How to communicate your research to policymakers

Date: 16th November, 2015
Start Time: 16:00 hrs
Venue: Newnham College MCR, Cambridge

Research communication is not just an addition to research but a fundamental part of the process. As Government Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Mark Walport, commented, “Science is not finished until it is communicated.” Furthermore, with the current drive towards evidence-based policies, it is essential that research be effectively communicated to policymakers. However, ensuring that research is understood and therefore used appropriately can be extremely challenging.

Our second professional development workshop of the year will equip PhD and postdoctoral researchers with the skills necessary for effective communication of their research to policymakers. Topics covered by talks and in small discussion groups will include:

  • Why you should communicate with policymakers.
  • Who you should communicate your research to and how do you contact them.
  • How do you communicate your research effectively.


Speakers for this policy debate include:


Dr Miles Parker

Senior Research Associate, Centre for Science and Policy

Until December 2012, Miles Parker was Defra’s Director of Science and Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser. He was formerly Director in the international office of the OST. He is a marine scientist with long-standing connections to MAFF, Defra and Cefas. He was awarded the OBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2013.

Dr Djuke Veldhuis

Postdoctoral Researcher, Aarhus University, Denmark

Djuke is a Marie-Curie-COFUND research fellow at Aarhus University in Denmark where she looks at human adaptation. She has written for New Scientist and worked across Southeast Asia as editor of Asia Research News. Most recently she was FameLab Manager at Cheltenham Festivals working alongside the British Council and NASA to discover charismatic, up-and-coming scientists who can inspire people to see the world from a new perspective.



Dr. Jan Mertens

Postdoctoral Researcher, NanoPhotonics Centre, Cambridge

Jan Mertens graduated in 2011 from Marburg, Germany, after a one year research stay at the University of Toronto. He joined the NanoPhotonics Centre as Winton scholar and finished his PhD in Physics in July. In the last years, he studied the interaction of light with metallic nanostructures and worked for Cambridge Innovation Consulting as technology consultant. During the course of his PhD, he was awarded several prizes for his presentations of scientific results at international conferences and he won the Silver Award in the physical sciences category of the SET for Britain competition in 2014.

This workshop may of particular interest to anyone planning on submitting a poster entry into the SET for Britain competition and/or Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy’s (CSaP) annual conference. The workshop will also allow participants to practice communicating their research in a friendly environment in the form of small group and individual activities. We encourage all attendees to network during a drinks reception at the end.

Places for the workshop are limited to 15-20 attendees. To apply for a place, please email by 4pm on Monday 2nd November telling us your name, position at the University (e.g. PhD student, department of Magic) and why and what you want to achieve from the event (five sentences max please). We will use this information to invite 15-20 of you to attend, and we will operate a waiting list system so that as many of the rest of you can benefit from this opportunity!