Engaging with the Civil Service
Engaging with the Civil Service
In part 3 of The Forum’s short course, we look at how researchers can engage with the Civil Service.
The Civil Service – also referred to as Whitehall – undertakes the behind the scenes activity and implementation of Government policy through the work of government departments. They are therefore a great source of intelligence on the current policy landscape and Government priorities.
Civil servants need to understand the evidence base for the policy area they are currently working on (they tend to rotate across areas and Government departments) so getting in touch with civil servants should always be one of the first things you do when building your policy engagement.
First steps to engaging with civil servants
- The first step is to find the government department leading on the policy area related to your research. To find the right contact, you can email the generic contact address on the departmental sites – when emailing, be as specific as you can be about the policy area you are interested in.
- Most government departments have a Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) to provide scientific advice, they advise the Government Chief Scientific Adviser on all aspects of policy on science and technology. They also provide advice to ministers and discuss and facilitate implementation of policy on STEM topics. The network of CSAs is coordinated by the Government Office for Science, which can also help you to find the right policy lead.
- The Cabinet Office also has a relatively new Open Innovation Team that helps Whitehall departments with analysis and ideas through facilitating collaboration with academics and it is worth checking what they are working on at the moment to see whether you have fitting expertise.
- Check the list below to see whether there are currently any consultations open that relate to your area of expertise – this can give you a suitable contact but also the opportunity to submit your evidence and use this as a hook to build a relationship. Our video and guide to submitting evidence can help you with this.
- Read our guide to understanding policymaking (PDF) to get an idea how consultations fit into the wider policymaking process.
- Read our ARI Briefing (PDF) to understand government's new initiative on communicating Areas of Research Interest (ARIs) and research needs more clearly.
Please see below for a list of currently open consultations.
New Consultation: Transparency in digital campaigning: technical consultation on digital imprints| See here
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
New Consultation: Proposals for a green gas levy | See here
New Consultation: Warm Home Discount Scheme 2021 to 2022 | See here
New Consultation: Draft Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulations 2021 | See here
New Consultation: International regulatory cooperation strategy | See here
New Consultation: Increasing the scope and powers of the Small Business Commissioner | See here
New Consultation: Improving the energy performance of privately rented homes | See here
Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
New Consultation: Marine strategy part two: monitoring programmes| See here
New Consultation: UK Pollutant Release and Transfer Register: national implementation report 2021 | See here
New Consultation: Aarhus convention national implementation report 2021 | See here
New Consultation: Fisheries: remote electronic monitoring call for evidence | See here
New Consultation: Local air quality management: public authorities call for evidence | See here
Department for Transport
Department for Work and Pensions
Department of Health and Social Care
HM Revenue and Customs
New Consultation: Expanding the offence of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving to include non-connected mobile application actions | See here
New Consultation: Fire safety | See here
Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
New Consultation: Planning for the future | See here
New Consultation: Reforming local government exit pay | See here
New Consultation: Funding allocation methods: new domestic abuse duty | See here
New Consultation: Transparency and competition: a call for evidence on data on land control | See here
Clinical Safety of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) | See here