Two FREE Science Writing Workshops in Newcastle, 15th August – a chance to enhance your skills…

Workshop by Heinrich-Boll-Stiftung CC BY-SA 2.0

…In digital communications to find out about social media as a pathway to impact and how to optimise your tweets, and to get the best out of communicating by newsletter.

Join Professor Mark Reed (Fast Track Impact) and Anne Liddon (Science Communications Manager, Newcastle University) on Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The Digital Academic from 13.00 to 15.00

To book your free place use the password “Newsletter” and follow this link:

Science Writing Workshop from 15:30 to 17:00

To book your free place use the password “Newsletter” and follow this link:




Find out the most important research questions facing government departments

Government Office for Science priority research areas published 

The Government Office for Science has launched a series of summaries about their priority research areas.  The Areas of Research Interest (ARI) documents detail the most important research questions facing government departments:

Eleven ARIs have been published so far and there are more in the pipeline. They are intended as a means to engage academia in dialogue around the research questions, in order for policy development and decision making to be informed by the best available scientific evidence, research and expertise. The ARIs each include contact details, for academics and researchers who wish to communicate with the originating departments about their contents.

ARI aim to improve how government departments:

  • align scientific and research evidence from academia with policy development and decision-making
  • engage with researchers
  • access stronger policy evidence bases at better value for money
  • share research commissions

Westminster and the Houses of Parliament

The UK Parliament wants more academics to engage with them

From York to Dundee, over 50 academics and professional staff attended Wednesday’s information-packed Research, Impact and the UK Parliament event held here at Northumbria.

The key message was that the UK Parliament want academics and the research community to engage with them. They really really want to hear from YOU! This is great news as it could help you get your research into Parliament and make an impact on policy.

Here are their top tips:

  • The UK Parliament Universities Team have created a new Research Impact and Parliament webpage which is full of contact details and
    Palace of Westminster

    how to guides. Visit this page and explore all the links and resources.

  • Be active on twitter. Tweet about your research and follow @POST_UK and @YourUKParl.
  • Blog about your research. Write for informed, interested non-experts. This will make it easier for the research staff at UK Parliament to digest the information and recognise its value in meeting their specific needs and make it more likely that they will interact with you.
  • Sign up for email updates or follow relevant select committees on Twitter
  • If you respond to requests for evidence or make contact with Parliamentary staff, ensure you are writing for informed, interested, non-experts. Be concise, don’t use jargon and don’t expect them to already know about your expertise or research. When setting out your academic expertise (beyond answering the question asked or point of knowledge you are putting forward) link to your profile or additional pdf documents. This will ensure that the key message is not lost. Committees are cross-party, and you are most likely to be listened to if you are objective and do not (even unintentionally) appear to take a political side.
  • If you find out about an inquiry too late, yet think you have something valuable to say, email and ask if you can still submit.
  • Use the Parliament website to research which MPs, Lords, Parliamentary staff or committees will be interested in your research and make contact with them.

Find out more!

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology’s website

Caroline Kenny’s blog about the impact of academia on Parliament

Current open calls for evidence

See what the Universities Programme offers for academics

View Research Briefings from Parliament

Follow UK Parliament on Twitter:




What do you think about evidence-based policy making?

We have received the following request from the Universities Programme Manager at the Houses of Parliament for views from researchers on evidence-based policy making. It focusses on an idea called the Evidence Information Service, aimed at rapidly connecting politicians with academics through parliamentary systems. If you are interested in finding out more about this initiative or contributing your views to it please read on:

Evidence Information Service

‘We are a group of academics from the Cardiff University, University of Exeter, University College London, University of Bath and the University of Bristol working with the House of Commons Library and the National Assembly for Wales Research Service to develop a UK Evidence Information Service (EIS).

‘The EIS will act as a rapid matchmaking and advisory service, working with existing UK parliamentary systems to connect politicians with the wider network of academics and professionals in science, technology, engineering, maths, medicine, humanities and the social sciences.

‘More details about the project can be found in our Guardian article and GW4 webpage.

‘We are seeking the confidential views of academics on their attitudes to and experiences of evidence-based policymaking, the usefulness of the EIS and their potential contribution.

 ‘We, therefore, invite all UK researchers in academia and industry to complete a 5-10 minute survey.

‘We would kindly ask that you distribute this email to your department/school.

‘For more information, please contact Lindsay Walker on’

Houses of Parliament (CC by 2.0)



Bright Club is Coming! 21st February 8.30pm

Returning to The Stand comedy club on the 21st February at 8.30pm, Bright Club is offering academics/researchers from the North East the chance to get on stage and have their say, exploring your research through humour, stories and bad puns. This is an incredible way to get your work out there, as well as improve your skills.

  • Improve your presentation skills.
  • Get first class professional communication training.
  • Enjoy exciting engagement opportunities.
    Microphone by visual dichotomy CC BY 2.0
    Microphone by visual dichotomy CC BY 2.0
  • Have a laugh!
  • Boost your confidence.

“Great fun- a total buzz! Better than any ‘conventional’ sci-comm training!”Kirsty Lees, PhD Student

“Outreach at its most terrifying and rewarding!”Paula Wright, Researcher


What:  Bright Club stand-up comedy training

When: Tuesday 7th February – 4pm – 6.30pm

Where:  Centre for Life – Meet at main reception

How: Contact Duncan on


Each event is compèred by a professional comedian, and subjects cover everything from pigs and language, to booze and geophysics.

Training is given to help tailor your material to a comedy audience. This will take place on the 7th February, 4pm – 6.30pm at the Centre for Life with further opportunities to rehearse and fine-tune your set before the show.