UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Dr Ben Noble to co-lead UCL policy commission on area studies

9 March 2023

UCL Public Policy is funding a policy commission to help improve the policy engagement capacity of area studies experts at UCL. 

Portico building

Many academics with area studies expertise at UCL are already engaged with members of the policy community, providing insights that help shape the responses of politicians and policymakers to developments in countries and regions around the world.  

The policy commission – which will run from March to July 2023 – will involve broad consultations within UCL, as well as with external stakeholders, to see what already works with this policy engagement and what could be enhanced.  

Pilot activities will test innovative modes of policy engagement, the results of which will feed into a final report with recommendations that will be presented in autumn 2023. 

The commission is co-led by Dr Ben Noble (Associate Professor of Russian Politics and Public Policy Lead, SSEES) and Lucy Shackleton (Head of Public Policy and Partnerships, European Institute).  

The commission’s activities will be overseen by a steering group, which will bring together key people at UCL involved with policy engagement and area studies.  

The UCL Public Policy Commissions Award is funded by Research England’s Quality-Related (QR) Policy Support Fund (PSF), which is held by UCL.  

Dr Ben Noble (academic co-lead): “I’m delighted that UCL Public Policy has funded this project. The ongoing input provided by UCL experts to the policy community in response to developments like Russia’s war on Ukraine show the vital role that our expertise can play in Whitehall and beyond – and this project will help enhance UCL’s work in this domain.” 

Lucy Shackleton (professional services co-lead): “Area experts across UCL are already actively engaged in informing and shaping policy all over the world. The opportunity to consider how this activity might be better supported and communicated is an exciting one, with the potential to enhance external understanding of the depth and diversity of UCL area studies expertise.”  

If you would like further information about the policy commission, including if you would like to take part in its activities, then please reach out to Ben (benjamin.noble@ucl.ac.uk) and Lucy (l.shackleton@ucl.ac.uk). They are keen to hear from as broad a range of voices as possible.