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Lunch with Impact: What the study of think tanks can – and can’t – tell us

Join Dr Jordan Tchilingirian to hear about what universities can learn from Westminster-focused think tanks.

  • 25 May 2023, 12.15pm to 25 May 2023, 1.30pm BST (GMT +01:00)
  • University of Bath
  • This event is free

Impactful and policy-relevant research is increasingly produced outside of universities. In fact, policy makers are likely to consult policy research and advocacy groups known as ‘think tanks’ before considering speaking to an academic. Think tanks have crafted, exploited, and consolidated a niche within the policy advice and policy knowledge landscape through cultivating a form of ‘hybrid intellectualism’. This mode of research blends aspects of scholarly practice with political acumen, policy entrepreneurship, and media savviness to produce pertinent, communicable, and timely knowledge for policy elites. Also think tanks are deeply embedded in cross professional networks which enable them to broker and connect ideas with audiences.

In this presentation, the speaker will draw upon his ongoing research on Westminster-focused think tanks to understand what colleagues within universities with an interest in research impact can learn from these organisations. This presentation will focus on three questions:

  1. What do think tanks do?
  2. How do they produce policy-relevant research?
  3. How should universities respond?

This event will be held both in person (lunch provided) and online. The session is open to staff and postgraduate students at the GW4 Universities.


Dr Jordan Tchilingirian has worked in policy and commercial social research organisations and is currently a Lecturer in Sociology and Director of Studies for Sociology, Social Policy & Social Sciences (UG), and Co-director Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy, at the University of Bath.

Lunch with Impact Workshops

This workshop is part of a series funded by the University’s Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), to support researchers in identifying, generating, evidencing and achieving impact from their research. Sessions are designed to enable attendees to apply the information, knowledge and tools to their own research.

Lunch with Impact

Register for this event


This event will be hybrid at registration you will be able to choose if you can join remotely or in person on campus room to be confirmed.

University of Bath Claverton Down Bath BA2 7AY United Kingdom

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