Understanding Society Scientific Conference 2019 - , University of Essex

Understanding Society Policy Fellowships: building evidence for policy

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Day:Thu 4 Jul
  • Raj Patel, University of Essex

Understanding Society Policy Fellowships are short-term projects that support researchers to undertake research projects which have the potential to make a substantial contribution to public policy. The aim of the (trial) scheme is to enhance research-led impact among government departments, business and/or the third sector. It provides project funding (using Understanding Society data) for between 6 to 12 months, with a further six months to deliver impact activities.

Presentations by Policy Fellows will cover findings relevant to two major public policy issues: the impact of technology on mental health; and how to reduce health inequalities. Professor Andrew Przybylski will present findings on screen use and mental health, whilst Dr Heather Brown will discuss findings on intergenerational persistence of inequalities in health and income. They will also outline their policy engagement and impact activities.

The third session, led by Raj Patel, Impact Fellow at Understanding Society, will present information on the Policy Fellowships scheme and how it works. This interactive session will discuss the experience of the Policy Fellows in influencing policy through empirical research and the challenges and lessons being learnt (both for researchers and the design of the scheme).