New online resources have launched via the pilot Bath Policy Engagement Academy (BPEA) to increase our capacity and contributions to evidence-informed policy and to enable greater two-way policy engagement between our researchers and policymakers.

The online guides, authored by a team from the IPR, focus on different audiences for policy engagement, including via Parliament, National, Regional and Local Government, as well as think tanks, advocacy groups, businesses, and charities.

They also cover different mechanisms to better connect researchers and policymakers, including by responding to consultations and evidence requests, drawing upon the Government’s Areas of Research Interest (ARIs), and undertaking academic policy fellowships and placements.

Policy engagement advice and guidance is complemented by new case studies developed from across our academic community where researchers reflect on their experiences and learnings in relation to successful policy engagement. From informing national policies in relation to Covid-19 with mathematical modelling, to working with Local Authorities to increase uptake of active travel, these cover an array of topics from across disciplines and at all academic levels.

The guides build on work developed since September 2023 through the pilot Bath Policy Engagement Academy, which is hosted by the IPR, and funded by the UKRI Policy Support Fund, ESRC and EPSRC Impact Acceleration Accounts.

This includes the introduction of a new specialist Policy Fellowship Programme stream on Health, as part of our existing Policy Fellowship portfolio, and which sits alongside existing Policy Fellowship streams on AI and Net Zero.

Through the Programme, senior policy and decision-makers visit the University to meet Bath academics in 1-2-1 meetings to explore emerging policy challenges through two-way conversations and mutual learning.

For Bath researchers, in addition to the new guides, the BPEA also offers bespoke cohort policy engagement training and one-to-one coaching and development opportunities, delivered by the IPR.

Prof Julie Barnett, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University, said: “The University has already earned a solid reputation for its policy engagement work, and is now building on these foundations to be strategically equipped to drive forward even greater policy impact and engagement.

“By increasing the capacity of our research community for policy engagement through one-to-one policy training support and the roll-out of these new guides and resources, our aim is that more University of Bath research will go on to make important contributions to policy discussions.”

Amy Thompson, Head of Policy Programmes and Communications at the IPR, added: “Through the BPEA we aim to raise the profile of the University of Bath as a reputable, trusted and accessible go-to place for senior policymakers, where our researchers are primed and ready to engage and to apply their expertise to inform policy decisions which will shape all our futures.”