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Working with Whitehall: Understanding and Influencing Policy

Date - Thursday, 7th July 2016 (3:00 pm - 5:00 pm)

This is the second event in the Northern Exposure series, designed to help social scientists maximise the reach and accessibility of their research.

Date: Thursday 7 July 2016

Time: 15:00 – 17:00, followed by a drinks reception

Location: Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences, The University of Sheffield, 219 Portobello, Sheffield, S1 4DP.

Academics are under increasing pressure from funders, collaborators and policy makers to do cutting-edge research that has an impact on the broader social, economic and political environment. Influencing and engaging with policy-makers is seen as a pivotal area through which academics can demonstrate this impact, whilst at the same time, the need for robust evidence to inform the policy making process is more critical than ever. Yet set against funding pressures, often incompatible timescales, and an increasingly shrinking civil service, the path to policy engagement is not always easy or obvious.

In order to engage effectively with the policy world, academics need to have a clear understanding about who and where to direct their work; when best to engage; and be able to convey their findings in an accessible and concise manner, free of academic jargon and focused on practical application. For tips and tools to help navigate the policy world, this second Northern Exposure event brings together perspectives from both sides to share insights and experiences for effective engagement.


  • Sarah Bradley, Head of Labour Market Evidence and Narratives, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Jonathan Breckon, Head of The Alliance for Useful Evidence
  • Ruth Little, Research Fellow, Department of Geography
  • Mark Sinclair, Director of Science and Innovation Partnership, Energy 2050, on secondment from BIS
  • James Wilsdon, Professor of Research Policy, Director of Impact and Engagement, Social Sciences

This event is open to anyone from the Faculty who may be interested in engaging with policy-makers, whether you are new to the process or have faced particular barriers when attempting to undertake policy engagement in previous research.
Places are limited so please register your attendance.