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Science and Policy March 31, 2010

Posted by qmresearchers in Career Ideas, Career Talks.
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Stacy Gladman and colleagues at the Blizzard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science (BICMS) continue to organise some great careers talks at The Innovation Centre, WhiteChapel. This months talk was given by Dr. Kirsty Newman from INSAP and was called ‘Evidence Informed Policy Making.’  Click here to access the talk.

Kirsty pointed out that there is sometimes confusion about science policy and what this means.  There are loosely two areas in science and policy:

Policy for research: this is the policy that governs how science is done, how it is funded, regulated etc. An example of this would be working for a research council such as EPSRC.

Research-informed policy: this is when science results are used to decide on policy decisions. An example of this would be working for the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST).

I often suggest to researchers that they have a look on the research council websites (try RCUK for a list of research councils) for positions related to policy for research. Also try jobs.ac.uk, New Scientist Jobs, The Wellcome Trust and charities such as Cancer Research UK.

With regards to finding employment in research informed policy, this is slightly different. Many people have a PhD/postdoctoral experience in a science or technology subject. Some people may have done an internship/placement within a relevant organisation.  The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)  offer fellowship schemes through the research councils that provide the funding for PhDS and postdocs. Click here for more information. The Royal Society also have an internship scheme (2-3 months) and are looking to fill places between April and December 2010. Click here for more information. Although not specifically for people with PhDs, it may be one way to get a foot in the door!

Some other useful websites are shown below:

The Royal Society Science Policy Centre

How to get a job in science policy (THE article. Is from 1998 so a bit old but still useful!)

What’s it’s like working in political science

Breaking into Science Policy

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