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Public Engagement at Manchester

Policy@Manchester Student Academic Day – Monday 23 March 2020

Policy Training Session for University of Manchester Students – open postgraduates and undergraduates – Monday 23 March 9.30am – 4pm, Barnes Wallis Building, North Campus

Are you interested in understanding the ‘policy’ world? How decisions that affect us all are made? How research is used to inform politicians’ views?

Policy@Manchester is holding a one day training session on 23 March aimed at University of Manchester students across all subjects and disciplines. The session will be led by Andy Westwood, Professor in Government Practice with Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Public First.

This intense and interactive day is based on the UoM 2019 Policy Boot Camp format. It will begin with a mix of the theory from Andy Westwood’s An Introduction to Policy Making module interspersed with real life case studies presented by GMCA policy officials. You will then role play how policy makers might respond to example pieces of research before Public First guides you through designing your own ‘focus group’ and ‘poll’ to help answer the questions from your analysis of piece of research.

Be prepared to learn by doing and work in teams – this is not a lecture format and you will get out of this what you put in. The only prerequisites are that you interested in the policy process and willing to actively participate. You do not need to have a politics education or expertise in the case studies – this is aimed at any academic background.

Still interested?

Great! This is what we expect you to do before the session:

  • Email policy@manchester.ac.uk letting them know you would like to attend – booking is essential
  • Take 10 minutes to complete the application form that will be emailed to you.
    Skim over some of the pre-course reading that will be sent out to you after you complete the application form. This shouldn’t take too much time out of your normal routine.
  • Google GMCA and Public First – if you’re aiming to impress them, asking what they do or how they work might not help.
  • In early March, research papers that are associated with the challenge you’d like to focus on will be sent out to you. Have a read of them before 23 March – perhaps do some digging around if those papers pose any questions – this shouldn’t take more than 45 to 60 mins.

Venue: Barnes Wallis Room, Barnes Wallis Building (next to Manchester Meeting Place), North Campus.

Time: 9.30 (tea/coffee available) for a prompt 10.00 start to 16.00 [tea/coffee and lunch provided]

Equipment: Bring something to connect to the internet for research and completing some of the exercises (fully charged if possible, but there should be power points around the room) If you can’t bring a device or you run out of battery, there’ll be paper versions available.

Registration: Email policy@manchester.ac.uk


  • I can’t attend the whole session, can I still come along? The course is designed as a sequential session so priority will be given to those who can do the whole day. If you can’t attend for the whole session, let us know and if there’s space, we’ll let you know.
  • Will there be a certificate at the end of the course? No, this is not a certified module. It’s aimed to give you some practical experience. Stelify or UCIL (if you want something accredited) are both great initiatives to get involved with too.
  • Are you running the course again? We’re not planning on running this course again, but if there’s strong demand we will consider it
  • Will you be circulating the course material or be recording the session? No, this is an interactive session and the materials and any recordings will not make sense as standalone materials.
  • Can I select a different research paper to look at during the course? No. The papers will be associated with each case study. We’re specifying which ones so we can be prepared to help you analyse it.
  • Is this different to the 2019 Policy Boot Camp? The morning will be based on some of the elements of the Policy Boot Camp. The afternoon will focus on practicing developing a focus group and polling methodology rather than a policy briefing.
  • I’m a reflective, rather than instinctive thinker and this session sounds too fast paced. Will it be useful for me? Definitely! If you are a reflective thinker, then you might find it helpful spend more time reading over the research paper. The pre-course work is also developed for reflective thinking.
  • Where’s the application form? Email policy@manchester.ac.uk letting them know you would like to register and they will send you one out.
  • Will there be internship opportunities available on completion? No, not through this one day session.The 2019 Boot Camp was designed to provide participants with insights into the policy process in order to apply for internships. This one day session is designed to provide you with an insight on how research is used in a policy context, and this will stand you in good stead for an application for a policy organisation. Public First do take on interns, and they’ll outline how to apply at the end of the session.

Policy Internships Scheme – Applications closes 12 August 2019

The Policy Internships Scheme provides the opportunity for doctoral students funded by the research councils of UK Research and Innovation to work for three months in one of a selected group of highly influential policy organisations.

Students undertaking an internship through the Scheme will work on one or more policy topics relevant to both the student and their host organisation. They will be expected to produce at least one briefing paper, participate in a policy inquiry and/or organise a policy event, or equivalent piece of work.

The call closes on 12th August 2019.

Information on how to apply along with further details on host partners, funding and eligibility can be found here:

The Royal Society Pairing Scheme – applications from scientists now open

The Royal Society Pairing Scheme gives UK researchers and policymakers the unique opportunity to experience each other’s worlds.

Each year we pair 30 researchers with MPs, Peers and civil servants to spend a week in Westminster. If selected, you gain an insight into how research is used to create policy and make contributions in the future. After spending time in Westminster, your partner makes a reciprocal visit to your workplace.

The scheme takes place annually, beginning with a ‘Week in Westminster’. Over the week the scientists take part in workshops, hear from invited speakers and spend two days shadowing their pair. This year’s week in Westminster will take place from Sunday 24 – Thursday 28 November 2019.

The Royal Society welcomes applications from scientists across all science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM) disciplines working in academia or industry. To be eligible for the scheme applicants are required to have at least two years postdoctoral research experience or equivalent research experience in industry. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate good communication skills and, in particular, an ability to communicate their research to a lay audience.

Deadline for researchers: Sunday 7 April, 2019

Find out more here: https://royalsociety.org/grants-schemes-awards/pairing-scheme/

Call for applications: Royal Society Pairing Scheme 2014

Royal Society Pairing Scheme for Scientists, Parliamentarians and Civil Servants

This scheme helps scientists to understand political processes and decision making by shadowing either an MP, a member of the House of Lords or a Civil Servant.

Applicants should have a strong interest in science policy, a proven ability to communicate their research and at least 2 years of postdoctoral or equivalent professional research experience in industry.

For information on how to apply click here or email: public.affairs@royalsociety.org.

Applications are open from Tuesday 22 April to Friday 23 May 2014.

Sciencewise proposals – innovative thinking on public dialogue in policy-making involving science and technology

As part of our commitment to transparency and openness Sciencewise is opening up its thinking to outside influence. We are looking for proposals from individuals, organisations, researchers and practitioners from all sectors for new, innovative work which they could undertake and that will add to thinking on public dialogue in policy-making involving science and technology.

What we are looking for

In the spirit of open policy-making Sciencewise wants to commission innovative thinking which will help Sciencewise to achieve its objective to: “improve policy-making involving science and technology across Government by increasing the effectiveness with which public dialogue is used, and encouraging its wider use where appropriate”

Our aim is to help policy makers to better understand how their context is changing and/or move the field of public dialogue forward. For the ideas selected by our panel we will commission the selected organisation or individual to carry out work worth up-to £5,000 + VAT.

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History & Policy Network Session – Tues 30 October

The History & Policy Network is holding a roundtable event on Engaging with Policy on Tuesday 30 October, 10.30-12.00 in Seminar Room 2.57, 2nd floor Simon Building, Brunswick Street.

Contributors include Colin Talbot, Professor of Public Policy and Management Research and Director of Policy@Manchester and Karel Williams, Professor of Accounting and Political Economy and director of the ESRC funded Centre for Research on Socio Cultural Change (CRESC).

Do come along if you can to support the Network’s first event. Tea and coffee will be available.

Find out more about policy@manchester and our week of policy related events, workshops and public talks here.

Posted on behalf of Dr Stephanie Snow, Centre for the History of Science, Technology & Medicine, University of Manchester

Policy@Manchester New Researchers Lunch

Policy@Manchester New Researchers Lunch: Calling all research students and post-docs with an interest in policy

We are pleased to invite you to attend the first ever Policy@Manchester New Researchers Lunch. The main aim of this event is to enable research students and post-docs with an interest in policy from across the University of Manchester to meet in an informal environment.

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Interactive Academic Engagement with Policy-Makers: Addressing the knowledge transfer gap

The Institute for Social Change and CCSR is leading an open dialogue workshop to support the professional development of academics, providing key insights into how policy is made and the vital role and enduring role of research.

When and where:

This workshop will take place on 27 September 2012, 11:00 – 15:30, room 1.69/1.70 Humanities Bridgeford Street, Manchester University and is

Who should attend: 

Open to Manchester University academics and research staff who would like to learn more about the policy making process. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

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