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Civil servants

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

Lorraine Field and Freya Horsfield during the Week in Westminster 2014

I hugely enjoyed my experience of the scheme. It was really interesting to explain my own work and to get a sense for how the work of government is seen through researchers.

Dr Alan Pitt, Secretary for the Council for Science and Technology, paired with Dr Emma Stone at the University of Bristol

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This annual scheme pairs UK Civil Servants with a talented UK based research scientist for a week in Westminster in December (4-7). The scheme aims to expand networks, improve your knowledge of the research landscape and share how the research community can support you in your day to day work.

The week is aimed at Civil Servants, particularly policy makers, of any grade across government and includes a program of sessions and workshops to learn more about the processes of parliament and the science research and advice landscape.

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By the end of the scheme you will:

  • Have direct links with practicing talented research scientists and external science organisations. 
  • Understand the process of scientific research within government and externally,
  • Understand how to access and use this knowledge to inform discussions and decision making.

This scheme is an opportunity to use your allocated learning and development days. 

The week in Westminster (4th- 7th December):

  • You will need to be free to meet your pair at a networking reception in Westminster on the afternoon of Monday 4 December, and arrange for them to shadow you at work for Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 December. 
  • On Thursday 7th December you will have the chance to attend workshop sessions.
  • You may wish to invite colleagues in your team to share the shadowing responsibility on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6. 

You will also be required to organise a reciprocal visit to join them at their place of work in the following months. 

If you are interested in taking part in the Royal Society pairing scheme or would like more information please email

This scheme, jointly provided by the Royal Society and the Civil Service Government Science and Engineering and Policy professions, gives policymakers and research scientists an opportunity to experience each other’s worlds.