UCL European Institute


Engaging with international policymakers through consultancy

01 December 2022, 1:00 pm–2:30 pm


UCL staff at any career level are invited to join an online learning session on how consultancy can be used to engage with policymakers in an international context.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff






Lucy Shackleton

Consultancy is a key avenue to impact for UCL researchers and a valuable option for engaging with policymakers across the globe. Overseas consultancy opportunities are frequently offered by British government departments, such as the FCDO, or other nation’s counterparts, such as the German Cooperation for Technical Development. Many UN Agencies also regularly call for consultants.

Consultancy is both a means and an end to international policy engagement. It can lead to new relationships for future research projects, or it can be an output from a longstanding partnership with a policymakers.

This workshop is facilitated by UCL Consultants and delivered in partnership with Global Engagement, Public Policy and the European Institute. It is aimed at researchers at any career level wishing to build on their understanding of contracting in the international policy sphere.

Duration: 1.5 hour

Format: Teams

Learning outcomes:

After attending this workshop, you will have:

  • Gained an increased understanding of the role of consultancy as a tool for policy engagement
  • Built awareness of the potential benefits and risks of consultancy in the policymaking context
  • Explored how and why to partner in consultancies and what makes a successful partnership
  • Been introduced to the basis of tendering and procurement channels


Session 1 (20 min): Consultancy and policymaking (Presenter: Björn Christianson, Director of Business Development UCLC)

  • What type of policymakers do UCL researchers typically engage with through consultancy, and for what?
  • Overview of benefits of this type of work: funding, buy-in, path to impact
  • Overview of the risks: pragmatism over principle, contractual responsibility, different competition landscape, conflicts of interest
  • Basics of procurement legislation
  • Finding opportunities through tendering sites
  • Proactive engagement to shape opportunities
  • Partnering, and why to partner

Session 2 (30 mins): Sharing UCL experiences with policy engagement through consultancy

  • Prof Julius Mugwagwa (From STEaPP, Julius has worked with the FCDO and a Canadian development agency)
  • Prof Paul Ruyssevelt (from the Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources, Paul has worked with BEIS on an international standards project and with the World Bank)
  • Prof Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (From UCL Geography, Elena has worked directly with a European government and also with the FCDO through a consultancy-managed framework)
  • Q&A (10 min)

Session 3 (15 min): Practical tips

  • Writing effective proposals – focus on project management above academic rigour, write to the evaluation criteria
  • Understand your value
  • Do not “co-create” in partnerships!
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Other red flags

Session 4: General Questions (10min)