PolicyBristol Fellowships

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 ProgrammeThe 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

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. 

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.

View some of our past fellowships below:

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