Policy Impact Resources


Why Policy Impact?

A key way to maximise the impact of your work is to make sure politicians, public servants and civil servants are aware of your findings.

Making an approach to policymakers at an early opportunity to build relationships and identify public policy priorities can both help ensure your research is relevant and maximise the potential impact it can have. Maintaining good relationships and promoting research that helps individual policymakers realise their policy objectives will have long term benefits that outlast any individual project you are working on.

When it is not possible to prove a direct policy impact (whether because policy-makers choose not to adopt a recommendation or because multiple sources contribute to a policy decision), academics can demonstrate engagement with policy-makers, practitioners or the public that lays the groundwork for future policy impact.


GaPP (Governance and Public Policy)
An internationally recognised centre of excellence in theoretically-informed and applied disciplinary and interdisciplinary research in governance and public policy Prof. Bruce Stafford
Highlighting and enhancing the transformative potential of our world class research by offering public affairs and public policy outreach support to colleagues across the University Parliament_London


Funding and Opportunities

Impact is divided into academic impact (targeted inside academia) and economic and societal impact (covering any contribution that research makes to society and the economy). For Research Council UK, societal impact includes:
  • Fostering global economic performance and specifically economic competitiveness of the UK
  • Increasing the effectiveness of public services and policy
  • Enhancing quality of life, health and creative output
Ideas of activities which can create impact
  • Responding to evidence calls: Parliament and Government will regularly call for evidence on current public policy priority areas. Keep an eye on official websites for upcoming opportunities.
  • Secondments or placements: Could you arrange a policy internship to influence policy development and understand the way policies are made?
  • Communications: Can you translate your research into an accessible and tailored format for policy communities? ie policy briefings, articles within professional newsletters, journals and magazine, promotional flyers for professional conferences and events
  • Publicity/public engagement: Think about policy communities focussed on your area of expertise - charities and think tanks can promote new academic evidence to policymakers and service users; public debates; conferences, seminars and workshops can help reach interested audiences; media work and press briefings can showcase your expertise; directly lobbying an MP or Parliamentary Group can open up new opportunities.
Funding schemes available and further opportunities
  • Strategic Development Fund is available for proposals which will help to deliver objectives set out in the current University Plan. 

  • International Research Collaboration Fund aims to catalyse international research excellence by pump-priming the development of new, collaborative projects with international partners. 
  • Strategy and steering fund (‘S&S’) is available for projects that support the strategic aims of the University of Nottingham.

  • Royal Society Pairing Scheme gives policymakers and research scientists an opportunity to experience each other’s worlds. For an insight into what the scheme entails, you can also read a blog post about Nottingham academic Rebecca Dewey’s experience in 2015.
  • One of the major ways to get public policy impact with your research and expertise is through the Government Select Committees in the UK Parliament which run inquiries into policy topics in their area. You can read a blog post about University of Nottingham Professors Richard Kneller and Holger Breinlich experience of giving evidence to the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee.


Routes to Policy Impact: A Practical Guide for Academics and Researchers provides an overview of the benefits and challenges of achieving policy impact, and includes suggestions about proactive engagement with evidence-based policymaking and current priorities.
Nottingham Policy Impact Bulletin is a monthly round-up of key opportunities to share your research with policymakers, developing pathways to research impact. Nottingham academics who would like to receive the bulletin can subscribe here


How to Guides

External Resources

Parliament related resources

The UK Parliament has launched Research impact at the UK Parliament, a new web hub which provides comprehensive information for researchers and universities on how they can engage with Parliament. The hub offers details about the type of research that Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff are generally interested in, the reasons why academics get involved with the work of Parliament and the different ways in which Parliament can use research.


The Parliament Outreach Service offers workshops on how Parliament works and how it uses research, and produces guidance documents including Guide to Select Committees and how to get involved and How to campaign.

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology is the Parliament's in-house source of independent, balanced and accessible analysis of public policy issues related to science and technology.

The Campaign for Social Science aims to raise the profile of social science in the public, media and Parliament. It publishes regular Policy Monitor summaries listing opportunities to give evidence to Select Committees and Consultations.


Policy impact advice from research councils and funding bodies 

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