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Learning how to engage with policymakers

15 March 2022

3 minutes to read

Learning how to engage with policymakers

Policy@Exeter are launching their ambitious 2022 training programme for researchers at the University of Exeter who want to use their research to inform decision-making and create impact.  

Policy@Exeter is partnering with seven sector-leading training providers to run an exciting suite of workshops over the spring and summer. The programme aims to equip Exeter researchers from all disciplines and at all career levels with the skills and tools needed to confidently engage with policymakers locally, nationally and internationally.   

Nine practical and engaging training sessions will guide you through every stage of the policy engagement process. By the end, you will understand local, national and international policy landscapes, be able to identify the right stakeholders for your research, and be capable of producing outputs, such as policy briefings and evidence reviews.   

“I thought it was honestly outstanding – the sessions were incredibly accessible, practical, info-packed and very engaging. Really pleased I signed up for it.”

(2020 Participant from the College of Humanities)

What sessions are available? 

To find out more about each session and sign up, please visit our Events & Training page. 

28th April, 12th May, 17th May, 25th May (AM sessions): How to engage with policymakers, delivered by Policy@Exeter in partnership with Institute for Government.  

This introduction to policy engagement is ideal if this is your first approach to the world of policy – over the course of five weeks you’ll learn about the landscape of government, how evidence is used in the policymaking process, and how to build your profile as an expert.  

26th April, 9:30-12:30: Stakeholder mapping and communicating effectively with stakeholders, delivered by Connect Public Affairs. 

Kickstart your policy engagement journey by learning how to identify and prioritise your political stakeholders and how to manage and communicate with them effectively. The session will include a Q&A with former MP Andy Sawford.  

4th – 5th May (AM sessions): Beyond Westminster: An introduction to devolved, local and regional government, delivered by Showrunner Communications

What about local policymakers? This workshop will explore how local government works, the role of metro mayors and the powers held by devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.   

10th May, 10:00-12:00: Policy Briefing Writing, delivered by Sense about Science 

Do you have any findings that are ready to be disseminated? Apply for a spot for this policy briefing writing course. After an initial workshop, you’ll be matched with a trainer who will guide you through the process of writing a policy brief based on your research, ready to be sent out to policymakers. By taking part in this workshop, you’ll also have the chance to be selected to host a pod at Evidence Week in Parliament in July 2022.  

Please note this workshop is open to 5 research teams, and up to 2 researchers per team will be able to attend. There will be a selection process for this opportunity; if you are interested in taking part, please complete this application form by Friday 15th April.   

“I have a huge respect for Sense About Science. They are very switched on – they used every minute of the training, everything was punchy and to the point.”

(Dr Matthew Cole, Law School Lecturer, Evidence Week 2020 participant)

18th – 19th May (AM sessions): Intro to Evidence Reviews, delivered by NatCen. 

Grow your researcher toolkit and learn how to create evidence reviews to help inform decision-makers! This course will introduce a variety of rigorous evidence reviewing methods and assumes no prior knowledge.    

24th & 26th May (AM sessions): Global impact: Applying influence through international channels, delivered by Showrunner Communications 

What if your research has an international focus? This workshop will explore how academic expertise can have an impact on policymaking on a global scale. 

6th – 7th June (PM sessions): Intro to Research Tenders, delivered by PASS Procurement 

Join this course to find out what the public sector can offer to researchers, how to find contract opportunities and what is needed to have in place to submit successful tenders. 

15th – 16th June (AM sessions): Influence through expertise: Building a profile with policymakers, delivered by Showrunner Communications 

Elevate your policy engagement skills by learning how to build a reputation as a go-to source of credible expert insight among policymakers. 

Ongoing: 1:1 Policy engagement consultations with Mark Fuller, Director of Showrunner Communications 

These sessions will be an opportunity to talk through how your research work and expertise could be applied to the policy landscape and steps you can take towards engaging with policymakers. Where required, these sessions can also include practical media training through mock interviews. 

“The session was very informative and interactive. I would definitely recommend this training to any ECRs who are interested in public engagement.”

(2020 Participant from the Environment and Sustainability Institute)

Who is this for?  

This training offer is open, free of charge, to all researchers, PGR students and staff at the University of Exeter, regardless of discipline and career level. We particularly welcome registrations from disabled, LGBT+ and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) attendees. 

We welcome applications from Professional Services staff, but please note academic applications will be prioritised. 

How do I register?  

Registrations are open now, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please head over to our Events & Training page for more information and to sign up.   

If you wish to register without using Eventbrite, or if you have any questions regarding the event please contact Policy@Exeter at 

For more information please contact:


We are an information hub, research network and community of practice within and outside the University of Exeter, working at the interface between academia and policy. We aim is to harness cutting-edge research and innovation to enable better decision-making.  

For more information, please get in touch with Emma and Marina at or visit  

Related Links

Research and Innovation website

To find out more about each session and sign up, please visit our Events & Training page. 



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