Oxford Policy Engagement Network

OPEN connects researchers across the University with opportunities to engage with the policymaking community locally, nationally and internationally.

Join the Oxford Policy Engagement Network (OPEN)

If you’re a researcher, doctoral student or member of the professional services staff at Oxford with a passion for public policy, you can join the Oxford Policy Engagement Network (OPEN). 

Find out more and join OPEN

OPEN Fellowships

OPEN Fellowships enable Oxford researchers with a passion for improving public policy to understand better the relevance of their research to local, regional, national and international policymakers; to work with policymakers to identify and explore mutual interests; and to develop and leverage networks and other resources to generate benefits to research, policy and the wider world.

Researchers from any discipline at Oxford can apply for an OPEN Fellowship. Future calls for OPEN Fellowship applications will be announced here.

Meet the 2020 OPEN Fellows

Arvind Kurian Abraham 

Mr Arvind Kurian AbrahamArvind Kurian Abraham specializes in constitutional law and has worked as the Legislative Advisor to Dr Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament of India, and drafted several Bills including on areas such as hate crimes and mob lynching. The OPEN Fellowship will enable him to collaborate with scholars at Oxford's Faculty of Law to identify policy and legal measures to address the inequalities that have been particularly exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, with a view to inform and mobilise the adoption of a comprehensive equality legislation in India.

Dr Claire Cullen (Blavatnik School of Government)

Dr Claire CullenClaire is partnering with Young 1ove Organization, a non-government organisation based in Botswana that connects youth to proven life-saving information in education and health. Together, they will support policymakers to rapidly scale-up and evaluate a 'low-tech' SMS and phone call intervention to stem children’s learning losses during COVID,  and to build rigorous evidence-based policy systems using iterative approaches, such as A/B testing.  Claire looks forward to contributing to Young 1ove's efforts, in partnership with J-PAL and other researchers and innovators, to stem children’s learning losses during the pandemic, and to building systems of rigorous evidence to make communities more resilient to future challenges. 

Dr Neven Fučkar (Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment)

Dr Neven FučkarPublic health in the UK and across the world is inherently linked to climate risks. As climate changes – potentially to a state warmer than anytime during the evolution of humans – climate extremes (e.g., heatwaves, droughts, floods, etc.) threatening human health and socio-economic fabric of our society are occurring at increasing frequency and intensity. This project, with the Climate Change and Health Group at Public Health England, will develop and implement user-oriented metrics relevant for public health policy on adaptation and resilience building in current and future climate. The goal is to provide policy-tailored inputs to selected chapters of the 4th Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK report, and to contribute at an international level through involvement with the External Health Working Group to the preparation for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties. 

Timothy Kuiper  (Department of Zoology)

Timothy KuiperTimothy will be partnering with colleagues at the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to tackle elephant poaching through leveraging poaching data collected by wildlife rangers.  The global Illegal Wildlife Trade is one of the highest value illicit trade sectors globally, threatening both human wellbeing and biodiversity. African elephant populations declined by an estimated 30% (2007-2016) due largely to ivory poaching, with significant implications for African states.  Wildlife rangers are the foundation of action to curb poaching, a reality evidenced clearly during 3 years of foundational research on ranger-based monitoring of elephant poaching in the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe. The team's research has shown that ranger-collected data on elephant poaching has immense value for tackling poaching – helping protected area managers track changes in poaching, and strategically direct and measure the performance of different antipoaching strategies. The goal of Timothy's OPEN fellowship is to build on their findings to inform anti-poaching and protected area management policy in Zimbabwe. 


Meet some of our previous OPEN Fellows

Dr Sivapriya (Priya) Mothilal Bhagavathy (Department of Engineering Science)

Sivapriya Mothilal BhagavathyPriya is working in partnership with the Smart Energy Innovation team in the Science and Innovation for Climate Change Directorate (Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy) to ensure policymakers invest in smart technologies that maximise the security, flexibility, and sustainability of energy systems. Read about Priya's OPEN Fellowship experience.


Dr Michelle Cain (Oxford Martin School)

Michelle CainMichelle, a Science and Policy Research Associate from the Oxford Martin School, is working alongside climate change specialists from the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to deliver several resources designed to feed into policy-making. Read about Michelle's OPEN Fellowship experience.


Dr Jack Matthews (Oxford Museum of Natural History)

Jack MatthewsJack has worked in partnership with two organisations sponsored by the government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Natural England and The National Forest Company) to create a science-led framework for managing and conserving the geological features of Charnwood Forest. Read about Jack's OPEN Fellowship experience.


Dr Sonali Nag (Department of Education)

Sonali NagSonali worked with policymakers in the state of Karnataka in southern India to create new resources to improve language and literacy outcomes for the state’s 6 million pre- and primary schoolchildren. Read about Sonali's OPEN Fellowship experience.


Dr Alison Smith (School of Geography and the Environment)

Alison SmithAlison completed her Fellowship in 2019, working in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell District Council to quantify and map the ‘natural capital’ value of all land in the county to inform development of the Oxford to Cambridge Growth Arc. Find out more about Alison’s experience and the impact of the partnership. You can also listen to Alison talk about her work and find further details about her project.


Professor Kate Sullivan de Estrada (Oxford School of Global and Area Studies)

Professor Kate Sullivan de EstradaKate is Associate Professor in the International Relations of South Asia. In 2019 she worked with the Indian Ocean Commission and others to strengthen regional maritime security, including through evaluation of relevant regional policy initiatives. Listen to Kate discuss her OPEN Fellowship.


Dr Joe Wherton (Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences)

Dr Joe WhertonJoe's OPEN Fellowship enabled him to explore how a new analytical framework (the Non-adoption, Abandonment and challenges to Scale-up, Spread and Sustainability, or NASSS) could be used to support the planning and implementation of technology-support change programmes within health care organisations. Read about Joe's OPEN Fellowship experience.


Dr Anna Wilson (Oxford School of Global and Area Studies)

Dr Anna WilsonIn 2019 Anna completed a Fellowship focused on developing an interdisciplinary approach to understanding viewpoint construction in media from the multimodal perspective, and strengthening international policy responses to information threats. Read about Anna’s research.