A new policy institute has launched at the University of Leeds - aimed at strengthening the ties between the University’s world-renowned research community and policymakers around the globe.
Policy Leeds is a dedicated hub that brings together academics and policy actors such as politicians, civil servants, think-tanks and inter-governmental organisations to ensure research undertaken at the University has a real-world impact and can help solve policy challenges.
Within the University, Policy Leeds will work with research support, professional development, engagement and communications staff to ensure established and emerging researchers can successfully collaborate with decision makers in the UK Government, Parliament and beyond.
Professor Nick Plant, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation at the University of Leeds, said: Whether its advising Downing Street on the impact of coronavirus, or informing international action on climate change, researchers at the University of Leeds are already having a big impact and working with governments to solve the global challenges we face.
With Policy Leeds, we want to build on this success and ensure policymakers can access the world-class research undertaken here in Leeds, which can help shape policies for the benefit of millions of people.
The University of Leeds has a long track record of working with policymakers. Recent examples include:
- Leeds academics advising the Government on the Covid-19 pandemic, including as members of the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies
- 118 collaborative research projects since 2015 with Leeds City Council covering topics from flood alleviation, child poverty policies and employment in the city's cultural industries.
- Developing four online courses for the Department for Educations The Skills Toolkit, to help jobseekers develop digital skills.
Policy Leeds is being led by Professor Andy Gouldson, an interdisciplinary social scientist who specialises in engaged, impact-orientated research on climate change. Throughout his career he has worked closely with policymakers and regulatory and development agencies at international, national and local levels.
Professor Gouldson said: I know from my own experience that policymakers value the research, analysis and different perspective that academics can bring when faced with policy challenges.
Policy Leeds will be charged with promoting the benefits of working with governments to our research community and act as a brokerage for decision makers who want to harness the University of Leeds expertise.
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