UCL Public Policy


UCL Public Policy BBSRC Fellowship

UCL Public Policy’s Policy Fellowships provide opportunities for researchers to address some of the world’s most important policy challenges from within policy organisations.

UCL Public Policy is offering up to two Policy Fellowships, funded by UCL’s BBSRC IAA, enabling UCL staff to spend time embedded within policy organisations on projects addressing BBSRC's investment themes.

Policy Fellowships provide an excellent opportunity for UCL researchers to improve their knowledge and understanding of working in a government department, strengthen networks and develop skills and experience of contributing to policy work. 

About the fellowship

The Fellowship must address one the following BBRSC investment themes. 

We invite researchers to submit a proposal for the Fellowship which outlines: 

  • Structure of the project (who you will be working with, proposed activities, project timeline)
  • Outputs (e.g. engagement events, published documents, media)
  • Outcomes
  • Benefits to you as a researcher and the host organisation
  • How you plan to share the networks, skills and expertise developed in the Fellowship with the UCL community
  • How the Fellowship will address one of the three BBSRC’s investment themes outlined above. 
  • How the project fits within UCL’s Public Policy Strategy.

You do not need to have detailed plans for the structure, outputs, and outcomes of the Fellowship at application stage. UCL Public Policy will support you to co-develop these. Your application's success depends on the project's feasibility, your grasp of the policy challenge, the needs of the policy host, and the relevance of your research skills to address these. Successful applicants will be invited to discuss their proposal with the UCL Public Policy team who will provide guidance on the scope and structure of the Fellowship.

The Fellowship can take place between February and August 2024 (0.6FTE-1.0FTE), with a flexible start date depending on both your availability and the needs of the policy partner.


Funding covers the cost of staff salary (including on costs but not estates and indirect costs) for the duration of the Fellowship. Other eligible costs may rinclude engagement with policy professionals, training and development events, workshops, travel and conference attendance related to the Fellowship.  However, this funding does cover publication fees. Please contact UCL Public Policy to discuss any additional funding requirements arising as part of the fellowship.

Fellows will be awarded up to £20,000 to cover their salary. Keep this in mind when planning the FTE and duration of the Fellowship. 

UCL Public Policy will assist in the administration of the Fellowship including legal agreements and funding arrangements. Fellows are responsible for maintaining relationships with policy partners.

About you 

These fellowships are open to eligible academic and research staff at UCL Grade 6, 7, or 8, and are offered on a part-time basis (0.6FTE) for four months. Eligible applicants must have a UCL contract that extends beyond the fellowship period.  

Essential criteria 

  • Excellent research and analytic skills, with demonstrated experience or transferable skills in designing and carrying out feasibility studies, and translating research findings to other contexts.
  • Expertise and experience in using research as a means of informing and contributing towards policy development.
  • Ability to operate effectively, openly and collaboratively within sensitive political contexts.
  • Ability to demonstrate neutrality and impartiality while navigating competing stakeholder interests.
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to effectively engage with people from different backgrounds and sectors, and at different levels of seniority. Particularly important are writing skills and proven communications experience.
  • Understanding of the academic policy-engagement environment, and an ability to grasp project priorities quickly.
  • Ability to work proactively, managing and prioritising your own workload, while managing contingencies between multiple project stakeholders.
  • Already have a working relationship with a policy partner and a letter of support for the placement from the policy partner.*
  • An interest in understanding the role of the policy host.
  • A desire to share practical policy making experience and networks with UCL community to support a culture of policy engagement.

Desirable criteria 

  • Policy development and implementation experience.
  • Previous experience of working with government departments, local authorities or allied bodies.

NB, applicants are not required to be funded by an existing BBRSC funded project on a similar topic.

To apply

To apply, please complete the online application form. We are accepting applications on a case by case basis. Successful applicants will meet with the UCL Public Policy team to discuss their proposal in more detail. 

If you have any questions, please have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page. If your question remains unanswered, or you have difficulty in accessing or using the application form, please contact Dr Alice Tofts, Policy Fellowship Coordinator, UCL Public Policy (alice.tofts@ucl.ac.uk).

We particularly welcome applicants from black and minority ethnic, female and disabled/neurodivergent candidates. 

If you are interested in the Fellowship but do not have a policy partner, please do not apply but get in touch with us to discuss your project proposal. 

UCL Public Policy is UCL’s institutional initiative to support engagement between academic researchers and public policy professionals. BBSRC, a major bioscience funder, supports ground-breaking discoveries and solutions addressing global challenges. As part of UKRI, they promote interdisciplinary collaborations, diversity, and inclusion in bioscience.