Policy Fellowship with the GLA: Mobilising academic knowledge in London and beyond
Through the Capabilities in Academic-Policy Engagement (CAPE) project, we are pleased to announce a new Policy Fellowship opportunity with the Greater London Authority (GLA).
CAPE is funding a 12-month pilot to create a dedicated knowledge brokerage function to build knowledge networks between GLA staff and academics in London and beyond. This will also support coordination between universities in London in seeking to apply their academic expertise to regional policy priorities. The Policy Fellowship will also engage closely with the new London Research and Policy Partnership (LRaPP).
The objectives of the pilot are to:
- support the mobilisation of academic knowledge in London and beyond to address GLA and London borough policy priorities, through providing dedicated knowledge brokerage capability to bring together communities of practice
- increase the flow of independent academic expertise and evidence on issues of relevance to London government, and supporting engagement between the GLA, London Boroughs, universities in London and the wider sector to develop an effective evidence base for use in policy development and implementation
- explore options for sustainable structures for academic-policy engagement in London.
London is one of the world’s leading research and higher education capitals, with over 40 Universities and thousands of university researchers, and a breadth and depth of academic and analytical skills that can be brought together to support evidence-based policy development. With significant challenges facing the capital – many of them exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that London continues to thrive, and generate new ideas and solutions on how to create more and better jobs, tackle social, economic and health inequalities, and deliver a fairer, cleaner and greener London.
About the GLA
The GLA is the strategic regional government of London. It represents the interest of Londoners and directs the future of London, particularly on issues surrounding transport, policing, planning, culture, environment, health, fire and emergency services and economic and social development. The GLA area covers the 32 London boroughs and the City of London.
The City Intelligence Unit (CIU) sits at the heart of the GLA within the Strategy and Communications Directorate, providing a world-class strategy, intelligence, and analysis service for Londoners through excellent, evidenced, and deliverable insights from our understanding of the strategic issues and challenges affecting London, and use of technology and data.
The £10 million, 4-year Research England-funded CAPE project 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.
CAPE has been created to support effective and sustained engagement between academics and policy professionals across the higher education sector. CAPE comprises four broad workstreams under which activities related to the academic-policy interventions will be co-designed with policy partners: training; knowledge exchange events; seed funding; and policy fellowships. Evaluation is embedded across the project and integrated in the delivery of activities in order to ‘learn as we go’ and share emerging knowledge with university and public policy stakeholders.
The GLA, University of London, and the national CAPE programme have recently launched a new London Research and Policy Partnership (LRaPP). Working closely with London Councils, the Partnership is aimed at promoting greater joint working between London government and London’s academic research community.
The Policy Fellow will have a dedicated remit to convene networks and communities of practice, and deliver activities which aim to address or advance strategic policy priorities. S/he will act as a knowledge broker across multiple policy areas, working to identify and map networks of knowledge and research gaps; supporting academic capability to provide research evidence and expertise to the GLA; integrating evidence in decision-making; and complementing the role of other GLA advisers and analytical experts.
The successful candidate will work closely with the GLA, CAPE, LRaPP, the University of London, and other partners in the capital, including London Councils, London boroughs and sub-regional partnerships, business, other anchor institutions, public sector, research and policy organisations, civil society and communities. The main responsibilities of the post will be to:
- establish close working relationships with the analytical leads at the GLA, and increase GLA access to academic expertise which can support the identification and understanding of key policy challenges and the co-creation of a knowledge base to address them;
- expand the understanding and use of high-quality expertise and evidence in regional policy development within London, and increase the ability of the academic community to apply knowledge and expertise to regional policy needs;
- build on existing programmes within the GLA, and with partners, to strengthen networks between the GLA and academic communities, and in particular LRaPP, in order to create sustainable networks of expertise and support ongoing collaboration related to long-term regional policy priorities;
- identify key areas of research interest and long-term policy questions for the Greater London region, which research capabilities could be harnessed, and identify practical collaborative activities to support policy development and implementation;
- Support the development of demonstrator projects to show the effectiveness of improved ways of working, and to leverage innovation arising out of improved network development.
Priority tasks may include:
- Working with the GLA and Recovery Mission Teams, where there are already communities of practice delivering on the Mayor’s five priorities: Keeping London safe, economic recovery and future job creation, a Green New Deal, affordable housing and physical development and opportunities for young people, to map academic expertise that resides within London’s universities, and identify areas of practice which might benefit from academic thinking, research or oversight, or where there are gaps in evidence or practice;
- Identifying ready-made research which could be made more impactful through exposure to practical, real world policy challenges;
- Collating new evidence and thinking emerging from brokerage and networking activity, and applying it to help strengthen the rationale for public sector intervention across different policy areas.
- Brokering relationships with university networks internationally, particularly in other global cities, to share knowledge, research, and support collaboration on approaches to common, complex urban problems;
- Drawing on lessons of practical activities above, develop a robust business case with recommendations for how best to enhance academic-policy engagement in London, including coordinating university research across different institutions.
Research and knowledge brokerage activities may involve:
- Undertaking an initial mapping of academic and stakeholder policy engagement at the regional, sub-regional and local scales in London to help universities and London government develop impactful connections;
- Organising and facilitating collaborative knowledge exchange events and other activities on topics co-identified with the GLA, LRaPP and other stakeholders;
- Working with CAPE on the monitoring and evaluation of the pilot; leading on data collection through interviews, surveys and /or other methods; capturing and sharing widely lessons learned.
The successful candidate will be located in the GLA’s City Intelligence Unit (CIU) within the Strategy and Communications Directorate, but will also be connected to the University of London and CAPE. The postholder will be provided with a senior mentor to help them become familiar with, and navigate, the structures within the GLA and wider London government. They will be expected to attend relevant management and policy-focused meetings, internally and externally, to ensure they are properly embedded and networked across GLA, CAPE partners, LRaPP and the broader university sector. They will be part of the Executive team for LRaPP.
The position will be monitored and evaluated by CAPE and the GLA over the period of the pilot to determine its success and any improvements that could be made to the post.
- Excellent research and analytic skills, with demonstrable experience or transferable skills in translating research findings to other contexts
- Expertise and experience in using research as a means of informing and contributing towards policy development.
- Ability to operate effectively, openly, and collaboratively within highly sensitive political contexts; ability to demonstrate neutrality and impartiality while navigating competing stakeholder interests.
- Excellent communication skills and ability to effectively engage with people from different backgrounds, and at different levels of seniority.
- Strong writing skills and proven communications experience with both academic and non-academic audiences are particularly important.
- Understanding of academic policy-engagement and an ability to grasp project priorities quickly.
- Ability to work proactively, managing and prioritising your own workload, while managing contingencies between multiple project stakeholders.
- Knowledge and understanding the role of the Mayor of London and London governance structures.
- Policy development and implementation experience.
- Previous experience of working in, or with, local and/or regional development.
- Experience of working with key stakeholders.
About Policy Fellowships
This Fellowship is open to eligible academic and research staff at CAPE partner universities. It is offered on a full- or part-time basis for 12 months in the first instance, with the possibility of renewal. The fellowship award may be up to £100,000, dependent on career stage and salary level, experience, and time commitment, funded through CAPE. Specific terms and conditions will be stated in a joint fellowship agreement between University College London and the GLA, which the successful candidate will be required to sign at the start of their fellowship
The fellowship will start as soon as possible. It is expected that the successful candidate will take a hybrid approach to flexible working, and will be based at the GLA’s, and University of London’s offices, as well as working remotely. We will discuss a preferred working pattern with the successful candidate.
We are committed to being an inclusive employer. We welcome applications from everyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith or disability.
The deadline for fellowship applications has been extended to 7 January 2022 23:59. Top ranked candidates will be invited to virtual interview before a final decision on appointment is made.
For an informal discussion or for any queries, please contact us at [email protected]
How to apply
To apply please send:
− 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)
to [email protected] by the closing date of 7 January 2022