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Spotlight on Rob Davies

8 May 2018

Rob Davies

This week the spotlight is on Rob Davies, Public Affairs Manager, CLOSER, UCL Institute of Education.

What is your role and what does it involve?

I lead on public affairs for CLOSER (the home of longitudinal research) so spend a lot of my time engaging with policymakers and parliamentarians on behalf of the longitudinal research community. This involves brokering relationships between science and policy, raising awareness of longitudinal research with a wide range of audiences, and ultimately ensuring that longitudinal evidence influences policy development. Follow me on Twitter @r0bdavies to be kept in the #longitudinal loop!

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I joined CLOSER in early 2016. My previous role was running a charity supporting vulnerable people with different needs, including addictions, mental health problems, debt and/or homelessness.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

My blog ‘Engaging with policymakers – some tips to help you on your journey’ was the most read ESRC blog of 2017!

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?

We’re hosting an event in Parliament on 16 May with the All-Party Parliamentary Health Group (APHG) on young people’s mental health and the importance of early intervention, so it’s all hands to the pump to prepare for this! We’ve got a great line-up of speakers who will showcase the latest longitudinal research to an audience of parliamentarians and policymakers.

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

Album: Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon

Film: Almost Famous

Novel: The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

Me: "Do you have any books on Pavlov's dogs and Schrödinger's cat?"

Librarian: "It rings a bell but I'm not sure if it's here or not."

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

My family and friends

Professor Neville Butler, founder of the 1958 and 1970 birth cohort studies and an ardent supporter of the Millennium Cohort Study

Elizabeth II

Hunter S Thompson

Betty Boothroyd

Ricky Gervais

What advice would you give your younger self?

You won’t regret the things you did, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do when you had the chance.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I grow all of my own veg.

What is your favourite place?

Walking in Wales (Brecon Beacons).