21 policy fellows start in central and devolved government

19 Jul 2022 11:08 AM

Early and mid-career academic fellows will work in government departments on net zero, COVID-19 recovery, policy evaluation and foreign and security policy.

Policymakers need significant behavioural, economic, cultural, and social science input to address the major challenges facing the UK and make the most of future opportunities.

The Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) pilot policy fellowship programme, co-funded with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and government partners, responds to this need.

Enhancing relationships

The fellowships, each lasting 18 months, will enhance the relationship between academia and government by improving the flow of evidence, insights and talent.

Key high-priority policy areas have been identified for the fellowships, including:

The aim of the policy fellowships is to help fulfill the potential of social, economic, arts and humanities research and expertise to inform and shape effective public policy and its implementation.

This investment is also part of a wider ESRC commitment to facilitate deeper and more enduring connections between researchers and policymakers.

Fellowship benefits

The policy fellowships will benefit government partners by:

The fellowships will benefit the research community by:

Building new networks

As part of the scheme, the fellows will be managed as a cohort, connecting them, the relevant government departments and their universities to build new networks and peer support groups.

This will complement the exchange of knowledge, insights and evidence across government departments on priority policy areas.

These networks will also help to ensure that the policy fellowships have a lasting impact beyond the formal end of this pilot scheme.

The cohort of policy fellows join the existing ESRC and Administrative Data Research UK Number 10 data science fellowships, collaborating with:

Overview of fellowships topic areas

The fellows will define their specific projects with government organisations over the coming months.

The thematic areas they will cover include:

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Areas include:

Cabinet Office

Areas include:

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Areas include:

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

Areas include:

Department for Transport

Areas include:

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (co-funded with AHRC)

Areas include:

Home Office

Areas include:

Ministry of Justice

Areas include:

Scottish Government

Areas include:

Welsh Government

Areas include:

Supporting researchers and government

Professor Alison Park, Interim Executive Chair of ESRC, said:

The policy fellowships are an important example of how ESRC is supporting researchers and government to develop long-term relationships, helping to embed research, evidence and expertise within government decision making.

Given our commitment to strengthening relationships between researchers and policymakers, we are particularly encouraged by the high level of engagement with this scheme across the social science research community and central and devolved governments.