The Joint UCL Public Policy & Alliance for Useful Evidence training programme was an experimental learning programme for researchers across UCL departments that aimed to support researchers to develop their understanding and skills in engaging and communicating evidence for impact. Based on the 2016 Science of Using Science project conducted by the Alliance for Useful Evidence, the EPPICentre at UCL, the Wellcome Trust, and the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, it sought to explore what works to increase the use of evidence in policy, and how these skills could be developed within an academic cohort.
It was designed to focus on in-practice application, and was delivered in ten 2-hour sessions spread over 9 months in order to encourage the group to reflect, learn and develop their competence by problem-solving with their peers from different departments and disciplines. Given that the programme was an experimental learning offer, it was developed with a high level of flexibility in order to test various learning models in response to the needs and feedback of the cohort.
It experimented with many different formats, approaches, and tools to determine what resonated with the intervention groups. As a result, a highly diverse programme was delivered over eight sessions between October 2017 and May 2018. The following report describes the programme that was delivered, provides a summary of the feedback received from the participants, and puts forward key insight and recommendations for both partners taking it forward.