Science & Policy Workshop for early career researchers

Event Date: 
23 May 2019 -
09:45 to 17:30
Other Events

A workshop for postdocs & final year PhD students

23 May 2019: Downing College, Cambridge (09:45-17:00)


Facilitated by Dr Steven Wooding, Research Strategy Office, University of Cambridge


The Centre for Science and Policy is organising a professional development science and policy workshop for postdoctoral researchers, final year PhD students and civil service fast streamers. The purpose of the workshop is to:


  • provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss and wrestle with real examples of how research is used in policy, and to hear from those who have experience of working at the intersection of science and policy
  • give examples of effective collaborations between policy professionals and academic experts including what worked well / didn’t work well
  • offer advice on developing the skills needed to become future leaders in policy


The format of the day will be a series of presentations from both academics and policy professionals with roundtable discussions and group tasks.


Provisional Agenda


09:45   Arrival & coffee – Grace Howard Room, Downing College


10:00    Welcome & introduction: Rob Doubleday


10:15     In conversation with Lord Richard Wilson, former Head of the Civil Service (1998-2002)

  • Evidence in policy-making – what does good look like?
  • Leadership in the Civil Service


11:15     Introduction to group tasks


11:30     Coffee


11:45    Session 1


  • Biodiversity & Natural Capital - considerations for long term restoration and conservation: Professor Bill Sutherland, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge
  • Technical, legal and ethical challenges of emerging technologies: Dr Jennifer Cobbe, Trust & Technology Initiative


12:30     Discussion in groups & Q&A


13:00    LUNCH (45 mins)


13:45    Session 2


  • Industrial strategy & innovation: Dr Eoin O’Sullivan, Centre for Science, Technology & Innovation Policy (CSTI), Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge
  • Example of working at the intersection of science and policy at Defra/NERC/York University: Dr Sarah Moller, Department of Chemistry, University of York


14:30     Discussion in groups & Q&A


15:00    TEA           



15:10     Session 3: Group task           


Participants work in groups on their policy challenge:


  • Group 1: Should the UK impose stricter rules on gene-editing research involving sperm, eggs and embryos?
  • Group 2: Can the government stimulate the economy while also incentivising decarbonisation after Brexit?
  • Group 3: How could the government improve the uptake of vaccination in the UK?
  • Group 4: How could the UK improve public safety online?
  • Group 5: How could the UK regulate “gig economy” employers to avoid exploitation of flexible workers?


*If your research / expertise is relevant to any of these themes, please do sign up to attend the workshop*


Download the application form here and return this to Jackie Ouchikh


16:15     Report back & panel discussion             


  • Each of the 5 groups report back on their recommendations
  • Feedback from the panel


17:00     Wrap up & close

  • What are the key takeaways from today’s workshop?
  • What will you do with that you learned?


*We have limited places available at this workshop, so please return your completed form to me by mid-day on Friday 17 May.*