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Up Close and Policy series

Join our regular conversations between academic researchers and policy professionals exploring shared experiences of academic–policy engagement. Learn lessons and strategies to build your understanding and knowledge of what it takes to do policy engagement well.

Up Close & Policy
Beyond ministers and their advisers, policy decisions are informed and made by a wide group of people. This series looks at who they are, what they do and how the research community works with the world of public policy to inform decision making.

The Up Close & Policy Series features UCL researchers in open conversation with policy professionals drawn from a wide range of organisations. Come along for your chance to ask the experts about the opportunities and pitfalls in engaging with the world of public policy, find out the insights they have gained, and hear what they consider are the key lessons for successful engagement. These events will be held in a seminar-style with a large portion of the hour dedicated to Q&A, so please come prepared to ask questions.

UCL Public Policy is committed to increasing the diversity and inclusivity of its activities. We encourage people from under-represented groups (BAME, LGBTQ+, a mature student, or disabled) to attend.  

Conversation schedule


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Past discussions 


OHID Researchers-in-Residence
Wednesday 13 March 2022, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm
UCL - Office of Health Improvement and Disparities Researchers-in-Residence, Dr Asta Medisauskaite and Dr Shoba Poduval share their experiences at Office of Health Improvement and Disparities and the impact the Fellowship has made on their career trajectories.


Up Close and Policy: the former Chief Scientific Officer at DLUHC
Wednesday 24 January 2024, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm
 Professor Alan Penn to discuss his pivotal role as the Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA) at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).


Top-down, Bottom-up & Informing Policy in Two Countries
Wednesday 26 January 2022, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm
Discussion between UCL academics and their policy partners on their experiences of academic-policy engagement in an international setting.


Tackling Loneliness and Social Isolation: Academic Research Networks and Government Engagement 
Wednesday 12 January 2022, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Discussion on how researchers and policy professionals can collaborate to tackle the isolation and mental health crisis facing the UK. 


Developing Sustainable & Healthy Cities and Guiding London’s Recovery Programme through Local Authority Engagement
Wednesday 8 December 2021, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Discussions on how researchers can engage with local authorities to co-develop impactful policies for cities. Hear benefits of policy co-development, pathways to engagement and insight into the inner working of local authorities.


Left-behind' Places, Community Engagement & Third Sector Partnerships
Wednesday 24 November 2021, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Discussions on how and why researchers can engage with communities and third sector partners to inform policy at a local level. 


Research, Parliament and evidence on digitisation
11 November 2020, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm
An interactive discussion with representatives from academia and parliament on how researchers can engage their work with parliament and why.


BASW, Ofsted & the Care Leavers Association
14 October 2020, 12:00 pm–2:00 pm
An interactive discussion with representatives across academia, government and the charitable sector on care leavers' rights to records.


Climate Assembly UK - Policy, Parliament & People
17 September 2020, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm
This seminar brings together people from all walks of life to discuss how the UK can reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.


Obstetric Fistula - Changes in Global Health Policy
30 July 2020, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm
Dr Sohier Elneil (UCLH) and Dr Lauri Romanzi (Harvard) join us to discuss 'Obstetric Fistula - Changes in Global Health Policy across the WHO, USAID, & UNFPA'


Events in Parliament
24 January 2018, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm
Discussion on when and how to communicate research to policymakers.


Big Data for policymaking
23 November 2017, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm


Natural science, economics and national policy-making
01 November 2017, 12:00 pm–1:30 pm
Discussion on the opportunities and pitfalls in engaging with the world of policy. Hear insights gained and key lessons for successful engagement.


Connecting with Local Government and Communities
25 May 2017, 12:00 pm–2:00 pm
Discussions on building relationships with local government and issues in local communities.


Public Health
13 July 2016, 1:30 pm–2:30 pm
Discussion on the experience of academic-policy interaction, with a particular focus on sexual health, Natsal, and public health responses.