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

Recent pairing scheme scientists in Westminster Hall, just before their tour of Parliament.

Applying for this scheme - scientists

Applications for scientists for the next pairing scheme are now open. The deadline is 11 October 2021.

If you have any questions about the application process please contact

Apply for this scheme

“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 for the pairing scheme are now open until 11 October 2021. 

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.

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 encouraged to apply again the following year. Unfortunately, applications cannot be rolled over and scientists must apply again to take part in next year’s scheme.


Scientists who are successfully paired will be compensated for costs incurred by being on this scheme. 

Please email for more information

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