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Policy Institute at King's

Organisational unit: Department

Contact information

Strand Bridge House
Strand Bridge House
138-142 Strand
United Kingdom

Organisation profile

The Policy Institute at King's links insightful research with rapid, relevant policy analysis to stimulate ‘edgy’ forward-looking debate and shape future policy agendas.  The mission of the Policy Institute is ‘to improve evidence-informed policy and practice by facilitating mutual engagement between academic, business and policy communities around current and future policy needs in the UK and globally’.  Building on its central London location at the heart of the global policy conversation, the Policy Institute combines the academic excellence of King’s College with the connectedness of think tanks and the professionalism of consultancies. In achieving its mission, the non-partisan Policy Institute will enhance King’s capability and reputation for research excellence and be the catalyst for a global network of interactions with policymakers in governments, NGOs and commercial enterprises.

The Policy Institute has four key objectives:

  • To create, secure, maximise and accelerate the impact of King’s on policy and practice
  • To understand, translate and embed policy ‘needs’ within King’s activities
  • To develop sole sourced and competitive opportunities for client and donor led policy analysis
  • To position King’s as a thought leader in setting future policy agendas.

These objectives are realised through three reinforcing activities. 

Mobilising policy impact – The Institute seeks to identify the most relevant and insightful knowledge from King’s research and share this in timely and effective ways with policymaking communities.  As many studies over the last 30 years have observed a ‘communication failure’ between academia and policymakers, the Policy Institute employs a rich mix of traditional and innovative engagement mechanisms including, for example: targeted and strategically coherent events such as the Europe in Crisis series; policy briefs, pamphlets and reports (Issues and Ideas on …); and social media including a blog (PolicyWonkers) and Twitter (#policybites).

Building policy capabilities – The intellectual discipline of policy analysis and public administration receives far less attention than it deserves. The Policy Institute is committed to improving the skills of policymakers (in being receptive to research) and researchers (in communicating to policymakers).  A wide range of initiatives will develop the capabilities and capacities of academic, student and policy communities, including: convening high level discussions (Policy Circle, Sandpits); running policy pitch competitions (Policy Idol); hosting fellowships (Policy Fellows) and managing exchanges (Researcher in Residence); and providing training and development in the field of policy analysis.

Delivering policy analysis - The Policy Institute undertakes and oversees robust policy analysis for clients and donors, and delivers compelling message-led action-focused studies. It hosts a number of Policy Research Units including: the Social Care Workforce Research Unit; the International Centre for Security Analysis; and the International Centre for University Policy Research.  In addition the Policy Institute competes for and delivers relevant contracts for governments and hosts donor-sponsored Commissions on emergent policy issues.

Jonathan Grant is Director of the Policy Institute.  Prof Grant’s main research interests are on R&D policy and the use of research and evidence in policymaking.  Jonathan was formerly President of RAND Europe and Head of Policy at the Wellcome Trust. He received his PhD from the University of London and his BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics.

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