FASS634 Introduction to Engaging with Decision Makers in Government and Parliament

Module description

Are you working on research that could help government or politicians deal with the issues that they are facing? Could insights from your work improve that way that policy or law is made - perhaps in health, education, social care, business management or environment? Lots of research provides useful evidence and insights that could improve the quality of public policy - but there’s no guarantee that it will be understood or used by those who need to know. This course will introduce you to the art of engaging with government and politicians, so that they can make the most of your research, and you can make sure it has the impact it deserves.

This workshop will demystify the policy process, helping you to understand how policymakers and politicians use research, and to develop simple strategies for increasing impact. You will learn:

  • Why you should engage (and when you shouldn’t)
  • What parts of your research will be useful (and which won’t)
  • How you can engage: From formal consultation processes and secondments, to chats and blogs.

There will be a particular focus on quick, easy things that can be done without adding to your workload but hopefully adding a lot of satisfaction and CV points.

This is an interactive workshop, over two half-days, with a little bit of homework in between. Throughout, you will be working and discussing with others. You will also work on your own Impact Plan, so that you will leave with a clear idea of how you can engage.

The course is taught by Rebecca Willis (www.rebeccawillis.co.uk) who has worked in and with the European Parliament, Westminster, many central government departments and also in local government. She has lots of experience of influencing and advocating policy solutions in the environmental, social, economic and cultural field - often with success and sometimes unsuccessfully! She is also studying for a PhD at Lancaster (based in sociology and Lancaster Environment Centre), so she has a good understanding of the pressures of academic research.

Please bring a laptop (with internet access).

Timing and Location




28/02/18 - 07/03/18

Number of sessions:

2 x 3 hour sessions

Timing and Location:

Wednesdays, Weeks 17-18, 2.00-5.00, Bowland North Seminar Room 07


Additional information

Minimum quota: 6