Maximising impact of research on policymaking

Client: University of Hertfordshire

The University of Hertfordshire was looking for new ways to connect their academics with policymakers as it seeks to increase the impact of its academic research on policy debates.

Aim

To engage politicians and civil servants in research carried out at the University of Hertfordshire and encourage policymakers to make use of this evidence in their policy deliberations.

Process

We worked with key academics to translate their research findings into policy recommendations and helped them get their work in front of the right people.

Result

We created opportunities for the academics to present their research findings to new policy networks. We were able to demonstrate significant impact of the University’s research on European policy debates.

Universities are under increasing pressure to demonstrate the impact of their research on debates around the key policy issues facing society.

A significant proportion of University of Hertfordshire’s research has policy implications. We identified three main areas – the gig economy, food and public health, and restorative justice – and designed policy campaigns for each one.

Working with academics to translate their research findings into practical policy recommendations, we created engaging and accessible policy briefings, and devised and implemented dissemination strategies for maximum impact.

Academic research translated into accessible policy campaign briefings were designed for maximum impact.

We identified opportunities for academics to connect with policymakers and submit evidence to Select Committees. Where possible we raised the profile of the research via the media (for example here and here) in order to strengthen approaches to policymakers.

We were able to gather evidence of how one programme of research had influenced policy debates around employment and labour regulations across Europe. And we raised the profile of another research area among government departments, forming new links between the University’s researchers and policymakers that could be taken forward for future research bids.

“This policy project really highlighted the need to provide personalised support to university academics who seek to increase the impact of their research on the policymaking process.”

Dr Catherine Manthorpe, Head of Research Office, University of Hertfordshire.

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