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Professor Laborde warns against the reactivist response to
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Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow
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Postgraduate secondments to Whitehall
21 April 2013
We would like to draw your attention to a new, exciting and wide-ranging opportunity for postgraduate secondments to Whitehall that is now being facilitated by UCL Public Policy through the Office of the Vice-Provost for Research.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, and the Government Office for Science, are offering a diverse and interesting range of 3-6month long secondments for postgraduate students across UCL on a wide range of projects. This new round of opportunities builds up on an already existing programme of secondments opened to UCL researchers, please visit: secondments
If you are a UCL postgraduate researcher and would like to discuss the possibility of applying for one of the policy secondments outlined below, or would like to discuss more details on format, scope, and timescale for the secondment opportunities outlined below, please do contact Dr. Ana Padilla, Acting Head of Public Policy, OVPR.
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Research Funding Unit
Spending Review - the Science & Research Budget
How does Government decide the size of the Science & Research Budget? The post will involve working with the BIS team responsible for negotiating the budget with HM Treasury, and liaising with Research Councils, HEFCE and other key stakeholders inside and outside Government, to prepare Ministers and senior officials for the budget negotiations.
University research and knowledge exchange policy
Contributing to development of the evidence base on role of university research and contribution to economic growth, including support for knowledge exchange, to help support the development of BIS policy. Potential areas of work include role of universities in supporting local economic growth or in relation to particular areas suggested for further support for commercialisation of research (e.g. arising from the recent House of Commons Report entitled ‘Bridging the Valley of Death’
Strategic Issues in Health Research
The Life Sciences is a key area for economic growth for the Government (Strategy for UK Life Sciences published in December 2011, and the updated version ‘One Year on’ published in December 2012. A key component of the Government's strategy in the Life Sciences is the contribution of research and innovation. The role would involve input into policy development in areas of key strategic importance, and would involve extensive liaison with other colleagues in BIS, particularly the Office for Life Sciences, as well as Department of Health, Research Councils and the TSB.
Strategic Issues in Engineering and Physical Sciences Research
The role will support and gather evidence for the development of strategic priorities within the EPSRC sponsorship team. This will include the development of strategies for energy storage, advanced materials and robotics and autonomous systems – three of the Government’s eight great British technologies. The work will involve working across a range of stakeholders, TSB, EPSRC, UKTIO, GO-Science, BIS Research Base, Innovation Directorate and sector teams as well as industry and universities.
An analysis of the opportunities for UK environmental research in supporting the market for environmental goods and services
A project may be available within the Research Funding Unit to determine how UK environmental research can support the wider market for low-carbon goods and services to support the wider green economy supply chain. The project would involve close liaison with the research councils, BIS policy officials and other Government stakeholders.
Office of the Chief Scientific Advisor
Analysis of Engineering Skills in the UK
Engineering skills is a key priority for the Secretary of State. This policy project is analysing the evidence on the current & future supply of engineers in the UK & developing policy options to incentivise the engineering skills pipeline. Professor John Perkins, BIS's Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA), is leading the work. This role would involve consulting the Department for Education, BIS policy leads & key partner organisations eg. the Royal Academy of Engineering & Engineering UK, to analyse their evidence, update briefings for the CSA's meetings with Ministers.
Science Engineering & Technology (SET) Capability
This project will analyse the evidence of Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) capabilities within BIS & its partner organisations. It will be used to inform existing policies & governance arrangements and provide steer to Ministers on priority SET issues, including foresight planning. The role involves engaging and gathering evidence from analysts, scientists & engineers in specialist and policy posts, HR & finance in BIS and its partner organisations, as well as the Government Office of Science & the Cabinet Office on the Civil Service Reform agenda.
Science and Society
The role of the team is to deliver Ministerial Science and Society objectives, including encouraging increased public engagement and confidence in science, increasing the number and diversity of young people choosing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and careers, and ensuring effective communication with stakeholders. Key partners are the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the British Academy, for which the team also provides and manages grant-funding.
The team is also responsible for delivering effective governance and evaluation mechanisms for science and society programmes. The outcomes of evaluation are used to inform policy and assess its impact. We maintain access to expert advice and provide effective oversight of the National Academies’ public engagement and education programmes. This results in high quality advice to Ministers on all aspects of science and society issues in the UK. One or more projects are available relating to:
- taking forward the current review of science & society programmes, including for example taking science to new audiences, promoting good practice in (learning from) evaluation and promoting public / media debate
- working with key stakeholders in Government and industry to help improving the diversity of the STEM workforce
The Government Office for Science
The Government Office for Science (GO Science) is the home of science and engineering across government and exists to support the Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA). The key role of the GCSA and GO Science is to ensure that all levels of government, including the Prime Minister and Cabinet, receive the best scientific advice possible, and to enable the many science-using departments across government to create policies that are supported by strong evidence and robust arguments. Placement will provide opportunities to work with a number of different teams and across a wide range of science and technology topics. Areas covered in GO Science include:
- The Global Issues Teams. These teams support the GCSA on the full stretch of issues covered by Government ensuring that science and engineering is applied effectively and appropriately within Government and with specific reference to preparing for and responding to national crisis. Topics covered by the team include: food and water, health and environment and climate change.
- The Science Capabilities and Network Teams. These teams support the GCSA in his capacity as GCSA and as Head of the Science and Engineering Profession. Work from these teams includes: supporting the cross-government network of Chief Scientific Advisers; external engagement (with research communities in academia and business); the Civil Service science and engineering profession, and; the Secretariat to the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology.
- Foresight. Foresight is a strategic futures programme aimed at helping policy makers to make decisions today that are robust to future uncertainties. It operates through projects that investigate the challenges and opportunities arising from emerging areas of science and technology or that address major issues for society where science and technology have an important role to play.