“So, What? The Impact of Research on the Nexus of Academic and Policy Work”

“So, What? The Impact of Research on the Nexus of Academic and Policy Work”

January 21, 2021 | 7:00am PST | 10:00am EST | 15:00 BST | 16:00 CET

Speaker: Arco Timmermans, Leiden University

In a time when pressure from teaching tasks and writing research funding proposals are ever-rising, are scholars in our field interacting with the social and political environment? After all, next to teaching and research performance, creating an impact is a key metric in the assessment of academic work. Engagement with policymakers and the public can take various forms—from mostly hidden advisory roles and think tank membership to outspoken advocacy and media appearance. Taking roles in such collaboration depends on features of the national policy advisory system in which university institutions and scholars find themselves, but it also depends on how university institutes provide incentives or disincentives, and finally, on which opportunities and normative views individual scholars hold.

In a survey across countries in Europe, the views and activities of scholars in our field in advising and profiling in media and public arenas have been mapped. The picture emerging from this empirical project shows variation in several dimensions, such as geography, seniority, gender, and status of the work contract. This variation brings some fundamental issues at the surface, which are of strategic importance to the community of scholars in the field. In this webinar, some of the main results of the project are presented and points of discussion are raised in order to stir the debate about current and future roles of academics in their social and political environment next to their university home basis. The webinar will go on to explore the implications which these issues have for the profession, and for the development of academic research and training.

The webinar will be led by Arco Timmermans, who is Professor of Public Affairs at the Institute of Public Administration at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He teaches public policy in comparative perspective, interest representation, and public affairs. Timmermans’ research is on the dynamics of the public and political agenda. He analyzes how interest groups play the game of obtaining or avoiding public and political attention, how they form lobby coalitions, and how they find access to venues for influence. This teaching and research work is also oriented to promoting the dialogue between research and practice, by guest lectures, masterclasses and commenting on news items.

Please note: CES Professional Development webinars are open only to CES Individual Members in good standing.