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

The most recent pairing scheme scientists in Westminster Hall, just before their tour of Parliament.

Applying for this scheme - scientists

Applications for scientists wishing to apply for the next pairing scheme are now closed. 

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 have any questions about the application process please contact

“Thanks to the pairing scheme I now have a clear understanding of the process of policy-making, and I became aware of the channels through which scientific evidence can influence and support that process. The pairing scheme is a very exciting and enlightening experience, I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to be part of it.” 

Dr Marina Pais paired with Norman Lamb MP

Why should I take part?

The Royal Society pairing scheme will give you an insight into how parliament and government work and how you can use your research findings to inform policy making. Through the scheme you will make lasting relationships with parliamentarians and civil servants as well as fellow scientists working across a wide range of scientific disciplines.

The application process

Applications typically open in late February and close in early April. 

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. We also recognise that a great deal of research is interdisciplinary in nature, therefore we are happy to consider applications from social or behavioural scientists who utilise or have an overlap with STEMM disciplines.

Applicants should also be able to demonstrate good communication skills and, in particular, an ability to communicate their research to a lay audience.

What questions will I be asked? 

You can read a list of questions all applicants will be asked to complete (PDF)

How many people apply? 

Typically we receive around 250 applications for the scheme each year. Of these we will shortlist 60 applicants of which 30 will be paired. 

What happens if I’m shortlisted but not paired?

If you are shortlisted but not paired you will be invited to attend a day of workshops at the Royal Society, followed by a reception in the Houses of Parliament, on Monday the 25th of November. Shortlisted applicants will be encouraged to apply again the following year. 

Scientists must apply to take part in the scheme.

Accommodation and expenses  

Scientists who are successfully paired will be provided with accommodation in London and will be reimbursed for their travel and subsistence costs. 

Please email for more information

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