The Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST) has recently announced a new Fellowship Scheme offering academics, from different subject areas and at every stage of their career, the rare opportunity to work on specific projects from inside Westminster.
The fellowships are open to academics at universities that hold an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and/or an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Impact Accelerator Account (IAA). Funding can cover travel and subsistence costs and can where the case is made, cover teaching buyout. For ESRC IAA your research background must align with the ESRC (though you do not have to have been funded by them previously). For EPSRC you must have previous EPSRC funding.
The Scheme involves two calls.
The first call, a Directed Call is now open and gives you the opportunity to apply to work on a specific project specified by an office in Parliament. The deadline for applications to the Directed Call is 16th February 2017. Six projects are available, including one with the Health Select Committee:
The second call is an Open Call. This gives you the opportunity to propose a project of your choosing. This can be on any topic and related to any area of Parliament. Applicants must be able to demonstrate clear relevance to the work of parliament. The Open Call launches on 16th May 2017.
The call has five main benefits, which demonstrate that this scheme is an excellent opportunity for research to inform parliament:
1. Improve the awareness of academic research within Parliament and more systematically to learn about and benefit from its findings.
2. Support Parliamentary offices to expand their engagement with academic stakeholders in order to enrich and promote law-making, scrutiny and democratic engagement.
3. Promote knowledge and public understanding of Parliament amongst the research community.
4. Create an alumni network of fellows that can feed into Parliament’s Outreach and Engagement work.
5. Enable projects identified as important by Parliamentary offices to be undertaken that would not have otherwise been possible due to capacity or resources constraints.
More information about this Scheme, including a list of Frequently Asked Questions and Detailed Guidance Notes are available on the POST website: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-l
A guide about engaging with Parliament produced by Kate Dommett in the Faculty of Social Sciences may also be useful: 'A Recipe for Parliamentary Impact'
As these fellowships have to be internally funded, via one of the IAAs, there is an internal process to complement the external application process. The full details of how to apply for this call, for colleagues in Medicine Dentistry and Health is in the attached MDH Expression of Interest form. Please note, for ESRC IAA your research background must align with the ESRC (though you do not have to have been funded by them previously). For EPSRC you must have previous EPSRC funding.
It's an excellent opportunity to undertake a project directly with Westminster. If you are interested in applying for a parliamentary fellowship and would like any advice or support please contact me or Karen Wilkinson, Healthcare Gateway (Karen.Wilkinson@sheffield.ac.