Civil servants

Applications for civil servants wishing to take part in the next scheme will open towards the end of the year. If you would like information on this year's scheme, please contact us.

This scheme gives UK Civil Servants the opportunity to connect with UK based research scientists and grow your professional network.

"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 gives UK Civil Servants the opportunity to be paired with a talented UK-based research scientist for a week in Westminster in March 2023. Taking part will help you to expand networks, improve your knowledge of the research landscape and understand how the research community can support you in your day-to-day work.

This scheme is open to Civil Servants 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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What does the scheme involve?

The scheme consists of a week in Westminster which will take place from Monday 13 March 2023. 

  • Over the week you will take part in workshops, hear from invited speakers and spend time with your pair. 
  • To take part you will need to set aside time in your diary to meet with your scientist pair at least twice during the week. We would encourage you to invite colleagues in your team to join you as appropriate. 
  • Your pair will introduce you to their work and colleagues, giving you an insight into their area of research and an opportunity to explore how you might use these connections in the future. 
  • You are welcome to attend workshops throughout the week, which will explore the use of science and research in government and parliament.  

You can use your allocated learning and development days to take part in the scheme.

What will I get out of it?

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

Who will I be paired with?

The Royal Society pairing scheme is open to applications from scientists across all science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM) disciplines working in academia or industry. To be eligible for the scheme, the scientists 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 also consider applications from social or behavioural scientists who utilise or have an overlap with STEMM disciplines.

You can use your allocated learning and development days to take part in the scheme. 

If you would like any further information about the Royal Society Pairing scheme 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 others' worlds.