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These case studies highlight researchers’ interactions with government to inform public policy and services. Creative collaborations between the research community and Government are instrumental in tackling some of the most difficult questions faced by the UK and make a significant contribution to the UK’s economy, society and quality of life.

Professor Cathy Pharoah: is from the ESRC Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy (CGAP). Stakeholder engagement with policy and practice is at the heart of the centre’s objectives and CGAP has worked hard to develop a national and international network of relationships. Part of the centre’s desired long term impact is to identify and to demonstrate to charities, big and small, how good research can benefit them

Professor Richard Aldrich: at the University of Warwick led a project to analyse the public image of the CIA. He has engaged with a number of government and policy makers including the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign Office and the UK’s most secret intelligence agency, GCHQ. He also highlights the impact of developing the early career researchers working on the grant, one of which is now advising the International Spy Museum in Washington.

Professor Margot Brazier: from the University of Manchester is co-director of the Centre for Social Ethics and Policy. She has been working as a co-investigator on a grant looking at the way in which the criminal justice system is used to resolved ethical conflicts in the delivery of healthcare. She credits involving the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), doctors, coroners and the police in every aspect of this project in the projects success and securing follow-on-funding.

Dr Mark Reed: at the University of Aberdeen was one of the lead researchers in the Sustainable Uplands Project which aims to consider how to better anticipate, monitor and adapt to future environmental, social and economic changes in UK upland environments. The project has had an impact by identifying ways policymakers can effectively support adaptation, contributing to the development of a best practice guide for payment of ecosystem services by the Department for the Environment, Farming and Agriculture (Defra). In addition the research findings have also been used by water companies to justify investment in land management practices that reduce water treatment costs.

Professor Nicky Gregson: Professor Nicky Gregson at Durham University never anticipated that research into waste and global recycling could produce such creative and innovative pathways to impact which has led to the making of two films, a photography exhibition and a school play. Professor Gregson was keen to explore a variety of pathways to impact and together with her team, the Geographical Association, as well as a ship breaking project team began working with a Sheffield school and took a group of children to ship breaking in progress. Unintentionally the children became part of a parallel research project based on the poignant and revealing interviews conducted by the school children with the veterans of the ship that was being salvaged.

Professor Susheila Nasta: Professor Susheila Nasta at the Open University aimed to stimulate debate on heritage and deepen cross-cultural national and international understanding between Britain and India and has endeavoured to find ways to reach as wide an audience as possible. Professor Nasta’s team were awarded an additional one-year grant to take an exhibition of the project’s findings to India, which was seen by the Foreign Office and described as “essential knowledge for every British diplomat coming to India.”

Dr Tomoya Obokata: Dr Tomoya Obokata from Queen’s University Belfast project explores how the law enforcement agencies in the North and South of Ireland respond and collaborate on trans-border organised crime. Dr Obokata’s aim is to build co-operative long term relationships with different trans-border law enforcement agencies and has set up an advisory board comprising policy makers, practitioners and civil society groups whose networks will increase the likelihood of the research findings reaching the people that can use it.

Professor Tom Sorrell: Professor Tom Sorrell at the University of Birmingham is a philosopher working with an economist and a social policy researcher. He emphasises how important it is to think about different audiences and how to reach them. He explains that he has recently enlisted the help of an impact fellow who will be exclusively dedicated to building networks and facilitating knowledge exchange between the research team and end-users. Professor Sorrel believes that philosophy should engage with people’s lives and knows that mixing philosophy with policy has the best chance of having an impact; he hopes that by using an impact fellow he can greatly magnify that impact.

Professor Ian Julian Bateman: Professor Ian Bateman is from The Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE) based at the University of East Anglia. He is currently leading on an award winning project to develop a computational model for a decision making process called the Eco-Systems Service Approach which considers the direct and indirect impacts of land use change. Professor Bateman has developed and nurtured links with Government departments and highlights the importance of getting research out to the policy world in ways that are easily accessible.

Professor Davey Jones: Professor Davey Jones’ project together with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) investigated the greening up of the Antarctic; they looked at the relative efficacy of Antarctic hairgrass at absorbing organic nitrogen from the soil compared to the mosses that grow alongside it. Professor Jones initially struggled to identify users for the pathways to impact but realised that climate change policy makers would benefit from the research. Professor Jones arranged for a post-doc student to be seconded to the UK Polar Regions Unit in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for two weeks each, in years one and three of the project to build links and to understand policy makers needs for research and knowledge exchange.

Dr Gerald Roberts: Dr Gerald Roberts is a reader in earthquake geology at Birkbeck University of London. He encourages researchers to be ambitious with their pathways to impact, to ensure that it is unique to their research and designed to achieve the research’s ultimate aims. Dr Roberts’s project will determine the dates of the last earthquakes across a region of central Italy, which he hopes will help emergency agencies. He explains that developing and conducting his research with the people who will use it was the most natural starting point.

Dr Michael Pocock and Dr Darren Evans: Dr Pocock, and his colleague Dr Darren Evans are responsible for a highly successful citizen science project, the Conker Tree Science Project, supported by the NERC. The project involves thousands of people around the country; has spawned its own smartphone app (the LeafWatch app), which reached number 1 on iTunes education downloads; and has generated masses of national and regional TV and radio coverage.

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