Applications for the 2024 cohort are now closed. Applications for 2025 will open in October 2024. If you have any questions, please contact us.

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

"As I boarded the last train out of London to Glasgow, I reflected on a whirlwind few days. My abiding take-away was that despite recent attacks on the value of expert opinion, parliament couldn’t properly function without a robust mosaic of scientific evidence to underpin policy design. At the same time, the fortunes and character of science are shaped by the legislation passed by parliament. I left with a profound sense that these two worlds had drifted apart of late but now there was a growing appetite to reconnect. During these times of global uncertainty, the odd couple of science and policy have never needed one another more." -Dr. Matthew Hannon, Chancellor’s Fellow of Technology and Innovation within the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, part of Strathclyde Business School, paired with Alison Thewliss 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 2024 Pairing Scheme are now open:  

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