Introduction to Science Policy

Code: FCP101, Offered By: Research Study Skills

Faculty of Science Researchers Only

Engaging with policy-makers is becoming increasingly important for researchers. Such engagement can help researchers maximise the impact of their research. It is also becoming an integrated expectation that academics will actively contribute to further the impact of their research via engagement with multiple stakeholders (eg. Public, media, industry and policy makers).

T
his DDP unit coordinated by the Science in Policy group will provide early career researchers (PhD students and postdoctoral researchers) with an introduction to science policy. It will offer researchers the opportunity to gain a better understanding of how science influences policy-making and how researchers can engage with the policy-making process. Through a series of interactive workshops and talks by guest speakers, participants will be better informed in how they can effectively translate their research into policies. The programme brings additional opportunities such as networking with research peers across a diversity of disciplinary and research background which support the development of essential skills towards collaborative research practices. The programme also introduces researchers to different science policy makers enabling reseachers to network with organisations they may not encounter during the course of their research project. This will provide additional benefits towards career development (eg. opportunities for internships).


Aims

Engaging with policy-makers is becoming increasingly important for researchers. Such engagement can help researchers maximise the impact of their research. It is also becoming an integrated expectation that academics will actively contribute to further the impact of their research via engagement with multiple stakeholders (eg. Public, media, industry and policy makers).This course has three main aims:

1.    To introduce researchers to the process of policy making

2.    To facilitate understanding of policy-making at local, national and international levels, and how scientific research can be incorporated into this process.

3.    To help postgraduate research students identify the relevance of their research to policy

4.    To make early career researchers aware of the opportunities in engaging with the policy-making process, and to provide guidance in how these opportunities can be taken effectively.

Learning Outcomes


The learning gained through taking part in interactive workshops and attending talks will enable postgraduate students to better understand how policies are made at multiple levels, and how scientific research can feed into policy-making.

The workshops and talks will increase the awareness of participants in the opportunities they have in engaging with policy-making, and how to effectively communicate in interactions with policy-makers.

Participants will be better able to identify how their own research could fit into the policy-making process and develop a potential network of contacts with experts in Science Policy.

Teaching Methods
This module will be delivered via two methods: informative and interactive workshops run by members of the Science in Policy group and external experts, and talks provided by guest speakers who work at the science-policy interface.

Workshops and talks will cover a diverse range of topics relevant science policy.
For example:

Thursday 15th October 2015 – “Introduction to Science Policy” workshop. The aim of this workshop is to introduce participants to the policy making process and the important role that science can play in informing this process. Members of the Science in Policy group will share their personal experiences of engaging with policy making.

Friday 30th October: Engaging with the new parliament workshop (co-organised by the Parliamentary Outreach service). This event will include guest speakers from Westminster. This workshop will discuss the various routes that young researchers have in engaging with the new parliament.

Other workshops will focus on communicating to policy-makers effectively and engaging with select committees.

Regular talks from guest speakers will compliment these workshops by providing real-life experience and advice from individuals at the science-policy interface. Talks are organised on a monthly basis, and in the past guest speakers have included academics, policy advisors, conservationists and select committee members.

Assessment Methods

Assessment will be based on participant attendance of workshops and talks. Attendance will be monitored via a register.

In order to complete this DDP activity, participants will take part in the following:

  • “Introduction to Science Policy” workshop
  • a minimum of four of our events
  • and contribute to a minimum of one blog post on the Science in Policy webpage

 

Other Information

Researcher Development Framework Categories

A1) Knowledge base
B3) Professional and career development
D1) Working with others
D2) Communication and dissemination
D3) Engagement and impact

This course is only opened to:

Primarily-Departments of: Animal and Plant Science (APS), Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (MBB), and Biomedical Science (BMS).Researchers from other departments can attend but themes of talks may be more relevant to above departments.

Staff Contact

scienceinpolicy@sheffield.ac.uk  

Sessions

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