Science Policy: Improving the Uptake of Research into UK Policy

19–21 August 2019

Wellcome Genome Campus, UK

Bringing policy makers and academic researchers together to enable evidence-based policy making


Although science and research is a cornerstone of the economy and a strategic government priority, many researchers have little experience in engaging with policy makers. The relationship between the civil service, government and parliament, and their respective functions, can seem complex and opaque to them. At the same time, policy makers can struggle to engage with research, where the policy implications and/or recommendations are buried in technical journal articles or grant reports.

The second course in this series will bring policy makers and academic researchers together to help break down these barriers, encourage mutual understanding, and ultimately enable improved evidence-based policy making. It will provide early career researchers (PhD students, post-doctoral fellows and early career faculty) with an introduction to policymaking, show them how to engage with policy makers, either by their research being used to influence policy or by moving into a career in science policy. The course will focus on how policy is made in the UK, with one session focusing on international policy considerations.

The ultimate aim of this course is to build a community of policy-engaged researchers and research-engaged policy makers.

Learning outcomes
After attending this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe and contrast the basic structure of Parliament and Government
  • Follow the legislative process and identify the key moments for influence
  • Identify and use the different channels through which evidence can inform policy
  • Describe how learned societies, academies and funders can channel the voice of researchers
  • Tailor evidence to suit the needs of different types of policy makers
  • Adapt your own research plans to maximise the impact on policy
  • Connect with policy-makers and researchers who are seeking to influence policy



The course will start at approximately 12.00 noon on Monday 19 August and finish at approximately 15.30 on Wednesday 21 August 2019.

Topics will include:

  • How does research inform policy?
  • Getting evidence to where it’s needed
  • The role of intermediaries in policy making
  • International science policy
  • How to influence policy as a researcher
  • A career in science policy
  • Meet the Parliamentarians – panel discussion with Q&A
  • Group project – case study on UK government’s immigration white paper

This is a residential course. All students are requested to stay onsite for the full duration to benefit fully from discussions and interactions with the speakers and other participants. A draft programme will be available soon.

Instructors and speakers

Programme Committee

Peter Border
Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, UK

Sarion Bowers
Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK

Haley Clissold
Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK


Harry Beeson – Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, UK
Ben Bleasdale – Wellcome, UK
Alex Hulme – The Academy of Medical Science, UK
Elizabeth Killen – Government Office for Science, UK
James Squires – The Academy of Medical Science, UK
Anna Wilkinson – Nuffield Council of Bioethics, UK

How to apply

How to Apply
Please complete the online application form.

Travel visas
Successful applicants will be provided with a support letter for their visa application, if required.

Please visit the following websites for further information on visiting the UK:


Cost Accommodation / meals
*Course fee £423 This is a residential course and the fee includes all accommodation and meals.

*The course fee is subsidised by Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences and applies to non-commercial applicants.


A limited number of registration bursaries are available to attend this course (up to 50% of the standard registration fee) from Wellcome Genome Campus Scientific Conferences.
The following documents will need to be provided:

  • CV
  • A justification letter (explain how you will benefit from attending the course)
  • A supporting letter from supervisor stating financial need

To apply, please send the above documents to the event organiser by the bursary deadline. Please ensure you have completed the online application before applying for a bursary.

Bursary deadline: 18 June 2019

Additional funding opportunities
Visit our support page for additional financial support currently available.

Extra accommodation
If you wish to book onsite accommodation either side of the course dates, please contact the Conference Centre directly.

Accommodation services phishing scam – please be vigilant. More information.


Feedback from the 2018 course:

“The course was great – really interesting, pitched at a suitable level, and improved my insight of the process by which scientific evidence may be used to influence policy”

“I thought the course organisers created a great atmosphere for asking questions”

“Can’t speak highly enough of the location and the access to speakers and organisers was brilliant. Very impressive that most of the tutors were there for the whole two days or at least the entire day in which they were speaking”

“The amount of time for group discussion and networking, providing plenty of opportunity to interact with the rest of the course attendees. The diverse range of panellists was also really good”

“Particular highlights were the MP sessions (brilliant to get a chance to speak to a group of MPs in a relaxed environment) and the policy as a career discussion”

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