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Policy engagement needs to leave its comfort zone

Sarah Chaytor and Andy Westwood describe a project to scale up universities’ work with policymakers

From epidemiological modelling and behavioural science to recovery support, the value of academic expertise has been evident in understanding Covid-19 and informing the response. The pandemic has also shone a light on the use of scientific advice in government policymaking—prompting, perhaps inevitably, some criticism of existing structures.

For those of us working on engagement between policy and academia—supporting academics and researchers and promoting the use of evidence and expertise in policy development and delivery—it also prompts questions about what universities are doing, and what more researchers and their institutions can do, to support, inform and improve policymaking.

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