Our public policy strategy is being taken forward by the Office of the UCL Vice-Provost (Research).

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Five Radical Ideas for a Better Planning System

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Learn more about how planning reforms can benefit communities

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Why Should the Taxpayer Fund Science and Research?

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Download the report or watch the lecture online

Research and Policy Podcasts

UCL Public Policy placements

UCL has established a scheme of olicy placements for UCL researchers to spend time in Government departments or other policy organisations for a period of 3–6 months.

The placements aim to provide researchers with direct experience of a policy environment and enable them to support evidence-informed policymaking.

Read more about some of the UCL researchers who have participated in the placement scheme and the work they undertook.

Details of current placement opportunities

More details

Please contact the Head of Public Policy and Engagement, Office of the Vice-Provost (Research) for further information. You can also read a brief statement of the scheme here.

Expression of interest

If you are interested in undertaking a policy placement, please complete our expression of interest form (Word document)


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We have funding available from an Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council award to support policy secondments for researchers working in the engineering and physical sciences. 

We would also be happy to explore arranging additional opportunities for researchers in other areas.

What UCL researchers say about the scheme

  • Through this experience I witnessed how academics and policymakers can collaborate to provide policy recommendations. [UCL Medical Physics and Bioengineering PhD student, seconded to the Department for Health]
  • …the secondment reaffirmed the value of research in providing the evidence for public policymaking….. I developed a better understanding of strategic thinking in long-term science policy. [UCL Energy Institute PhD student, seconded to the Royal Society Science Policy Centre]

  • I learned a great deal about policymaking and the role played (or sometimes not played) by research. I have a deeper understanding of how to influence policy effectively. [UCL Chemistry postdoctoral researcher, seconded to the Government Office for Science]
  • it’s given me a much deeper and more precise understanding of how to bring about policy change: the dynamics of power, how to target policy recommendations, and how to prepare for their take-up and success through stakeholder engagement [UCL Centre for Philosophy, Justice & Health lecturer, seconded to the Royal Society Science Policy Centre]
  • I have been encouraged by the Government's growing interest in engaging more closely with scientists and their enthusiasm to use a more evidence-based approach towards policymaking. I would thoroughly recommend this scheme to other scientists who are curious about the inner workings of government and how policies are formed. I am particularly thankful to have seen my own field from a different perspective and how easily it can be mis-perceived. [UCL Neuroscience Research Fellow, seconded to the Science Capability & Network Unit, Government Office for Science 
  • I was very keen to see how government “works” from the inside and this gave me a good insight… Though the overlap between the work I did at BIS and my doctoral project was slight, I nonetheless encountered various things during my secondment that I’ve been able to bring back. These are mainly methodological – good practice in survey design, say – but there are one or two conceptual nuggets that have influenced the way I am thinking about my doctorate. [UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering PhD student, seconded to the Science & Society team, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills]

Get in touch

If you are a UCL researcher and would like to discuss the possibility of a policy secondment, or if your organisation is interested in hosting a secondment from UCL, please contact the Head of Public Policy and Engagement.

Page last modified on 21 apr 16 10:50