RIA, IRC report shows how research can inform public policy

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Ireland must implement structures to strengthen links between researchers and policymakers, report finds

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16 September 2021 | 0

The Royal Irish Academy and the Irish Research Council have launched a report outlining how research can best inform public policy. is

The culmination of a webinar series that the organisations ran earlier this year, the report titled Research for Public Policy: An Outline Roadmap explores the importance of evidence-based policy and how to harness the diverse expertise of Ireland’s researchers for the benefit of society.

The report outlines the findings and insights from the webinar series and identifies pathways that could be explored to strengthen the engagement between researchers and policymakers. These include establishing a national policy challenge platform enabling organisations to upload summaries of research projects/papers, and adapting the European Science Advice Mechanism (SAM) to an Irish context: to send advice directly to European Commissioners.

 

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A group of stakeholders in the higher education and research sector have joined together to issue a statement of support for the messages contained in the paper including, Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Universities Association, Campus Engage, Irish Humanities Alliance, the Health Research Board and the Technological Higher Education Association.

“The Academy believes that connecting researchers and policymakers to ensure that public policy initiatives are based on the most up-to-date available research is imperative, particularly as we rebuild our society post-pandemic,” said Mary Canning, president of the Royal Irish Academy. “This report is an important roadmap for government and stakeholders to progress work in this area. The statement of support, signed by so many stakeholders in the sector, shows that we are willing to work together to assist Government in creating an established network of connections between researchers and policymakers.”

Prof Jane Ohlmeyer, Chair of the Irish Research Council added: “From the discussion series, it was evident that all stakeholders were in agreement that ensuring dialogue between policymakers and the best possible scientific and scholarly knowledge is a vital agenda for Ireland.

“The reality in this country is that, although multiple sources of valuable policy advice exist, the pathway for contributing to policy development remains relatively narrow. We know there is no one single solution but, for the proposals in this report to be successful, we will need the Government, our research institutions and research funders to play their part.”

Research for Public Policy: An Outline Roadmap’ is available to read in full here.

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