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Pairing scheme

This scheme gives policymakers and research scientists an opportunity to experience each other’s worlds.

The most recent set of shortlisted pairing scheme scientists in Westminster Hall, just before they began their tour of parliament

I have taken away a fresh perspective on how research findings can help inform the creation, scrutiny and revision of policy, as well as a better understanding of how researchers can get involved in the process.

Professor Peter Magill, paired with Lord O'Shaughnessy

Applying for this scheme

At present the huge degree of uncertainty about the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is making it very hard for organisations trying to plan events. 

Given the potential resources involved in planning events that then could be cancelled, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the next pairing scheme. We are aiming to reschedule this scheme for the first quarter of 2021. We are hoping to provide more precise details of the next pairing scheme later this year.

If you would like information on this year's scheme, please email

Each year 30 research scientists are paired with UK parliamentarians and civil servants. They learn about each other’s work by spending time together in Westminster and the researcher’s institutions.

Those taking part gain an insight into how research findings can help inform policy making, and come away with a better understanding of how they can get involved. Find out who has taken part in previous years

How does the scheme work?

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. Due to the General Election, the scheme that was due to run in November 2019 was postponed until March 2020. The next pairing scheme will take place in November 2020. 

Read March 2020’s 'Week in Westminster' agenda (PDF) or find out more about our 2018 participants’ experience at #SciWestminster20

Who is the scheme for?

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