Demystifying Policy

What is policy and how can I engage my research with it?

This virtual policy training is hosted by the BES-SPG and SPRE. This event will introduce the basics of the science policy interface and tips for getting evidence into policy making.

Durness, Scotland

This event will introduce the basics of the science policy interface, tips for communication and how to build confidence when giving parliamentary evidence and responding to consultations. This event is aimed at early career researchers or just anyone looking to get to grips with the basics of the role of evidence in policy making. We will have speakers from SPRE and SPG introducing the evening and setting the scene. 

event agenda and participant information

Guest Speakers

Graeme Cook, Scottish Parliamentary Information Centre 

Graeme is Head of Research and Sustainable Development Scrutiny at the Scottish Parliament. Leading a team of researchers covering biodiversity, climate change, environment, rural affairs, transport, constitution, sustainable development  and international policy, Graeme has 20 years of experience supporting scrutiny of the Scottish Government. Between 2016 and 2018 Graeme worked on secondment across six world-leading research institutes in Scotland, working to improve the use of evidence and expertise in the policy, business and public spheres in Scotland and beyond. Graeme is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, and is leading on some of the Scottish Parliament’s engagement work at and around COP26.

Lydia Niemi 

Lydia is an environmental scientist based at the Environmental Research Institute (University of the Highlands and Islands). Her PhD investigated the presence of pharmaceuticals, a class of environmental contaminant, in rural wastewaters and surface waters in Scotland. She is currently working on a Scottish Government funded project investigating sustainable solutions to mitigate pharmaceutical pollution with NHS Highland, Scottish Water, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Chris Leakey 

Dr Chris Leakey has worked in a various roles for NatureScot since 2007, most recently advising on marine planning and broad spectrum of marine and coastal policy. He is also seconded to the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland, where he helps enable greater impact from marine science.

Stuart Housden

Stuart Housden has spent a lengthy career influencing policy and legislation building advocacy partnerships to further nature conservation and biodiversity recovery. He has worked with the EU, Westminster and devolved nations, and has drafted private bills, successful amendments to Government bills and has influenced policy on water, agriculture, forestry, planning, biodiversity and many aspects of sustainable development. Since retiring from the Board of RSPB he acts in a consultancy basis developing and influencing policy to promote natures recovery.

Tickets and Registration

This half day training will be hosted on Zoom on Wednesday 22nd September 2021, 09:30-12:30 (BST).

Registration has now closed for this event, however if you would like to participate please get in touch with