“The value of the RSA Expo scheme is much greater than a standard small grant. The scheme is deliberately inclusive, with stipulations to include at least one early career and one overseas researcher. This has enabled us to bring together a new team, with different, yet complementary levels of experience and expertise to work together on a salient policy-facing issue. Throughout, we have had excellent ongoing support from the RSA office, who have opened doors and assisted us in bringing our research to a wider policy and practitioner audience, at regional, national and EU levels.
My advice for advice for future Policy Expo grant holders is to build a research team diversified (but complementary) in terms of expertise, career stage, gender and academic affiliation. The team will benefit from team members’ different perspectives and abilities and this will enrich your project. Maintain a close relationship with the RSA Office, who have been excellent and ever helpful with advice on the project. They have also opened doors for us in terms of making introductions/new connections particularly with policy-makers and leading academics. Participate in the RSA activities, be part of the RSA family always open to provide constructive feedback and a friendly flywheel to networking within the academic environment and beyond”
Phil Tomlinson, University of Bath, UK, co-author of Revitalising Lagging Regions: Smart Specialisation and Industry 4.0, Regional Studies Policy Impact Books, Volume 1, Issue 2 (2019)
Watch the recording of the webinar: Professional Development: Writing for Policymaker Audiences, where presenters Dr Mariachiara Barzotto and Prof Phil Tomlinson (both School of Management, University of Bath) draw upon their own experiences (and expertise) and offer some useful tips and guidance in engaging with and writing for policymaker audiences.
“Our advice for future grant holders would be not to underestimate the time and cost of producing a thorough body of work that uses the input of several authors and is written with one voice”.
Andrew Beer, University of South Australia, co-author of Every Place Matters: towards effective place-based policy, Regional Studies Policy Impact Books, Volume 2, Issue 1 (2020)
“Don’t underestimate the sustained effort required to promote wide engagement with calls for evidence and ideally to built-in dedicated professional services support for publicity, engagement and dissemination”
Ed Ferrari, Sheffield Hallam University, UK, co-author of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: the challenges facing cities and regions, Regional Studies Policy Impact Books, Volume 4, Issue 1 (2022)
“Start with the policymaker in mind—what do they want to know. Rather than with the research in mind and try to ‘fit’ it to them”
Riccardo Crescenzi, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK and Oliver Harman, University of Oxford, UK, authors of Harnessing Global Value Chains for Regional Development, Regional Studies Policy Impact Books, Volume 4, Issue 2 (2022)
“Always have a Plan B or even Plan C to go with Plan A. Have alternative plans in place to ensure the deployment of project requirements and delivery of project deliverables. If one approach does not work, we still had alternative ways to complete the project.
I have also learned in this collaborative research to better manage time especially when working with multiple regional partners. It is important that one can accurately estimate the time an activity will take.
Overall, everyone on the team is proud of the amiable collaboration and professional relationships that were established. We hope that we can continue this important work as a team moving forward”.
Iderlina Mateo-Babiano, University of Melbourne, Australia, co-author of COVID-19 and Informal Workers in Asian Cities, Regional Studies Policy Impact Books, Volume 5, Issue 1 (2023)