Register here.

For the past six months, three teams of PhDs and post-docs from the University of Cambridge have collaborated with the Cambridgeshire County Council to provide advice on specific policy issues with direct relevance to the decision-making within the respective policy areas:

  1. “What are the next generation of models to transform organisations, and how could they benefit Cambridgeshire County Council?”
  2. “Why is Cambridgeshire’s educational achievement gap so bad, and what can be done about it?”
  3. “What actions would have most impact in reducing deprivation inequalities in Cambridgeshire?”

A University member of each team will give a short overview of the project they worked on, focusing on the process from first interactions with the Council to delivering a final advice. The University – Council collaboration will further be discussed in a round-table including the participants, as well as several members of the Cambridgeshire County Council. Enough time will be foreseen for questions, potentially by those interested to participate in this or similar initiatives in the future.

Simon Davies (The Structures Group – Department of Engineering) / Nidhi Chaudhary (Department of Land Economy)
Victoria Plutshack (Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance)
Erin Hawkins (MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit)

Members of the Council

Amanda Askham (Head of Transformation)
Amanda has initiated an ambitious programme of transformation at Cambridgeshire County Council which seeks to revolutionise the way in which it operates – both internally and with external partners. Amanda has invested a significant amount of time in this initiative already, and will explain how nurturing relationships such as this play a crucial part in the organisation’s transformation agenda moving forward.

Councillor Peter Reeve MBE
Cllr Reeve has been heavily involved with the team looking at next generation models to transform organisations. As the Vice-chair of the County Council’s Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee, he commissioned the team to use their expertise to offer some fresh insight into a multi-faceted and complex problem.

Councillor Ian Manning
Cllr Manning established this relationship with CUSPE and has facilitated this pilot scheme which seeks to ensure that the Council are maximising the benefits of being based in Cambridge. Crucially, he has provided oversight for the project, as well as a coordinating link between Officers, Councillors and participants.

Image Credit: Cimexus, 2005

Date: Friday 6th March, 2015
Start Time: 17:30 hrs
Venue: Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College

Humanitarian and development organisations are increasingly pressured to show that their decisions are based on the ‘best available evidence’ and that their interventions and programmes do have an impact. But where is the evidence for this, how does it reach these organisations and who decides what is ‘best’?

Join the Cambridge University Science & Policy Exchange and Giving What We Can as we debate this important topic from both a practice and research perspective.

The lecture will be followed by a wine reception.

Students working in a relevant area to the policy debate can apply to attend the post-lecture dinner with the speakers and will be notified if they have a place prior to the event date.

Speakers for this policy debate include:

Ewen Macleod has been head of UNHCR’s Policy Development and Evaluation Service. PDES is committed to the systematic examination and assessment of UNHCR policies, programmes, projects and practices. It also promotes rigorous research on issues pertinent to UNHCR’s work and encourages an active exchange of ideas and information between humanitarian practitioners, policymakers, and the research community with the purpose of strengthening operational effectiveness. Ewen Macleod has considerable field experience of many major refugee emergencies and situations acquired over three decades.

Professor Christopher Whitty is Chief Scientific Adviser and Director of Research & Evidence at the Department for International Development. In this role he is responsible for DfID’s diverse research programmes. Prior to joining DfID he was Professor of International Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where he continues to run a research programme, and Chair of the UK National Expert Panel on New & Emerging Infections, which included animal as well as human infections.  He is also a Cambridge Fellow in Science & Policy.

Dr Shailaja Fennell is a university lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge. In 2013 she organised a workshop on Evidence Based Policy jointly with the World Bank Institute, examining the evidence of institutional change on poverty reduction. The presentations and discussions were located around the consequences of not having clear evidence of the impact of such interventions. Her further research interests include institutional reform, gender and household dynamics, kinship and ethnicity, comparative economic development, and provision of public goods and partnerships.

Alex MacGillivray is the Director of Development Impact at CDC. Alex’s background is in sustainable development, competitiveness and business strategy. Before joining CDC, he held senior positions at AccountAbility and the New Economics Foundation, and has worked with a broad range of businesses, government and non-profits. Alex has developed and embedded evaluation and management systems for innovators of all shapes and sizes around the world, particularly in emerging markets. He has a keen interest in low-carbon innovation.

This policy debate is generously sponsored by Astra Zeneca , Analysys Mason , Medimmune , and Science.


Date: Wednesday 15th October 2014
Start Time: 17:15 hrs
Venue: Riley Auditorium, Gillespie Centre, Clare College

The Digital Agenda for Europe has been heralded as delivering smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by completing the digital single market. It aims to reboot Europe’s economy and help Europe’s citizens and businesses to get the most out of digital technologies. But what has it achieved and is it on target to deliver its original aims?

Join the Cambridge University Science & Policy Exchange on Wednesday 15th October 2014 as we debate this topical and fascinating policy.

The lecture will be directly followed by a wine reception. Students working in a relevant area to the policy debate can apply to attend the post-lecture dinner with the speakers and will be notified if they have a place prior to the event date.

This policy debate is generously sponsored by our partner Analysys Mason, the global telecoms, media and technology (TMT) consultancy.

Dr David Cleevely is a serial entrepreneur, international telecoms expert and the Founding Director of the Centre for Science & Policy at the University of Cambridge. He has invested in over 35 companies based primarily in the Cambridge cluster and is currently Chairman of four of them. He has decades of experience in advising governments and industry in telecoms matters. He was a member of the Ofcom Spectrum Advisory Board for 8 years.

Mr Iarla Flynn is Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs at the Internet heavyweight Google. He is a public policy and government affairs professional with a strong track record in the technology and telecomms sectors, built across senior roles in government, global ICT players, and start-ups in the European and Asia-Pacific region.

Dr James Allen is a Partner at the global telecoms, media and technology consultancy Analysys Mason and one of the company’s most senior regulatory experts. His experience includes providing specialist advice to operators, regulators and governments on the economic costs of telecoms services, and the consequential policy implications. With over twenty years of experience he has expertise in a range of strategically important telecoms areas covering both fixed and mobile technologies.

Dr Jörgen Gren is currently the Head of Unit for Growth & Jobs at the Digital Agenda for Europe Coordination and Digital Single Market Policy Unit in the European Commission’s DG CONNECT. Having started his career in the private sector at IBM, he later joined the Commission in 1996 to work on the evaluation of EU structural policy. Dr Gren has also been heavily involved in recent years with the Connecting Europe Facility on broadband and digital services.


Join the CUSPE Committee

Round two of recruitment for the 2023-2024 CUSPE committee is now open!

Do you have an interest in evidence-based policy?

Do you want to help build links between academics and policy-makers?

Do you want to build your networks?

We are looking for enthusiastic people from across the university to join the 2023-24 CUSPE committee. Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange (CUSPE) is the society dedicated to linking early career researchers and policy-makers, and our committee works to organise opportunities throughout the year to discuss current policy issues, provide skills development and career insights for researchers, and allow them to develop networks with policy-makers.


Available Roles

Positions are open for students, post-doctoral researchers, and alumni of the University of Cambridge to join our committee serving as:

  • Vice President
  • Lectures Lead/Team
  • Workshops Lead/Team
  • Forum Team
  • CJSP Editorial Team
  • CJSP Illustrators
  • Treasurer
  • Policy Challenges Coordinator
  • Marketing and Communications Lead/Team
  • Finance and Fundraising Lead/Team

Roles filled during Round 1 include:

  • Secretary
  • Forum Lead
  • Chief Editor of the Cambridge Journal of Science and Policy (CJSP)
  • Webmaster

How to Apply

A list of available role descriptions are provided below. There are team lead roles available for the other ones indicated.

To apply, please email a short application with the title of the role you wish to apply for and a brief background of yourself and your motivation for applying to Please specify if you are applying for a team lead or team member position.

If you have any further questions please email


Friday 21st July

Role Descriptions

Vice President

The Vice President provides support to the President and the other teams in CUSPE as needed. This can range from standing in for the President if they are unavailable to coordinating the organisation of the CUSPE stall at the Freshers’ Fair. The Vice President is also responsible for coordinating with Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) on the CUSPE Scholarship, which provides funding for young people leaving care to complete hands-on paid work experience with CCC.

“Being Vice President of CUSPE for the last year has been a great experience that has enabled me to develop a range of useful skills. It has been really rewarding to help support different teams within the society.”

Lectures Lead/Team

The Lectures Team is responsible for organising our public lectures programme. Lectures cover discussions on the science-policy interface including current and future challenges and there is a significant amount of flexibility when choosing topics. Topics are chosen based on suggestions from committee members, personal interests or suggestions from the wider CUSPE network. The team’s activities include finding and inviting speakers from academia, government or industry, booking venues, and ensuring that events run smoothly. The Lectures Team also works closely with the Marketing and Communications Team to share and promote the events. Lectures Team members are likely to be responsible for organising a particular lecture including identifying a speaker and organising ticketing and promotion, or leading on particular aspects of an event e.g. room booking/promotion.

Workshops Lead/Team

The Workshops Team is responsible for organising our workshops programme. Workshops cover a variety of practical skills or important knowledge relevant for researchers interested in influencing or moving into science policy. These events take science-policy discussions and apply them in a more interactive format. Topics are chosen based on suggestions from committee members, personal interests or suggestions from the wider CUSPE network. The team’s activities include finding speakers, organising workshop exercises, booking venues and ensuring that events run smoothly. The Workshops Team works closely with the Marketing and Communications Team to share and promote the events. Workshops Team members are likely to be responsible for organising a particular workshop or panel discussion, including identifying speakers, deciding themes and organising ticketing and promotion, or leading on particular aspects of an event e.g. room booking/promotion. 

“Working as the workshop team lead, I expanded my comfort zone and learned so much, reaching out to people with different research interests and coordinating panel discussions. Brainstorming workshop topics that have timeliness and would interest many CUSPE members was the fun part.” 

Forum Team

The Forum is CUSPE’s annual conference which brings together early career researchers and policy-makers. With their team, the Forum Lead is responsible for developing the event programme and determining the theme for a half-day or day-long event. The Forum Lead also manages the budget and liaises directly with high-profile speakers within the policy community and academia. They work closely with the Marketing & Communications Team and Finance & Fundraising Team to promote and build on the success of previous events. This role is ideal for someone looking to demonstrate leadership and project management skills. Forum Team members will be responsible for helping to deliver the above objectives, as well as being responsible for individual events within the Forum programme, developing a communication strategy to promote the Forum outside Cambridge, design of marketing material and undertaking fundraising and sponsorship for the Forum.

CJSP Editorial Team

Editors manage the blind peer-review process for individual articles and make sure that each contribution to the Journal is finished to a high standard.

CJSP Art Illustrators

For the current issue of CJSP we are also recruiting Art Illustrators. Art illustrators produce custom drawings that go with the articles written for CJSP.
There is a slightly different application process here, please send 1-3 pieces of work to to apply!


The Treasurer balances income with spending to ensure delivery of CUSPE’s mission. At the start of the academic year, the Treasurer prepares the account form for the Senior Treasurer’s approval and works with team leads to decide on budgets. During the academic year, the Treasurer is responsible for approving and reimbursing major committee spending and updating CUSPE’s accounting statements regularly. At the end of the academic year, the Treasurer summarises CUSPE’s financial position.

“I would recommend the treasurer role for anyone wanting a regular, important, but light role in the CUSPE committee. The role involves some setup at the beginning of the year, but other than that just checking the accounts and reimbursing people every two weeks, as well as the committee meetings.”

Policy Challenges Coordinator

The Policy Challenges are a collaboration between CUSPE and Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) which give undergraduates, postgraduates and postdocs from universities in Cambridge the chance to research answers to pressing policy questions posed by CCC. The Policy Challenges Coordinator is responsible for working with CCC to organise the start of the upcoming Policy Challenges. The main tasks are organising the Launch Event, opening the application process for the Policy Challenges and assigning the teams. The Policy Challenges Coordinator will work closely with the Policy Challenges Programme Lead from CCC throughout the process. Therefore, the Policy Challenges Coordinator will need strong organisational and communication skills to coordinate with CCC officers, the CUSPE committee and university members to bring together the components required to start the 2024 Policy Challenges. Previous experience with the Policy Challenges would be useful but is not essential.  

Marketing & Communications Lead/Team

The Marketing & Communications Team coordinates making and distributing all the marketing materials for all of CUSPE’s events. The team creates materials to advertise for the Freshers’ Fair, lectures, workshops, and the Policy Challenges, and produces a newsletter to keep CUSPE members updated about events and current opportunities in the wider world of science policy. These are shared on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Mailchimp. Marketing is also responsible for contacting other email lists (e.g. college and departmental) and other potential marketing channels to promote events to wider audiences.

“The role of marketing really allows you to be integrated with all the different teams of CUSPE and you get one of the best understanding of all the society does. At busier times of the year the number of tasks can increase, but it is highly rewarding to see the fruits pay off in well attended events, submissions to the journal and more”

Finance & Fundraising Lead/Team

The Finance & Fundraising Team makes the work that CUSPE does possible by bringing in sponsorship and developing the financial and fundraising strategy for the year. The role of Finance & Fundraising Lead is ideal for someone looking to demonstrate strategy development and communication skills, as key tasks involve identifying and liaising with sponsors. This role involves working closely with the Treasurer and the President. Finance & Fundraising Team members support the team lead and will work to deliver the team’s objectives, including developing fundraising strategies and identifying new revenue streams, and liaising with both internal (colleges/university) and external (charities/NGOs) funding partners.

Email with your application!