University of Cambridge


The Centre for Science and Policy

Policy Fellowships

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The Policy Fellowships Programme delivers opportunities for decision makers from government and industry to forge useful and lasting connections with researchers. The Programme has been welcomed in academia as an effective pathway to impact, and in government and industry as an efficient form of executive education.

"Cambridge University’s Policy Fellowships programme is an excellent initiative, bringing together senior policy makers and academics to help generate new policy responses to complex social and economic challenges. Good policy making requires access to the best evidence base. Cambridge University Policy Fellows act as a bridge between the public sector and cutting edge research, helping to translate scientific insights into the heart of the policy making process." Sir Jeremy Heywood, Secretary to the UK Cabinet

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The Programme

CSaP Policy Fellowships are for two years. At the earliest opportunity in the first year, the Policy Fellow spends five days at the University (in one or more visits), meeting as many as 30 senior researchers and attending workshops and seminars. The schedule of meetings with academics is unique to each Fellow; academics are chosen for the relevance of their research to the list of questions drawn up by the Fellow. After just one week, as well as gaining fresh insight into how scientific research and evidence impact on public policy formation in relevant areas, the Policy Fellow will have established his or her own network of contacts within academia. For more information see here.

During the remainder of the year and the following year, Policy Fellows are encouraged to make use of the Policy Fellows Network, made up of other Policy Fellows from Whitehall and industry, as well as the range of researchers who support the programme. They have the opportunity to attend, initiate and speak at a range of CSaP events and other events at which the Fellowship is convened; they also have a wide range of other "on demand" and ad hoc opportunities - for more information see here.

  • An initial five-day tailor-made programme of meetings with academic experts across a range of disciplines
  • "Navigation" of the University's expertise and resources via a dedicated CSaP Associate Adviser offering advice and guidance on who to meet and which events to attend
  • If desired, nomination of a "buddy" from among existing Policy Fellows or Alumni
  • Accommodation in a Cambridge College, dinner at High Table, and travel within Cambridge
  • Ongoing access over two years to exclusive CSaP events, such as Policy Workshops, and further one-on-one meetings set up on request
  • Membership of the Policy Fellows Network, providing opportunities for ongoing engagement with industrialists, policy makers and academics
  • Insight into the latest scientific and engineering research connected with the Fellow's areas of responsibility, across the whole range of academic disciplines from economics to particle physics
  • The opportunity to explore how scientific research and evidence impact on government policies, whether it's sustainability and the green economy, security and risk, support for innovation or infrastructure development, competition policy, localism and society, or any other policy area relevant to the Fellow's responsibilities.
Who should apply?

The scheme is primarily intended for civil servants and advisers involved in public policy. Applicants from other institutions including businesses, NGOs, learned societies and the charity sector are also considered.

In terms of seniority, the core scheme is designed for Director or Deputy-Director level officials in Whitehall, or their equivalents from other administrations, and for senior executives in industry (such as Public Policy Director, Research Director, VP Innovation, or CIO). A Junior Policy Fellowship scheme was launched in autumn 2012, and a further scheme targetted at the most senior policy professionals (Permanent Secretary/Director General), the Policy Leaders Fellowship, was launched in 2013. In 2014 the reach of the Fellowship was extended to include senior local government officials from the Cambridge area, under a new ESRC Local Policy Fellowship.

To see a full list of current CSaP Policy Fellows, please click here.


For the academic year 2015-16 (i.e. for new Fellows beginning their Fellowships from September 2015 onwards), Policy Fellowships cost £2000 per annum for each of two years for government or NGO Fellows, or £4500 per annum for corporate Fellows. An additional cost of £500 is charged to cover College accommodation and travel within Cambridge during the initial visit where required.

How to apply

If you or your organisation wish to apply for a Policy Fellowship, please provide the following:

  • The reasons for the application and the questions you would wish to explore in your Fellowship
  • A brief biography (and photograph) suitable for posting on our website here if your application is successful
  • The name, role and contact details of the line manager or budget holder who supports your application and can authorise the payment of the fee.

For further information, and to download an application form, see here. For an informal discussion, please email or call us on +44 1223 768392.