The University of Bath is making available its research and expertise to decision-makers from government, industry and the third sector via a new virtual Policy Fellowship Programme in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The unique, free, pairing scheme, coordinated via the Institute for Policy Research (IPR), can help those working through complex policy challenges by matching them with academics with particular expertise across a range of themes – from developing and storing vaccines, right through to the economic and business impacts of COVID-19, as well as its many health and societal implications.

Academic experts can be available for online face-to-face meetings, or over the phone and can help by providing advice and guidance to improve the way that policy is delivered.

Head of the Policy Programmes and Communications, Amy Thompson, explained: “During this continuously evolving time we have launched this rapid-response, virtual programme in order that we can connect policy decision-makers with academic experts who are working on aspects of Covid-19 priority-areas. Public policy for the common good has always been a central part of the work of the IPR and we hope that this programme will help to contribute in many positive ways.”

Professor Julie Barnett, from the University’s Department of Psychology whose own research looks at issues of loneliness and technology, adds: “We want to use this initiative to help policymakers at whatever level who are responding to increasingly complex policy challenges across different themes. Across the board we have experts on hand who can help and we look forward to sharing research and expertise that can support individuals and organisations at this critical time.”