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What we do

The CAPE project aims to better understand and to enhance academic-policy engagement in different geographical and policy contexts across England. CAPE is providing knowledge that can help to improve the ways that universities engage with national government, parliament and local and regional authorities.

Our consortium brings together a strong network drawn from universities, policy organisations and think tanks. CAPE will design, test and evaluate interventions to improve the quality and agility of academic input into public policy. It places a strong emphasis on improving the diversity of engagements and participants. 

Project aims


Build capacity and capability within universities and amongst policy professionals through training programmes and skills development.


Develop activities and mechanisms to promote engagement and knowledge exchange at different levels of government and in different geographical contexts.


Develop an evidence and knowledge base through ongoing, embedded evaluation and the provision of evidence-based frameworks and toolkits for use by universities and policy stakeholders.


Produce resources to share learning for widespread use across the sector. 

Our academic policy engagement mechanisms


CAPE Fellowships are available for both researchers to undertake work in policy organisations and also for policy professionals to spend time with universities.

Seed Funding

CAPE funding streams support academic researchers and policy professionals to co-develop and deliver collaborative projects, in response to policy need.


CAPE works with researchers and with policy professionals to understand and respond to specific skills training needs in order to strengthen academic-policy engagement. 

Knowledge exchange

CAPE has delivered a range of co-created knowledge exchange events to help build academic-policy networks around particular topics and understand how best to respond to evidence needs.


Evaluation is embedded throughout CAPE from internal monitoring of our mechanisms to develop our processes iteratively, to our national evaluation of the programme through our partners at Transforming Evidence.


CAPE networks have emerged throughout the project as a direct response for more joined-up working across academic policy engagement to bring colleagues together.