at this moment in time our role is more important than ever.
As we emerge from covid we will be at the forefront of efforts to level up economic opportunity across the UK – investing in infrastructure and innovation.
DCMS drives growth across the UK. We provide the digital infrastructure to boost productivity and harness the power of digital and data across the economy, helping to make the UK a scientific and tech superpower. We support the fastest growing and most innovative sectors of our economy such as digital and tech, media and creative. We help sustain and promote the valuable jobs created in areas like culture, tourism and broadband.
DCMS enriches lives all over the UK. Much of our work involves the things that people up and down the country love, that bring happiness. They also help strengthen communities, and ‘level up’ access to opportunity from supporting the voluntary and community sector to greater participation in sport, culture and creativity.
We support our public service broadcasters and news media to help people take an active and informed role in democracy at national and local levels. We protect world-leading cultural and sporting institutions, including at the grass roots. And we unite people, communities and nations when we take centre stage with events that shape our national identity.
We help protect the security of our economy by ensuring resilience to cyber risks, good governance of our data, keeping people safe from online harms and disinformation. We shape the international agenda in our sectors to support our domestic priorities, particularly through our leadership on sectors such as digital, which are currently central to international debate.
CAPE is a partnership between UCL and the universities of Cambridge, Manchester, Northumbria and Nottingham, in collaboration with the Government Office for Science, the Parliamentary Office for Science & Technology, the Alliance for Useful Evidence, and the Transforming Evidence Hub, funded by Research England.
It is a 4-year project created to support effective and sustained engagement between academics and policy professionals across the higher education sector.
Read more about CAPE
About Policy Fellowships
This fellowship is open to eligible academic and research staff at CAPE partner universities. The posting will begin in February 2022 and depending on the final timeline for publication of the ARIs (Currently March/April 2022), we would expect that the successful applicant will stay in post for up to two months post-publication to work on engagement activities and evaluation. We therefore expect this position to run until November 2022.
The role will be offered on a 0.4 FTE basis (2 days per week). The fellowship award may be up to £50k pro rata dependent on current salary level. Funding covers the cost of staff salary (including on costs but not overheads) for the duration of the fellowship. Funding is not available for expenses associated with the delivery of the fellowship.
For this role, we are open to discussing the possibility of flexible working. Travel to a DCMS office may be required as well as in-person engagement with stakeholders.
For an informal discussion or for any queries, please contact us at [email protected]
- a short CV (max 2 pp)
- covering letter outlining your suitability for the role
- a writing sample produced for a non-academic audience (if available)
Send all materials to: [email protected]
Deadline: EXTENDED: Friday 7 January 23:59