Fellowships aim to explore, develop, or formalise partnerships between researchers and policymakers, and to support research knowledge exchange and policy impact.
Policy fellowship schemes enable policymakers, for example from the civil service, parliament, local government, think tanks, NGOs, or third sector organisations to collaborate on projects of mutual interest with access to University of Bristol services. They may be incoming (where the partners comes to the University) or outgoing.
Fellowship aims could include enabling co-produced research or toolkits; supporting capacity building; supporting the development of new processes or procedures; continuing professional development; enhancing public awareness or influencing public policy.
In all cases there must be a strong element of policy relevance.
If you would like to be involved or have an idea for a fellowship please contact PolicyBristol. We welcome expressions of interest from potential external partners. We frequently include fellowship opportunities for academics in our newsletter, which you can sign up to here.
PolicyBristol is an affiliate member of the Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) Policy Fellowships Programme. The programme connects Policy Fellows looking for evidence with the relevant academic expertise. Please contact PolicyBristol if you would like to discuss connecting with a policy fellow as part of the scheme.
Mental health law reform in the context of Covid-19: human rights implications
The Government announced in the Queen’s Speech in October 2019 its intention to reform the Mental Health Act. Proposed changes include amendments to the nearest relative provisions and the appeal process, advance decision making, and a focus on BAME communities. The pandemic has created additional challenges for the mental health sector and operation of the Mental Health Act, as recognised by recent parliamentary select committee COVID19 inquiries. Parliamentarians will require information to assist with scrutiny and debates during the reform process.
Starting in January 2021, the aim of this fellowship is to work with the House of Commons’ Library to contribute to the provision of the best possible analysis for parliamentarians on the Mental Health Act reforms, and the implications of COVID19 for law/policy related to mental health and human rights.
This could include in particular advising on (though is not limited to):
- Mental Health Act reform proposals and related consultation documents. It will be vital for Parliament to take every opportunity to scrutinise the proposals;
- Impact of Covid on detained patients and operation of mental health legislation during the pandemic;
- Impact of COVID19 on the mental health and treatment of vulnerable groups, including those in detention, BAME populations, young people and the elderly.
Details of the reform proposals were published in a White Paper by the DHSC on 13th January 2021. Find out more here.
Professor of Mental Health Law, Rights and Policy, University of Bristol
Library Clerk, Health Policy, Social Policy Section, House of Commons Library
POST Parliamentary Academic Fellowships
PolicyBristol supported the applications for two successful fellowships in 2020, which are facilitated by funding from the University of Bristol’s QRSPF allocation and the ESRC IAA.
Informing Parliamentary decision-making on financial inclusion policy
The aim of this fellowship is to improve Parliamentarians’ access to evidence on the topics of financial inclusion, financial technology (or ‘fintech’) and consumer financial services, thereby informing decision-making and helping MPs and their caseworkers better support their constituents. Throughout the fellowship Jamie Evans will provide support to the Business and Transport Section of the House of Commons Library Research Service, working on research briefings and responding to MPs’ enquiries on matters related to personal finance. The first briefing Jamie has contributed to, for example, is on the response of financial services firms to the COVID-19 crisis and its effect on consumers’ financial situation.
Senior Research Associate, Personal Finance Research Centre, University of Bristol
Oliver Bennett MBE
Head of Business and Transport, House of Commons Library
Assessing the effectiveness of the National Assembly’s Standing Orders in Gambia
The CPA UK has been working with the Gambian National Assembly to support the review and redrafting of its Standing Orders, with revisions coming into force in October 2019. The Fellowship, commencing in April 2020, involves assessing CPA UK's interventions as well as the effectiveness of the new Standing Orders. Prof Murray will be undertaking desk-based analysis as well as interviews with key stakeholders and partners in the UK and the Gambia and, if situations permit, meetings in the Gambia with National Assembly Members and personnel and other organisations. Outputs include reports outlining the findings, briefings for the CPA UK and others, and will be used to inform future plans by CPA UK in the Gambia and elsewhere.
Professor Rachel Murray
Law School, University of Bristol
- Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK Branch
View some of our past fellowships below:
What is ‘mission led business’ and what are the implications of the Government’s interest in it?
The Government has launched an initiative to raise the profile, and investigate the operability, of ‘mission-led’ businesses, defined as businesses that distribute profit but are committed to a wider social purpose. While the government’s intention to promote ‘social’ business and ‘responsible’ capitalism has been welcomed, the initiative itself has provoked some anxiety, especially amongst existing players in the social economy. Through this fellowship the University of Bristol, together with leading social enterprise law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite LLP (BWB), is exploring policy questions raised in this initiative. The aim of the project is to produce an evidence-based, balanced and relevant assessment of the legal and policy implications of the Review and the responses to it.
Developing policy in women’s rights and gender equality
This fellowship is focused upon developing gender equality policy research within UK party politics. Working with the Women's Equality Party - a new political party – there will also be engagement with other political parties, the wider political agenda, and local stakeholders. Academic experts from a range of disciplines will contribute to policy development on themes including: health equality in the UK; women's rights and equality in a Post-Brexit UK; Ending Violence Against Women in a context of austerity and a devolved UK; and building up and sustaining a diverse politics. A symposium will be held in May at which presentations by academics will be made to invitees, including representatives from a range of political parties, community organisations and service providers.
Supporting the development of ODI’s urbanisation strategy
Through this fellowship Dr Sean Fox will be working with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) to support the further development of a cross-institute strategy and research programme around the theme of urbanisation in low and middle-income countries. The research programme will build on ODI’s existing thematic strengths, bringing together and enhancing current pieces of work. More broadly, this will strengthen ties between two institutions with strong and long-standing research interests in global development challenges.
The legal process of withdrawing from the EU
This fellowship is focused on a collaboration between the University of Bristol and the House of Commons Service relating to the legal process of withdrawing from the EU. Professor Phil Syrpis will offer his expertise in EU Law and contribute to the work of the House of Commons Library and relevant Select Committees. This will involve assisting with the production of briefings and conducting targeted research. Jack Simson Caird will engage with academics at the University of Bristol to inform the development of the HoC Library Briefing papers, and deliver sessions to academics on the role of the House of Commons Library and how to engage effectively with the parliamentary process.
EU Transport Policy and ‘Social Dumping’ in the Single Market
The aim of this Fellowship is to improve working and living conditions for transport workers in the EU by contributing to the current review of EU Regulations in several transport sectors (most notably road, civil aviation and maritime), drawing on the Fellow's research on market competition and social conditions in the European Single Market. Research findings and proposals will be disseminated to inform the policy of the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF) and the policy discussions of the Commission (DG Move and DG Employment), European Parliament and other policy forums. In addition to influencing the current revision of EU transport Regulations, this Fellowship will strengthen the evidence-based representative capacity and competencies of national transport unions and the ETF.