Skip to content

Pairing scheme

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

Dr Marina Pais, of The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, with Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk and Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee in December 2017

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 - civil servants

Applications for civil servants are now closed.

Please email for more information.

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.

See who has taken part in previous years

How does the scheme work?

The scheme takes place annually, beginning with a ‘Week in Westminster’ in which the pairs first meet. Over the week the scientists take part in workshops, hear from invited speakers and spend two days shadowing their pair.

Read 2017’s ‘Week in Westminster’ agenda (PDF). You can see how previous participants spent their week in Westminster by checking out this Storify.

After the ‘Week in Westminster’, it is the turn of the parliamentarians and civil servants to get an insight into the world of research, undertaking reciprocal visits with their pairs.

Email for more information.

Who is the scheme for?


  • Learn how parliament and government work and how you can feed in to the policy making process
  • Find out how your research can inform policy decisions
  • Build lasting relationships with parliamentarians and civil servants
  • Network with fellow scientists

Find out more


  • Learn about the science behind the issues raised by your constituents and meet experts who can provide evidence on the policy issues you are dealing with
  • Visit your local universities or research institutions and meet students and researchers living in your local area
  • Find out how your local schools are encouraging students to study science and maths subjects
  • Discover how scientific research underpins the UK’s innovative industries

Find out more

Civil servants

  • Find out more about the science behind the policy issues you work on
  • Learn how to analyse research findings and discover how they can be used to inform the policy decisions you make
  • Make long-lasting relationships with scientists working in your field during the Week in Westminster and by visiting your pair’s research facility
  • Network with other civil servants working in scientific fields

Find out more

Case studies

Dr Jason Lotay with Dr Tom Salter

Professor Carole Perry with Lilian Greenwood MP

Dr Maria Vinci and Dr Lorenzo Melchor with Paul Burstow MP

Dr Karin Shmueli and Frank Dobson MP

Dr Emma Stone and Alan Pitt

Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan and Lucy Powell MP

Roger Williams MP at GE Healthcare Life Sciences

Professor Seif Shaheen and Professor Lord Winston

Was this page useful?
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback. Please help us improve this page by taking our short survey.