Applications for the Royal Society Pairing Scheme open today, 12 October until 7 November.

11 October 2022

The Pairing Scheme, established in 2001, builds bridges between the worlds of science and policy by pairing 30 research scientists with parliamentarians and civil servants.

Scientists and policymakers will spend time together in Westminster and the researchers’ home institutions.

As well as attending a programme of talks, tours and workshops, scientists will take part in a Mock Select Committee, and parliamentarians will be welcomed into the scientists’ labs.

Science has a critical role to play in tackling the most pressing matters of our time, from climate change to emerging diseases. The pairing scheme encourages important collaboration between policymakers and scientists – enabling them to understand each other’s expertise and how research can help to solve important issues.

Previous participants include: Chair of the Lords Science and Technology Committee, Lord Patel; Shadow Science Minister Chi Onwurah; Agriculture Minister Victoria Prentice; and Greg Clark MP, Chair of the Commons Science and Technology Committee.

Ian Murray MP, Labour Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South and Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland said: “The pairing scheme is designed for politicians to meet world leading scientists. This is the third time I have participated in the scheme and I have deepened my understanding of science, but also my knowledge of explaining how policy and parliament works. I would highly recommend it to parliamentarians and academics. I am grateful for the time, patience and expertise of the scientists I have been paired with.”

Dr Candice Majewski, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at The University of Sheffield, was paired with Paul Blomfield MP in the 2022 pairing scheme. She said: “The Pairing Scheme was an excellent learning opportunity, with a great mix of different and useful activities. I would highly recommend the Pairing Scheme to any scientists or policy makers who would like to learn more about how to create connections between the two.”