Institute of Archaeology


Heritage and Policy Engagement Workshop: How to influence decision-making

13 February 2020, 9:30 am–4:00 pm

AHRC Heritage Priority Area (logo)

The AHRC Heritage Priority Area team will host a one-day workshop at the UCL Institute of Archaeology on 13 February.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Dr Hana Morel


G17, South Wing, Wilkins Buillding
Institute of Advanced Studies
Gower Street
United Kingdom

Engaging with policy is often understood to be an obligation of social impact of research, rather than a significant area of research and engagement in its own right. As such, “How to engage with policy” has taken precedence over the question of “why engage with policy.” Navigating the complex landscape of policy production can often be discouraging. As a researcher, it is difficult to keep on top of emerging issues, identify calls for evidence or consultations, translate complex research into easily digestible elevator-pitches, or even find in government the stakeholders who would welcome knowing more about an individual researcher’s work. Nonetheless, there are significant opportunities to influence the development of policy through robust evidence-based research.

The ‘Heritage and Policy Engagement Workshop will focus on:

  • introducing the policy process and stages of advocacy
  • understanding who policymakers are
  • exploring ways to engage with policy
  • addressing challenges for researchers in doing policy engagement with key takeaways

We will be engaging in a range of exercises throughout the day, with hands-on opportunities for participants to understand ways of engaging with policymakers.

Guest speakers include Rosie Weetch (Senior Policy Advisor/Head of Cultural Property, DCMS), and Joanna Dunster (Head of Public Policy, AHRC) and Robyn Parker (Public Policy Manager, UCL/SEAHA Centre Manager).


This workshop will be of interest to PIs, Co-Is and PDRAs involved with heritage research. Limited spaces are available so please register your interest in attending by sending Hana Morel (hana.morel@ucl.ac.uk) a short email with your name, position, affiliation and why you would like to attend.

Further details

The Workshop will take place from 9:30 to 15:45. Registration opens at 9:30 with tea and coffee, which is followed by a quick welcome and introduction at 10am. We hope to have approximately 25-30 participants who are involved in AHRC heritage research. This may include PIs, CO-Is and PDRAs.

The day will comprise of five parts, which involve exercises. The titles of these parts are:

  • Introduction and Ice Breaker
  • What is Policy?
  • Who are Policymakers?
  • How to Engage with Policy?
  • Now What?

Provisional programme

  • 10:00-10:15:  Welcome - Hana Morel, Institute of Archaeology/ Jenny Bird, Policy Impact Unit/ Ine Steenmans, STEaPP
  • 10:15-10:45: Introduction and Ice Breaker - This session will explore participants hopes and fears about policy engagement, discuss why we as researchers should engage with policy, and scope out the expectations of the session
  • 10:45-12:15: What is Policy? - This session will present the branches of government, the policy development process, and will have an exercise on engagement touchpoints looking at what engagement methods might be useful at different touch points in the policy process?
  • Guest Presentation - Rosie Weetch, DCMS
  • 12:15-13:00: Lunch
  • 13:00-14:15: Who are Policymakers? - This session will explore the range of people who influence policy in addition to ministers and civil servants. The exercise will explore personas, in which groups will develop archetypes of different roles (eg MPs, civil servants, scientific advisors, think tanks, ministers, etc)
  • Guest Presentation - Joanna Dunster, AHRC
  • 14:15-15:00: How to engage with policy - This session is an exercise in which groups tailor engagement plans for existing research activities
  • Guest Talk - Robyn Parker, UCL Bartlett
  • 15:00-15:15: Break
  • 15:15-15:45: Now What? - This session looks at the typical advice given to researchers on policy engagement and what the shortfalls of this are, the challenges for researchers in doing policy engagement and key takeaways. It will also end with a panel discussion as a Q&A, with all co-organisers and speakers.
  • 16:00: Close

Social Media

Should you wish to tweet in advanced about the event, info is below:

AHRC Heritage’s handle is @AHRCHeritage

We will use the hashtag #HeritagePolicy for this event

The AHRC Heritage Priority Area team – led by Rodney Harrison at the UCL Institute of Archaeology– works with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the heritage research community, and heritage partner organisations, to draw together and stimulate the development of a wide range of research across the arts and humanities that make an important contribution to understanding heritage.