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Government consultations and evidence requests

Ways to apply your research and expertise to respond to written consultations and evidence requests.

Responding to government consultations

Understanding consultations and evidence requests

Civil servants use consultations and evidence requests as policies are being developed. Through consultations and evidence requests they seek input from experts and people directly affected by policy changes. For researchers, they offer an opportunity to feed-in findings and expertise to policy development discussions.

Consultations and evidence requests are similar. Consultations tends to be run once a draft policy proposal is in place. Calls for evidence are more open, information-seeking exercises, which can go on to inform the direction or shape of a policy.

You can respond to consultations individually as an expert, or collectively as part of a group or network (e.g. as a Centre).

At a national level, consultations can be launched by any Government Department or body. They usually remain open for 12 weeks. They are normally timed at a point in the policy process where there is sufficient preliminary evidence and policy development, yet still time and scope to make amendments.

Accessing consultation and evidence requests

You can find current Government consultations and evidence requests via central, regional and local Government websites:

National & Devolved

Regional & Local


At an international level, you will also find other evidence and consultation requests:


  • Familiarise yourself with the government policy papers and consultation portal. You can filter by keywords, by topic and by organisation.
  • Set up email alerts to be notified when new consultations or evidence requests are launched that are relevant to your research.
  • When responding to consultations or evidence requests, follow the instructions carefully; address the questions being asked and always meet the response deadline.
  • Keep your contributions focused and avoid unnecessary language or acronyms. Whilst some of the policymakers reading your response may be specialist, it is better to pitch your work at intelligent non-experts to ensure it can have maximum appeal.
  • Remember to log your response in Pure and keep track of how it gets used or referenced.

Further information

Learning from others

Read about Bath academics who have experience responding to consultations or evidence requests:

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