UCL Public Policy


About us

The UCL Public Policy team help to strengthen links between UCL researchers and policy professionals, creating opportunities for UCL’s world class research to inform public policy.

UCL Public Policy is part of the Office for the Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation and Global Engagement). As a specialist brokerage unit, we work to help bridge the gap between research and policy. You can read more about our work in our Highlights Report

Working at the interface of academic research and public policy, the team provides support, advice and guidance to enable effective academic-policy engagement and develops strategic partnerships with policy stakeholders. 

Our engagement portfolio includes:

  • convening academic-policy roundtables
  • publishing Research Insights briefings
  • managing a Policy Fellowships programme
  • supporting internal capacity to engage with public policy
  • holding public events

We support the UCL Policy Champions Network, provide the secretariat to the OVPRIGE Public Policy Board, and are a co-founder and current member of the Universities Policy Engagement Network.

Whether you are a researcher inside UCL, or a policy professional outside, we can help you to make evidence-informed decision making a reality. Get in touch at public-policy@ucl.ac.uk

The UCL Public Policy team

Sarah Chaytor

An image of Sarah Chaytor

Sarah Chaytor is UCL’s Director of Research Strategy & Policy. She joined the Office of the Vice-Provost (Research) in 2009 and established UCL Public Policy in 2012. Her current role includes overseeing the UCL Public Policy programme and building UCL’s capacity to engage with public policy, as well as advising the Vice-Provost (Research) on research strategy and other aspects of his portfolio, leading UCL’s research policy work, and managing strategic projects. She is a co-investigator and Co-Chair of the Project Delivery Group for the £10 million Capabilities in Academic-Policy Engagement project.

Prior to joining UCL, Sarah worked as a research fellow at the Russell Group, leading work related to research funding and policy. She previously held research policy roles at the Wellcome Trust and Universities UK, and before that worked as a parliamentary researcher and for a think tank. She was a co-founder of UPEN, the Universities Policy Engagement Network, and is co-chair of the UPEN Futures Working Group.

Sarah has a MA in Issues in Modern Culture from UCL and a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford. 

E: s.chaytor@ucl.ac.uk

Olivia Stevenson

An image of Olivia Stevenson

Dr Olivia Stevenson is Deputy Director of UCL Public Policy. Olivia Joined in 2015 and is responsible for leading the UCL Public Policy programme. Focused on generating collaborative opportunities, Olivia develops strategic initiatives to improve the quality of engagement between academic research and public policy. She is co-lead on the Capabilities in Academic-Policy Engagement (CAPE) project.

Olivia is a cofounder of the Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN) and has delivered a range of internationally recognised high impact research projects, published widely, most recently on structural and relational inequalities.

Olivia has a PhD in Social Geography from the University of Leeds.

E: o.stevenson@ucl.ac.uk

Katherine Welch

An image of Katherine Welch

Katherine Welch is Head of External Engagements and Partnerships. Katherine joined the team in 2017 and is responsible for supporting UCL researchers and academics to connect their work with strategic partners across academia, policy, third sector and professional organisations. She is leading UCL Public Policy's work on climate and net zero as well as Artificial Intelligence and work.

Katherine was previously Deputy Director and Manager of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, establishing alongside the Director the Institutes research, teaching and engagement agendas. Prior to joining UCL, Katherine worked in the mining sector as a journalist and editor for global mining publication, Mining Journal.

Katherine has a first class honours in Geology and a Masters in Quaternary Science.

E: k.welch@ucl.ac.uk 

Simon Guillaumé

An image of Simon Guillaume

Simon Guillaumé is the Public Policy Engagement Facilitator for BEAMS, encompassing the School of the Built Environment (The Bartlett), the Faculty of Engineering, and the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MAPS). Simon joined the team in September 2021 and is responsible for identifying BEAMS research with policy relevance as well as supporting policy partnerships through the EPSRC-funded Rapid Response Policy Advisory Scheme and the Policy Dialogue Funding. He links researchers with policy opportunities to accelerate the impact of BEAMS research.

Simon joins us from the UCL Department of Chemistry, where he has been completing his PhD. During his Doctoral studies, Simon undertook a 3-month placement with the Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges team of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), arranged via the UCL Public Policy programme.

Simon has a BSc in Chemistry and MSc in Genetic Manipulation and Molecular Cell Biology from the University of Sussex, and is soon to viva for his PhD.

E: simon.guillaume.16@ucl.ac.uk 

Grace Gottlieb 

An image of Grace Gottlieb

Grace Gottlieb is Head of Research Policy. She joined the Office of the Vice-Provost (Research) in 2017 and drives forward UCL’s research policy agenda, leading on policy development and advocacy of UCL’s positions. She also works on implementation of the UCL Research Strategy, including leading the development of internal policy. At present her work focuses on analysis of R&D funding and promoting transparency and reproducibility in research.

Before joining UCL, Grace worked at the Medical Research Council and, prior to that, in health policy at the Royal College of Surgeons.

She has a BA in Natural Sciences, specialising in genetics, from the University of Cambridge.

E: g.gottlieb@ucl.ac.uk

Graeme Reid

An image of Prof Graeme Reid

Prof Graeme Reid is Chair of Science and Research Policy at University College London (UCL).

He spent most of his career at the interface between science and government, working in the Business Department, the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury before moving to UCL in 2014.

In preparation for Brexit, Graeme and Sir Adrian Smith advised the UK Science Minister on frameworks for international collaboration in R&D. Government published their report in 2019. Graeme advised the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee during their extensive inquiries into Brexit and, more recently, industrial strategy.  He led research policy reviews for the Scottish Funding Council, Welsh Government and Universities Wales.

He is on the Board of the National Physical Laboratory and Chair of NPL’s Science and Technology Advisory Council.  He is strategic advisor to the National Centre for Universities and Business.  Previous appointments include chair of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, trustee of the Association of Medical Research Charities and member of the Council of CERN.

Graeme began his career at the National Engineering Laboratory. He has a BSc in Physics and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Institute of Physics, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a Chartered Engineer.

E: graeme.reid@ucl.ac.uk

Robyn Parker

An image of Dr Robyn Parker

Dr Robyn Parker is the Project Manager for the Research England funded project Capabilities in Academic Policy Engagement (CAPE). She joined the team in April 2021 and manages the CAPE project across the 5 consortium partners of UCL and the Universities of Cambridge, Manchester, Nottingham and Northumbria. Her role involves overseeing the CAPE project mechanisms, communications, budget and governance.

Robyn previously managed an ESPRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training in heritage science at UCL and her background is more broadly in doctoral education, engagement, and public policy.

Robyn has a PhD in Medieval History from the University of Sheffield.

E: robyn.parker@ucl.ac.uk 

Kayleigh Renberg-Fawcett

An image of Kayleigh Renberg-Fawcett

Kayleigh Renberg-Fawcett is the Project Coordinator on the Research England funded Capabilities in Academic-Policy Engagement (CAPE) project. She joined UCL in April 2021 and focuses on four mechanisms to test and evaluate what works and doesn’t work for academic-policy engagement. Kayleigh works closely with colleagues across UCL, the CAPE consortium, project partners and UPEN to ensure learnings and opportunities are shared.

Prior to joining UCL, Kayleigh was the Network Manager of the Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN) and is currently Co-Chair of the EDI Sub-Committee. She was also Director of the China-Britain Football Centre, which connected young people in the UK and China through football. She’s also supported on the University of Nottingham’s Asia Research Institute and Institute for Policy and Engagement.

Kayleigh has an MSci in Global Issues and Contemporary Chinese Studies from the University of Nottingham. She studies Mandarin and Swedish and is working towards her Mountain Leader qualification.

E: k.renberg-fawcett@ucl.ac.uk 


What can we do for researchers? 

UCL Public Policy can help researchers from across UCL to engage with policymakers. We work with academics of all disciplines and at all levels, from PhD students to professors. 

The support we can offer includes:

  • Funding – a small grants scheme and funded policy placements
  • Opportunities to participate in policy-focused activities – policy roundtables, public policy events and the development of research summaries for policymakers
  • Advice, guidance, and training – online resources and advice sessions to help you enhance the policy impact of your research
  • Support for researcher-led policy engagement – including funding applications and Select Committee inquiries.

Other UCL researchers have found their research at the forefront of real public policy developments.

What can we do for policymakers? 

UCL Public Policy seeks to engage on topics that are of relevance to policy professionals where UCL research can illuminate policy problems.

Our team:

  • Acts as a point of contact for external policymakers who wish to consult UCL expertise
  • Convenes roundtable meetings which bring together researchers and policymakers to discuss topical issues, facilitating dialogue and networking 
  • Provides accessible high-level research summaries for policymakers, based on key UCL research activities
  • Explains UCL research on platforms specifically for policymakers, such as our series of podcasts
  • Runs world-leading training and learning opportunities in the field of Public Policy, from professional development courses up to PhD level.

UCL supports a rare breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise, drawn from world-leading research, to address complex policy challenges. UCL Public Policy works with UCL Grand Challenges to support cross-disciplinary work at UCL to deliver greater impact and enhanced benefit for society.

Throughout all of this we remain non-partisan and independent, and seek to inform policy development rather than necessarily advocate specific policies. You can see examples of UCL research that has influenced high-level policymaking here.

Want to learn more about us, our aims and how we workRead the UCL Public Policy Strategy here.