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Research to inform public policy


One of our priorities is to support research that can contribute to the development of scientifically-informed public policy or that will enable a more scientific and evidence-based approach to its delivery.

Scope and requirements

Applications are invited that seek to provide scientific understanding or technological innovation that will contribute to the solution of problems of public policy. This may be, for example through the development of new knowledge or evidence, the application of advanced scientific methods and techniques and the training of skilled people.

This may be in any area of science within our remit.

Applications within this priority area will normally be expected to have engagement with owners of the problem (government department, local authority, public sector body etc) from the outset and throughout the planning and delivery of the research. There is no mandatory requirement for a financial or in-kind contribution from these partners, but where there is likely to be substantial direct benefit to a partner an appropriate contribution will be expected. Organisations with a significant role in the analysis and development of policy (e.g. charities, NGOs, policy study units) may also act in this role where they have a proven record of influencing and informing public policy. Problem-owners may not receive funding from the grant unless normally eligible for BBSRC responsive mode funding.


The potential to apply the outputs of the research to considerations of public policy must be explored during the course of the project. In addition grant applicants may wish to consider including, where justified by the project:

  • Attendance by research staff involved in the project at relevant policy conferences and public policy fora
  • Public engagement activity which can inform the shaping of public policy
  • Interdisciplinary elements within their research to collaborate with social scientists (e.g. economists, and academics working on the social and economic impact of public policy) to inform the policy context of their work