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Generally arts and humanities research receives less public funding than other areas.
For example, the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s budget is £98 million in 2015-16 but many researchers participate in projects with scientists, engineers, medical researchers and other academics.
One strand of the Open Policy Making agenda is about using a broader range of evidence to inform policy.
For example the What Works centres were set up to enable policy officials to access research and make use of it for better decision making.
For the first such event, we collaborated with the Policy Lab team and with the Cabinet Office Social Action team who set the policy challenge as: How can the resilience and capacity of communities be maximised so that they are able to survive, adapt and grow despite chronic stresses and acute shocks?
Keri Facer and I invited researchers whose work would offer different perspectives on this question, drawing in particular on the Connected Communities programme funded by the AHRC.
Using a speed-dating format, we designed a two-hour event that gave policy officials and researchers seven opportunities to meet, each lasting six minutes each.
One civil servant commented, “Some of the research was very niche and it was difficult to extract lessons for policy which is very broad.” Further the amount of information people had to absorb in a short space of time was challenging, but some participants thought a two-hour session like this gave them an overview of material they would not be able to access so easily otherwise.We say yes to a very few - limiting it to locales that are at once casually hip and wonderfully flirty.A fabulous way to visit or re-visit some of the best the city has to offer.Government websites present documents for consultation, or names of senior civil servants, or short summaries of policies.But typically it is not easy for people with research findings, proposals or methodologies who are not already connected to government to identify potential collaborators or “users” for research inside policy contexts.