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ERLP Policy Engagement Workshop
January 29 - January 31
In January 2024, we welcomed 25 Early Career Researchers from across Scotland to the Emerging Research Leaders Programme, and invited them to join us in The Burn, Edzell, for a three-day residential workshop. The 2024 workshop was delivered in collaboration with the Scottish Policy and Research Exchange, SPRE, and focused on Policy Engagement.
‘In this event we have encouraged the ECRs to reflect on their own strengths and positionalities, but also explore pathways to impact, and meanings of impact in policy engagement. And we supported them in developing practical and pragmatic skills and insights into how that impact, and that engagement, can be achieved’ – said Dr Emilka Skrzypek, SRAEHL’s Capacity Lead and head of the ERLP.
The 25 participants represented seven universities from across Scotland, and a wide range of disciplines – from hard and social sciences to humanities.
‘It’s been particularly important for us to cultivate a co-learning environment’ – explains Dr Catherine-Rose Stocks-Rankin. ‘For us, co-learning is respecting that there is a tremendous expertise already within this cohort. What we have tried to do is create a space for people to touch in on those strengths and think about how they can apply some of the thinking and expertise that we hold about policy engagement, to their own practice’.
Over the course of three days, ECRs were introduced to systems and complexity thinking, evidence-informed policymaking, science and technology studies, participatory action research, and impact evaluation, to critically interrogate what policy engagement is. Guided by the SPRE experts, they explored practical tools and frameworks, through case study examples, with an emphasis on understanding and tracking pathways that connect research production to change at the policy level.
Here is what some of the Emerging Research Leaders had to say about the workshop:
‘Over the course of the ERLP workshop, I have gained a better understanding of ‘impact’ through the lens of public policy engagement.’
‘It’s been invaluable being in this collaborative space, and it’s enabled to see both my strengths for policy engagement, and next steps.’
‘This has been an excellent experience. The topics have been treated with the depth and rigour they deserve.’
‘I was grateful to be in the room full of like-minded people. Many conversations helped in developing my outlook on my research and my role as a researcher.’