UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy



Read more about how the Policy Impact Unit's work has influenced policy.

Our definition of policy impact is “research evidence or expert opinion that informs the development, implementation or evaluation of policy”. We make a distinction between activities (the things that we do) and impacts (the effects on policy that our activities might have in the short- medium- and long-term).

Here you can find a list of example activities and impacts, and indicators by which we can monitor our success.

Some examples of impacts that have come about following our engagement activities are:

Gender and Tech Research Group 

  • Dr Leonie Tanczer gave oral evidence to the DCMS Select Committee for their inquiry ‘Connected tech: smart or sinister?’ Her comments were reported in the Times and Tech Monitor, and led to formal recommendations to make tackling tech abuse a priority – which Government subsequently accepted.   
  • Helped shape and develop the first Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategic Threat Risk Assessment (STRA)  which recognises VAWG as a national threat (in the same way as terrorism) and includes tech-enabled VAWG (tech abuse.) 
  • Dr Tanczer won the UKRI FLF Impact Award 2024
  • Following a Consultation Submission to the Home Office, tech abuse features significantly in their new Statutory Guidance on Controlling and Coercive Behaviour. 
  • Met with officials from the Northern Ireland Executive to discuss how our recommendations on tech abuse could be adopted into their EVAWG Strategic Framework.  
  • Delivered research for the Home Office on the applicability of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 to inform thinking on the need for legislation change. Also presented at the Home Office to US stakeholders including the White House Gender Policy Council.     
  • Provided research briefings for the Domestic Abuse Commissioner (who will host a secondment for this project) and National Crime Agency to inform the Digital Strategy against VAWG.  
  • Cited in a POSTnote on Digital Disengagement and Reluctance.  
  • Supporting policy impact within the wider UCL community including through delivery of a Policy 101 Masterclass with PIU 
  • Shaping thinking on tackling illegal harms through multiple consultation responses, direct stakeholder engagement including with regulator Ofcom, and through partnership working with the VAWG sector.  

Future Targeted Healthcare Manufacturing Hub

  • Hub researcher Nishma Patel was appointed to the NHS AAC expert group on data infrastructure for implementation of new advanced therapeutic medicinal products (ATMPs)  
  • Professor Suzy Farid’s work was cited in the 100 Days Mission Report to G7 Leaders on reducing the impact of future pandemics.  
  • The Hub was invited to take part in a Parliamentary roundtable on the future of cell and gene therapies.  
  • Prof Paul Dalby gave evidence at an oral session for the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee inquiry on Future Cancer, on how the UK can be a global leader in the manufacturing of innovative cancer therapies like CAR-T; This was the result of a consultation response supported by PIU. 

Vax-Hub Global and Vax-Hub Sustainable

Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centre for Mineral-based Construction Materials

  • Oral evidence was provided to Scotland’s Net Zero Committee on the Circular Economy (Scotland) Bill, following a consultation submission in 2023. As a result, the Committee made recommendations to the proposed legislation , and ICEC-MCM evidence was cited ten times. 
  • Delivered a Futures Forum on Circular Construction bringing together academics and policymakers to discuss cross-cutting issues to unlock circularity in the sector. Report will be published in Summer 2024 but follow up meetings with DESNZ have already taken place to discuss next steps and closer working  
  • Policy Cluster established with representatives from DEFRA, DBT, DESNZ, Welsh Government, Scottish Government, Northern Irish Executive and others – where research findings and policy recommendations (such as these - Policy Brief on Landfill Tax) are shared directly with policymakers to inform thinking. 
  • ICEC-MCM have undertaken secondments in Government Departments including DSIT and the Environment Agency – the latter led to a joint report on the Potential for Soil Reuse System in England.   
  • Recognising the impact that ICEC-MCM has had, UCL is playing a leading role in the UN backed Circular Economy Centre of Excellence   

Dawes Centre for Future Crime 

Institute for Healthcare Engineering 

Research Institute for Sociotechnical Cyber Security (RISCS)

  • Professor Madeline Carr was invited to provide oral evidence to the Commons Bill Committee and was quoted by the Shadow Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Minister Chris Elmore on the floor of the House in the subsequent debate on the Bill. 
  • We worked with Lord Clement-Jones to table an amendment based on Professor Carr’s evidence to the Bill in the Lords Committee stage with the intention of raising the issue of the need for increased security measures in products that are used by children. In response, the Minister gave an assurance that security requirements would be designed with full consideration for the security of children. 
  • We were contacted (unprompted) by staff at the Home Office requesting expert input from RISCS team.  

Plastic Waste Innovation Hub 

  • Professor Mark Miodownik invited to give oral evidence to the EFRA Select Committee inquiry on ‘Plastic Waste’. Prof Miodownik was quoted in the committee’s report and the Hub's written evidence was also cited. 

Vax-Hub (1) 

  • Our policy briefings on developing vaccines and manufacturing vaccines were both cited in a POSTnote on advances in vaccine technologies. The briefings were also used to educate civil servants involved in the vaccine task force and Covid-19 response. 
  • The Vax-Hub were invited to take part in a UK-CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) Vaccine Manufacturing Roundtable, hosted by CEPI in collaboration with BEIS, FCDO and the DHSC.   
  • Professor Martina Micheletti was invited to speak at a UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) world investment forum meeting and to take part in the WHO World Local Production Forum
  • Professor Martina Micheletti was invited to contribute to POSTnote (Parliamentary briefing note) on vaccine development technologies.