Early career researcher support: Engaging with Policy Makers by Donna Szarun

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UK Parliament and Welsh Government both use research and academic knowledge to inform scrutiny and legislation. Academics can help to ensure that the decisions that affect people’s lives are taken with the best available evidence, but it helps to know the way in.

In June 2019, I supported Environment Platform Wales with their early career researcher workshop hosted by Dr Mario Moustras. Mario brought a range of experience to the table  well as great practical advice on some of the best ways workshop participants could improve the impact of their work and get it in front of the right people.  Part of my role at USW revolves around working with researchers to enable them to make the absolute most of their research.

It’s so important to know who you are targeting and to think about the best channels for engaging organisations and individuals in your engagement process.

I’ve put together some useful next steps researchers can take to engage with policy makers. Here are my top recommendations:  

National Assembly for Wales

  • Find out what research is of interest to the Assembly, how research is used and how to engage
  • Apply for an Academic Fellowship with the National Assembly for Wales
  • Become a witness or specialist advisor and give evidence to an Assembly Committee
  • Provide specialist knowledge and expertise to the Assembly’s Research Service
  • Contribute to a particular subject area of interest to Assembly members by engaging with the relevant Cross-Party Group
  • Keep up-to-date with the Research Service blog In Brief and @SeneddResearch
  • Find out more about Pathways to impact in the Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales in this Practical Guide for Researchers

UK Parliament

  • Find out what interests UK Parliament, who uses research and how to engage
  • Apply for an Academic Fellowship with UK Parliament
  • Become a specialist adviser and/or provide evidence to a Select Committee
  • Keep up to date with UK Government committee inquiries Open calls for evidence
  • Contribute to a research briefing for the House of Commons Library or the House of Lords Library information research unit
  • Find out about the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) current work programme and propose a POSTnote
  • Get the latest opportunities for researchers on @UKParl_Research

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Donna Szarun is based in Research & Innovation Services (RISe) within the University of South Wales (USW) Impact Team. She supports academic staff to maximize the impact of their research and expertise and to develop impactful collaborative research & knowledge exchange projects with external partners. You can follow her on Twitter and learn more about her role on the University’s staff directory.  

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