Westminster Higher Education Forum

Using the UK research base to support evidence-based policymaking

Thursday, 9th March 2017

Central London


This conference will bring together key policymakers from across Whitehall, the devolved administrations and local authorities with stakeholders from the UK research community to discuss ways of improving the use of research to inform policymaking.

It comes as the next Research Excellence Framework cycle is expected to increase the weight of the 'impact' criteria from 20 to 25% and follows REF 2014 results which showed "informing government policy" was the most common type of impact, followed by "supporting Parliamentary scrutiny".

Sessions will examine efforts to improve the use of research in Government including What Works Centres, using Randomised Controlled Trials and behavioural economics, as well as how academics can deliver ‘impact’ through providing evidence to Select Committees, responding to Government reviews and building effective working relationships with officials. Delegates will also discuss how the use of data and evidence can be encouraged at a local government level as well.

Guests of Honour

Dr Chandrika Nath

Deputy Director, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

Chris Webber

Senior Policy Advisor, Cabinet Office

Guests of Honour

Chris Webber

Senior Policy Advisor, Cabinet Office

Dr Chandrika Nath

Deputy Director, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology


Lord Mitchell

Member, Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy

Baroness Young of Old Scone

Member, Science and Technology Committee


Phil Sooben

Director for Policy and Resources and Deputy Chief Executive, Economic and Social Research Council

Dr Martin Williams

Assistant Air Quality Scientist, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment & Health, King's College London

Jonathan Breckon

Head, The Alliance for Useful Evidence

Professor Mark Shucksmith

Director, Institute for Social Renewal, University of Newcastle and Trustee, Carnegie UK Trust

Dr David Halpern

Chief Executive, Behavioural Insights Team

Professor Catherine Staite

Director, Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham

Sile Lane

Director of Campaigns and Policy, Sense About Science

Professor David Torgerson

Director, York Trials Unit, University of York

Nancy Hey

Director, What Works Centre for Wellbeing

Dr Rachel Aldred

Reader in Transport Policy, University of Westminster and Winner, Economic and Social Research Council 2016 Celebrating Impact Prize

Sarah Hartwell-Naguib

Clerk, International Development Committee, House of Commons

Professor John Newton

Chief Knowledge Officer, Public Health England