Oxford's experience in Policy Engagement

The role of policy makers in shaping society cannot be overstated. However, for policy to be effective, it needs to be grounded in evidence and informed by research. This is where the engagement between researchers and policy makers becomes crucial. Oxford’s researchers and academics have a wealth of experience in engaging with policymakers and contributing to policy impact. Learn about some of their experiences and approaches here.

News, stories, and advice from policy-engaged academics at Oxford

Researchers across the University collaborate with partners in national and local governments, and arms-length bodies; in national parliaments and devolved assemblies; in civil society; in the UK, and around the world, including in international organisations, expanding the range of options open to them, and helping ensure that their decisions reckon with the latest high-quality research.

We learn from our own and others’ experience of engagement, and so have begun to collate some of ours, relating to a range of different research and policy areas. This growing collection includes written and video case studies, as well as lessons learned. Whether you’re a researcher or policymaker, we hope you’ll find these interesting and useful. You can also watch our Researcher Stories video series here. In this series researchers and their policy partners share what they have learned from working together.

For more information, including about the Oxford Policy Engagement Network, which connects more than 850 researchers and professional services staff who share a vision of public policy powered by the world’s best available research evidence and expertise, please contact the Policy Engagement Team.

a photograph of Seth Flaxman and Lucie Cluver

University of Oxford researchers work together to protect COVID-19 orphans

Associate Professor Seth Flaxman, Computer Science and Professor Lucie Cluver, Department of Social Policy and Intervention worked together alongside global organisation including the World Bank, WHO and NGOs like Save the Children to change the lives of children who lost a parent or guardian due to COVID-19.
Howard Ryland standing besides Big Ben

Life as a Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) fellow

My work with patients often involves the Mental Heath Act and my academic work is inspired by the need to develop more collaborative approaches with patients.

a group of people sitting around a table talking to one another

From Research to Policy: a masterclass in engaging the UK Parliament with scientific evidence

On Monday 20 June, Oxford Population Health collaborated with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology to deliver a special event to inspire greater interaction between researchers and policy makers.
small shark with extended snout swimming past rocks

Enhancing marine conservation and fisheries policy in Indonesia

Our oceans are a vital source of food and income. How do we protect the marine eco-system, and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them?
boys in robes singing in a church

Lessons Learned: Mission in Revision

Researchers in the Humanities Division have contributed to a wider consultation on reform of the Church of England’s ‘Mission and Pastoral Measure’ – which will help ensure church buildings no longer needed for public worship can be better protected and used.
group of people in front of large statue surrounded by smoke

Lessons Learned: Breaking Silos in Atrocity Prevention Research and Policymaking

Researchers at the Blavatnik school of government have established a network to bring together academics and policy makers from both sides of the Atlantic to ensure atrocity prevention policy is better informed by evidence and analysis.
man working o ipad with words fake news on screen

Lessons Learned: Working with policy partners to analyse disinformation in the Russian media

Researchers have analysed multi-modal information sources to understand, and help counter, Russian disinformation in the post-COVID world.
one large elephant and two juveniles in grasslands

Lessons Learned: Tackling wildlife poaching through evidence-informed policy in Zimbabwe

An Oxford Policy Engagement Network Research Fellowship has helped improve the use of ranger-collected data to inform strategies to tackle wildlife poaching in Zimbabwe.
man wearing mask tests another man's temperature using a thermometer

Lessons Learned: Supporting policy interventions on COVID-19

Researchers at the Blavatnik School of Government have captured and shared policy responses to the COVID pandemic.
small bird on barbed wire fence with red sky behind

Lessons Learned: Engaging with policymakers to challenge penal policy

Penal policy is often driven by public opinion rather than evidence. How do we ensure effective policy, particularly around sensitive issues such as the death penalty?
Lynx walking through green heather

Lessons Learned: Improving understanding of public attitudes to lynx reintroduction in Scotland

Opinions about the possible reintroduction of the Eurasian lynx to Scotland are extremely polarised. Some people argue that reintroducing this large wild cat, which disappeared from Scotland hundreds of years ago, could help support biodiversity and promote ecosystem recovery.

cigarette smoke

7 things to know about e-cigarettes and quitting smoking

In this blog, Jamie Hartmann-Boyce from the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group and Martin Dockrell from the Office of Health Improvement and Disparities share 7 things you need to know about e-cigarettes and quitting smoking, with evidence from the Cochrane Living Review of E-cigarettes and Smoking Cessation.
Professor Eyre offers a unique perspective on the history of the environmental movement, at a time when it has gone mainstream - although he commenced his interest when one of the great social issues of the day was the demand to keep coal mines open

From OPEC to Net Zero and still optimistic: Professor Nick Eyre on 34 years as an environmentalist

Impact case studies

Now (sort of) approaching retirement, Professor Eyre offers a unique perspective on the history of the environmental movement, at a time when it has gone mainstream. When he commenced his interest, one of the great social issues of the day was the demand to keep coal mines open.

Emily Jones

Preparing the UK for a new era of trade

As the United Kingdom enters a new era of trade after leaving the European Union, the government is now tasked with developing a strategic trade policy that balances multiple stakeholder priorities.
Library interior

Enabling digital inclusion through public libraries

Impact case study

Dr Kira Allmann and colleagues have worked with public libraries across Oxfordshire to identify barriers to digital inclusion and develop recommendations to help libraries better support digital access and skill development.
Problematic old labels over image of museum interior

Rethinking the ‘Collection Development Policy’ for the Pitt Rivers Museum

Impact case study

Marenka-Thompson-Odlum and colleagues examined the Pitt Rivers’ Collection Development Policy in the light of initiatives to decolonise the museum, gaining insights and recommendations which will inform a policy update.
European Stories logo

Uncovering Europe’s Stories

Impact case study

The Oxford University research project Europe’s Stories, led by Professor Timothy Garton Ash, aims to explore what Europeans really think about Europe, what people’s real experiences of Europe are, and what they want the EU to do by 2030.
infographic highlighting ethnic inequalities in maternal mortality

Driving policy change to prevent maternal deaths

Impact case study

The MBRRACE programme is influencing policy and services to support pregnant women and prevent maternal deaths.
statue showing refugees

Boosting life chances for resettled refugees

Impact case study

Software developed by an international team including Dr Alex Teytelboym from Oxford University is helping to resettle refugees in communities where they are more likely to flourish.
protest march

Operation Condor

Impact case study

An Oxford University research project is helping to achieve justice for victims of transnational human rights abuses.