Universiteit Leiden

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Policy Academy Programme

Target group
Postdoctoral researcher
PhD candidate
Training course

Increasing the societal impact of your research by engaging with and informing policy

There is an increased demand for academic research to generate societal impact. Informing policy-makers can be a way to make your research outcomes impact policy and society and large. To help you with broadening the impact of your research beyond academia, this Policy Academy Programme provides insights to early career researchers in the policy, governance and decision-making context in the Netherlands. The series of workshops that are part of the Policy Academy Programme provide you with the knowledge and skills to extend your reach beyond the academic world and increase the visibility of your research. This can also be of use when applying for external research funding.  

In a series of workshops you will discuss with experts how you can engage with policy makers, the media and society at large, how you can translate your research to different audiences and how your research can inform policymaking to make more impact. It starts with creating a better understanding of the Dutch policy environment and dynamics and proceeds with interactive workshops to enhance your insights into the dynamics between research and policy. The programme aims to help you strengthen your capacities to contribute to the knowledge transfer and societal impact goals of the university and academia at large, while at the same time enhancing your skills in creating visibility and impact for your own research. 

Programme and Method

The programme is divided into two blocks of two workshops each: the first part is knowledge-driven and the second part focuses on the development of skills. The four workshops will run from September to November 2020. The first block will be presented in an online format and the second block will take place at Leiden University.

The first block focusses on understanding the Dutch policy environment both nationally and locally and emphasizes the role of you as a researcher in relation to policymaking processes and dynamics. The second block is aimed at developing skills to engage and interact more effectively with a policy environment. Participants take part in a real-life case-study where the interests, drivers and challenges of stakeholders such as government officials, policy makers, interest (lobbying) groups and the media are explored. In the final workshop participants get to practice with developing a clear narrative regarding their own research for various audiences based on storytelling techniques.  

Target Audience

  • You are employed by or associated with Leiden University
  • You are in an early stage of your research career (PhD-level and beyond) or supporting early stage career researchers
  • You are interested in increasing the societal impact of your research outcomes by informing policy and the public at large

The course is open to all University Leiden researchers and staff. It is tailored to fit researchers with a variety of disciplinary backgrounds.

Learning objectives

  • Understanding the Dutch policy environment (local, regional, national)
    You understand the context of Dutch policy making and are able to identify possible ways to  engage with and inform policy as well as various other audiences.
  • Understanding dynamics of local policy
    You understand the main challenges national and local policy makers face and are able to identify opportunities to create impact. You enhance your insights in the benefits and challenges of working within a policy setting and can identify windows of opportunity for pitching your research.  
  • Understanding the environment in which policy makers operate
    You will learn about interests, positions and challenges of policy-making processes and dynamics to be able to more effectively interact with policy makers as an independent researcher.
  • Storytelling
    You train skills to translate research outcomes into information fit for different audiences.  You learn to formulate a compelling narrative about your own research, which can be helpful in creating visibility, interact with various actors outside of academia and in creating impact.
  • Gain insight in your role as a researcher
    You gain insight into your personal drivers as a researcher, you know which role you can and want to take up and how this relates to potential stakeholders.

More information and contact

For general questions regarding this programme you can contact the Centre for Professional Learning at: learning@fgga.leidenuniv.nl

For specific questions about the content of the workshops and target audience you can contact Maaike Spuij, E: m.spuij@luris.nl

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