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Select Committees and APPGs

Introducing Parliament's Select Committees and APPGs, and ways to engage with them.

Select Committees

Select Committees in the Houses of Parliament scrutinise issues related to public policy. These Committees are keen to hear from a wide variety of stakeholders, including academics, to help inform deliberations and enhance understanding of policy issues. Academics are sometimes appointed as Specialist Advisors for particular inquiries.

There are opportunities for researchers to provide both written evidence and, where invited, oral evidence as part of Committee inquiries.

How to provide evidence to inform discussions

Written evidence

When a Committee starts an inquiry, it publishes a ‘call for evidence’ that details the subjects members want to hear about. Committee requests for evidence (‘calls for evidence’) list a series of questions which the Committee is seeking responses to. You can submit written evidence online via the Parliament website.

Your written evidence will be read, may be discussed in Committee meetings, and may be published online. It is important that your response is succinct and tailored to the specific questions being asked. The UK Parliament offers comprehensive advice about how to respond well to evidence requests.

Oral evidence

Sometimes academics are invited to give evidence in person at Committee meetings (known as oral evidence). This is an opportunity to speak directly to Committee members and to respond to their questions.

To give oral evidence you need to be invited by the Committee. It will base its choice of who to invite on an individual’s profile and relevance to the issue, and/or on the strength of their written evidence supplied.

Oral evidence is taken in public and broadcast via Committees normally publish a written record of what is said, and Committee meetings are public – open for anyone to attend, including the media. Evidence sessions can generate media coverage.

Engaging with APPGs

All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are cross-party groups run by members of both Houses. They cover over 750 policy themes, from international affairs to intellectual property, homelessness to hydrogen. They investigate policy issues and lead inquiries.

They can be a route for academics to engage with MPs and Lords on issues related to their expertise. It is important to note that APPGs are distinct from other official parliamentary bodies, like Select Committees.

Learn more about APPGs relevant to your policy area and, when your research aligns, make contact with them to highlight your research and expertise.

APPG meetings are public and you can attend. This can be a chance to meet members and get a sense of discussions. Following APPGs on social media can be another route to build connections with members and an opportunity for engagement.

Online information about APPGs includes contact details for the Chair (a Parliamentarian), a public enquiry point and the Secretariat (which is often a group outside of Parliament). These are usually the most appropriate first points of contact.


  • Identify Select Committees and APPGs which are relevant to your research and expertise and add them to your stakeholder map.
  • Respond to relevant requests for written evidence, keeping your responses concise. Follow Parliament’s guidance when submitting evidence.
  • When replying to requests, remember your contribution must be original (not published elsewhere). It also needs to be written to address the specific question being asked.
  • If you are invited to give oral evidence to a Select Committee, contact Amy Thompson ( to help prepare your contributions.
  • For APPGs, search for the relevant public inquiry point and email with a brief introduction and overview of your research and expertise with an offer to present or connect.

Further information

Learning from others

Read about Bath academics who have experience of working with Select Committees or APPGs as part of their research:

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