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Masterclass Overview

Researchers in MPLS engage with the policymaking community in a wide range of capacities and contexts. Many have found ways to involve policymakers in their research, giving them a stake in outputs that encourages uptake and leads to impact. Some have developed such a strong reputation, network and trust that they are invited by government or parliament to share their knowledge and expertise, or take up formal roles in the policymaking community.

Event details and venue

Getting ahead of the curve: how statistics can strengthen public policy to tackle infectious disease

Date: Friday 13 May 2022

Time: 12:00-13:30

Venue: Department of Statistics Lecture Theatre, 24-29 St Giles’, Oxford OX1 3LB

Booking Link for Public Policy Unpacked

This is the first in a series of public policy masterclasses in 2022 that explore the challenges and rewards of engaging with the policymaking community. Professor Christl Donnelly (Professor of Applied Statistics and Academic Champion for Policy Engagement) has provided scientific advice to policymakers on a range infectious disease outbreaks, including COVID-19, bovine tuberculosis, SARS and Ebola. She is joined by Professor Steven Riley (Director General Data & Analytics at the UK Health Security Agency) and Dr Maria Van Kerkhove (COVID-19 Technical Lead of the World Health Organization and Honorary Lecturer, Imperial College London) to discuss their experience of working together on some of these, and the value of doing so for their respective communities. Participants will have the opportunity to put their questions to the speakers, as well as reflect on how they can engage better with public policy through their own research.

These sessions are delivered in association with the Oxford Policy Engagement Network – a diverse range researchers and professional services staff from across the University, who share a share a vision of public policy powered by the world’s best available research evidence and expertise. Membership benefits include regular notification of opportunities related to members’ areas of policy interest. ILP participants are encouraged to join, and can do so in less than 5 minutes at

Learning objectives

  • Enhanced understanding of the value of academic research and expertise for different parts of the policymaking community
  • Enhanced understanding of the different modes in which researchers engage with the policymaking community, and the challenges and rewards of each
  • Enhanced ability to identify appropriate opportunities. to plan for effective engagement, and learn from it