University of Leeds Featured PhD Programmes
Heriot-Watt University Featured PhD Programmes
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Featured PhD Programmes
University of Kent Featured PhD Programmes
University of Hull Featured PhD Programmes

Policy Development in Practice: Tools and Innovation for Integrating Knowledge Types (EPSRC funded)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 28, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

UCL STEaPP is looking for PhD applications (including a 2-page proposal) on the topic of ‘Policy Development in Practice: Tools and Innovation for Integrating Knowledge Types’.

The context for this project is a growing interest in the actual, practical processes of public policy development. Specifically, the project focuses on those activities that combine differing types of evidence to generate multi-, inter-, or even trans-disciplinary knowledge for policy.

Much has been argued in favour of grounding policy development in evidence-based approaches. This type of advocacy for ‘better’ use of ‘good’ evidence for policy is, however, often seemingly neutral or agnostic about the nature or type of evidence used or produced.
Experience suggests it is not uncommon for policy professionals to encounter a presumption in favour of quantitative over qualitative forms of evidence. Similarly, there are apparently persistent biases in favour of the knowledge produced by some disciplines (e.g. economic analytic insights over knowledge from the social sciences, etc.). In order to enhance the efficacy of analytic practices for policy, there is a need to better understand the mechanisms by which such knowledge siloes and biases might be practically overcome by policy professionals.

There is substantial anecdotal evidence on the practical successes and struggles encountered in making use of integrative forms of knowledge production for policy, and some areas of analytic innovation appear especially effective and successful in integrative knowledge production for policy: e.g. futures processes, participatory systems mapping exercises, and design-based techniques. Yet, little has been systematically captured about the challenges encountered in their practice, or why some innovations enjoy greater popularity and legacy over others. Both in practice and theory, we don’t really understand what is working, why, and in what context, or what does not.

The overarching research question to be addressed with this PhD project is therefore: how do policy analysts integrate effectively in practice? Potential subsidiary areas of interest include:
- What methods are used to integrate different types of knowledge within policy teams?
- What are some of the recent influential innovations in analytic practices?
- What challenges are encountered in knowledge integration?
- What makes employed methods credible or perceived as legitimate?
- How easily are integrative methods learnt and adopted?

The specific research aims, purpose and questions should be shaped by the PhD candidate’s interests. Drawing on UCL STEaPP’s ongoing programme of work, we propose to begin with a research pilot focusing on UK-specific experiences, although there is scope to explore non-UK and international perspectives. The UCL STEaPP faculty has access to data sources via both UK and international policy profession streams and ‘innovation labs’ (and their analytical training and best practice events).

Funding Notes

Full EPSRC studentship available, covering fees plus a topped-up stipend of £23,186 per annum (2020/21 figure).

To apply for EPSRC funding:
- you must have settled status in the UK and have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the Studentship.

Find out more about the PhD and funding: View Website

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2020
All rights reserved.