Amanda Strong: Case study

at University of Bristol

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NERC Policy Intern, Centre for Science and Policy (Feb - May 2013)

I was very grateful for the opportunity to carry out a NERC internship at CSaP. Upon arrival, the team were very welcoming and it soon became clear that, though small, the team were involved in many projects. I was lucky enough to spend a large proportion of my time working on the Policy Fellowships scheme, arranging and attending review meetings with Jackie (Head of Programmes) to receive feedback on the programme from Fellows. From this I was able to produce a report of performance and areas to be improved. Overall it was clear that the scheme was well received, with many Fellows recommending it to colleagues. Through the internship I was able to meet people in various government departments (e.g. DWP, BIS, Go-Science, the Cabinet Office, and DfT) and companies (e.g. BP and BA) involved with policy. Working on this project greatly increased my network of contacts and provided me with insight to the world of policymaking.

I was also involved with various workshops, primarily on Reducing Poverty, Horizon Scanning of future policy issues and Housing. These workshops brought together researchers, from universities, businesses and charities, and policy makers from both government and business. The Reducing Poverty workshop resulted in a paper that has now been published, and for which I am a contributing author. The Horizon Scanning workshop also resulted in a paper which will be published in the coming months. Additionally I attended the EU BON Kick Off meeting in Berlin with CSaP Executive Director, Robert Doubleday, and was got to see the complexity involved in linking science with policy in large European projects such as this. These events allowed me to further expand my network of contacts, meeting many people across a range of expertise. The Reducing Poverty workshop also provided me with experience in organising large events.

The distinguished lectures and the Annual Conference were great experiences and thoroughly interesting. During the Annual Conference I was able to present my PhD research to policy makers from government and industry, as well as hearing Sir Mark Walport give his inaugural talk as Government Chief Scientific Advisor. Overall, the people I met during my internship gave me a better insight into what I wanted to do in the future. With Jackie’s encouragement, and by using the connections I made during the internship – most of whom I have remained connected with through LinkedIn – I have now completed my PhD and have just started a job as an Earth Observation Engineer at Telespazio VEGA UK. I would definitely recommend CSaP to future interns – I had a great time!

  • Projects

    Science, policy making and public dialogue: New and emerging issues in the UK

    The Centre for Science and Policy and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) are collaborating on a horizon-scanning process, the focus of which will be new public policy issues that are likely to emerge in the UK in the next five to ten years.

  • 18 April 2013, 10am

    CSaP annual conference 2013: Future directions for scientific advice in Whitehall

    Continuing the theme of the Future Directions seminar series, CSaP’s second annual conference will see leading speakers from government and academia explore the changing role of the analytical professions; how government can make better use of external academic expertise; and the nature of evidence in more open policy making.

  • In news articles

    Reducing poverty in the UK: what are the most important questions to answer?

    Earlier this month, CSaP partnered with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to host a two-day workshop in Cambridge which brought together experts from academia, government and the voluntary sector to discuss the changing face of poverty in the UK.