Engaging with civil servants or councillors, MSPs and MPs can be an excellent route to realising the impacts of your research and practice. Whether, you submit written evidence, provide oral testimony, or act as an independent advisor there are many formal and informal ways of engaging. The direct or indirect influence of your parliamentary engagement, can affect real, positive change for regions and nations, changing the lives of millions of people.
Ways of Engaging
The Scottish Parliament outlines ways in which academics can engage with the Parliament on their website, including the following.
- Academic Fellows - The annual Fellowship Scheme enables academics at a senior (post-PhD) career level to spend time working with SPICe on a specific project which will have mutual benefit to the academic and to the Scottish Parliament.
- Respond to a current consultation. If you are providing written evidence, the Style Writing Guide is recommended reading.
- Present your research at the Scottish Parliament, including the popular Wednesday morning breakfast seminars.
- Engage with Scottish Parliament's committees. An outline of the 2018/19 Scottish Parliament committees' work programme can be found here.
- Hosting a Parliamentary Committee in August. This is an important time for committees as they set the legislation for the next year.
- PhD student policy internships - Offered through UKRI.
The Scottish Parliament and Universities Knowledge Exchange Network
It is very clear that the clerks and the researchers of the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) are seeking the expert and impartial advice from academics across Scotland. They are a partner in the Scottish Parliament and Universities Knowledge Exchange network, which host meetings twice a year. This is just one of the formal and informal methods that Holyrood has put in place to engage with academics.
The University has prepared a Scottish Parliament Engagement Briefing Sept18 based on advice from the Knowledge Exchange Network. This network has also created the Ask-academia mailing list, which is used by clerks and researchers to share information from Scottish universities.
For information on our city and regional MSPs, we have also prepared a beefing sheet on the Parliamentary Work of MSPs in North East Scotland.
Scottish Parliament News
On 4 September, the Parliament approved a motion to appoint Richard Lochhead MSP (SNP) as the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science in the Scottish Government.
At the start of the 2018-19 session, some of the Parliament's committees have changed their names and remits.