Working with policymakers

Research output: Contribution to non-peer-reviewed publicationInternet publication


Alice Milner, a lecturer in physical geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, won a NERC fellowship to work with a UK government chief scientific adviser. She says that learning how policy is made has changed her research and she has some advice on winning a fellowship and influencing policy:

• Learn the language and terminology of government by reading policy papers on

• Keep up to date with what’s in the news about the government department or research area you’re interested in.

• If you want policymakers to read and use your research, write a clear and succinct one-page summary that includes the importance of your work to policy.

• Try to find the name of someone relevant and call them rather than relying on email.

• Engage policymakers early on when you’re developing your research idea to generate scientifically useful and policy-relevant outcomes.

• Before submitting a fellowship application, speak to people who have worked in policy and be aware of the main issues facing policymakers. Even postdocs can approach a government department with their research idea.

Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationResearch Professional
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2015


  • policy

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