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Science policy primer

This interactive, residential course helps researchers better understand the rapidly changing policy landscape in the UK, and how scientific research helps to shape, and is shaped by, Government policy.

Delegates standing in a group outside the De Vere Horsley, with a brick building in the background
Delegates on the course in March 2023, with guest speaker Professor Sarah Sharples, Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department for Transport. Image credit: Tiffany Lin

A really terrific course. Knowledgeable course leaders and guest speakers and engaging activities and participants. Valuable and enjoyable.


It was useful for me to talk to other participants and place my research in a broader context


Save the date

Save the date: the next course will take place on Tuesday 26 to Thursday 28 September 2023, and registration will open on Wednesday 21 June 2023.

This course is open to Royal Society University Research Fellows, Dorothy Hodgkin Fellows, Industry Fellows, Sir Henry Dale Fellows, Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellows, Wolfson Fellows, Newton International Fellows, Daphne Jackson Fellows and Irish University Research Fellows.

A select number of places are also available to Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellows including Industrial Fellows, Research Fellows, Engineering for Development Research Fellows, UK IC Postdoctoral Research Fellows, Leverhulme Trust Research Fellows, Chairs in Emerging Technologies, Research Chairs and Senior Research Fellows.

For any queries, or to express your interest in the next course, please email the Science Policy Centre.

What does the course involve?

The Royal Society partners with King’s Policy Institute to provide researchers with an understanding of science policy making and help them develop the skills they need to effectively engage with policy.

The course is designed for Research Fellows interested in the role of science in public life, the various ways in which scientific research can have an impact on policy making, and the skills that may enable them, as researchers, to play a part in these processes.

Each day will include a mix of talks and workshops that will cover topics including:

  • Introduction to UK government, parliament and the civil service
  • Policy-making in the real world
  • From science to policy impact
  • Communicating with policymakers.

A strong emphasis is placed on the development of practical skills through interactive workshops. Participants will learn how to think strategically about their research, frame messages for a policy audience, and identify the right channels to maximise impact.

Who delivers the course?

The course draws on the experience of policy practitioners and experts in government and academia whose goal is to help participants engage with policy in the future and communicate effectively with the various stakeholders in the domain.

The King’s Policy Institute is a well-established research centre with strong expertise on research evaluation and science policy.

Academic staff and speakers for the Science Policy Primer have included:

  • Professor Jonathan Grant, Director of Different Angles Ltd, and previously Professor of Public Policy, King’s College London
  • Dr Alexandra Pollitt, Director of Research at the Policy Institute, King’s College London
  • Professor Andrew Blick, Professor of Politics and Contemporary History and Head of the Department of Political Economy, King’s College London
  • Tom Sasse, Associate Director, Institute for Government
  • Professor Dame Angela McLean FRS, Government Chief Scientific Adviser
  • Sir Robin Grimes FREng FRS, former Foreign Secretary, the Royal Society and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

When will the course take place?

The next course will take place on Tuesday 26 to Thursday 28 September 2023 at the De Vere Horsley Estate in Surrey, and registration will open on Wednesday 21 June 2023.

For more information or for any queries, contact Georgia Park via the Science Policy Centre

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