The Pandemic and Beyond
Utilising funding from Research England Policy Support Fund, Professor Pascale Aebischer and Professor Victoria Tischler set out to bring research regarding the pandemic to a wider audience and impact policy at a government level.
The project, Pandemic and Beyond, started in 2021 by Pascale and co-applicant Victoria, with support by a large multidisciplinary team from across the university. There was a wealth of research, from Arts to Ethics, examining the effects of the pandemic and solutions to the problems it created with over 70 Covid-19 focused projects that were funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). After collating all the research and discussing possible avenues of reaching a bigger audience, a new website was recommended. Bigger, brighter, more interactive and intuitive they had before. They were able to hire a specialist external website design company, who created a professional, user-friendly and accessible website. One new feature was a “full keyword search functionality”, it was aimed at aiding policymakers who often don’t have much time spare so the quicker they can find the information they need, the better.
The second aspect the funding allowed them to do was connect with new advisors. They connected with policy consultants, Culture Commons, who not only provided help to amplify their portfolio but also gave them access to their own address book full of valuable contacts. Abeshicer was no longer regionally restricted due to external partners. Having a connection in Whitehall proved to be essential, as they were able to meet directly with MP’s and civil servants and speak on their behalf to impact those policy makers at the heart of government.
Aebischer, ultimately found that the cumulative effort behind the “Pandemic and Beyond” project allowed her work to reach new audiences, quicker and more effectively. Work can be achieved quicker with the help other people and crucially the types of people that are involved, from your stakeholders to a civil servant in Whitehall. Use the resources around you, such as Policy at Exeter to help create those bridges of communications you wouldn’t ordinally be able to do.
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