Global challenges, Sheffield Solutions
Whether it is tackling inequality, navigating Brexit, ensuring food security for all or fostering a more environmentally sustainable future, the insights and innovative methods employed through social science research are critical if we are to address some of today's most pressing national and international challenges.
In order to help facilitate stronger links between academic and policy worlds, Sheffield Solutions supports events and activities aimed at bringing together policy makers, practitioners and social science perspectives to tackle pressing policy issues. Sheffield Solutions provides our researchers with a supportive platform through which they can share their work and expertise, engage with policy audiences, and offer fresh perspectives and insights on issues of national and international importance.
Our Sheffield Solutions Policy Briefs identify policy gaps or opportunities where our research is uniquely placed to offer fresh perspectives and ideas.
Membership is an important part of the working of a healthy democratic system. Yet in a world where individual and sporadic engagement is becoming the norm, membership of political organisations is increasingly unusual.
In this report Dr Katharine Dommett and Dr Sam Power diagnose and respond to the challenge of membership, offering practical suggestions for membership organisations by confronting three questions:
• How can members be recruited?
• How can members be encouraged to engage in different activities?
• How can members be retained?
Tackling homelessness together: The importance of local authorities and housing associations working in partnership
This briefing offers insights into how the current policy environment is affecting partnerships between local authorities and housing associations, specifically within the context of preventing and tackling homelessness at a local level.
This policy briefs sets out out a more coordinated approach to homelessness prevention, and how both national and local policy can support this, focusing on the importance of recognising opportunities to intervene earlier.
This policy briefing looks at practical ways to overcome negative stereotypes about apprenticeships and to ensure that young people get into high-quality training schemes. Professor Louise Ryan (Sociological Studies) and Magdolna Lorinc (Middlesex University).
Many academics are increasingly interested in engaging with Parliament. This policy briefing presents findings of research conducted through workshops with parliamentary staff to provide practical guidance for those looking to engage. Dr Kate Dommett (Politics), Dr Marc Geddes (Edinburgh University) and Dr Brenton Prosser (Australian National University).
Devolution and Disadvantage in the Sheffield City Region: An assessment of employment, skills and welfare policies
Devolution is being used to implement further austerity cuts on the Sheffield City Region (SCR) with disadvantaged groups and areas particularly affected. Professor Martin Jones (Geography) and Dr David Etherington (Middlesex University).
Working in partnership
We work closely with government departments, NGOs and community groups, and the third sector to ensure our research speaks directly to the challenges on the frontline.
A key example is our partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), where we have developed a more systemic arrangement in order to help build a richer connection between the academic and policy worlds. This close relationship enables the academics to develop a clearer understanding of policy directions and processes, whilst also helping DWP to access fresh thinking on some of their more pressing policy needs in a timely and accessible manner.
This co-produced Practical Guide to Collaboration outlines just some of the activities where we collaborate.
The Crook Public Service Fellowship Scheme and The University of Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) Fellowship Affiliate Network are two of our flagship schemes that enhance meaningful collaborations between our academics and key stakeholders. We also support PhD internships and academic secondments, teaming up with organisations such as Oxfam, DWP, Sheffield City Council and YouGov.
Whether through closed workshops, public events or panel discussions, we know that facilitating interactions between researchers, policy-makers and the public is crucial in order to both enrich our research as well as influence policy development. Examples of Sheffield Solutions events include:
- “From Primary through to PhD: How does evidence inform policy throughout our education system with Dr Tim Leunig, the Chief Scientific Advisor at the Department for Education
- School Engagement and Youth Transitions: Findings of the RESL.eu project, 9 June 2017, Seven Dials Club, London
- Regulation of the Private Rented Sector in England: Lessons from Ireland, Report launch and Roundtable, 27 April 2017, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 89 Albert Embankment, London
- Sustainable Sheffield: How might we best implement the Sustainable Development Goals in Yorkshire?, Workshop hosted by INTERSECTION, 29 March 2017
- Sheffield Solutions Policy Roundtable with Natalie Bennett, former leader of the Green Party, and academics working on environment and sustainability
- The DWP-Faculty of Social Sciences lunchtime seminar series
- In-Work Progression Policy Roundtable with DWP colleagues and social sciences academics
- The Work, Pensions and Labour Economic Study Group (WPEG) conference 2016, held in conjunction with DWP
- An ongoing seminar series, “The Politics of Judicial Independence”, led by Professor Graham Gee with representatives from the Low Pay Commission and the Ministry of Justice
- “The Future of Employment Support”, bringing together colleagues from our Dept of Geography, DWP, Gingerbread and the Social Market Foundation
- “Moving to a high wage, low tax, low welfare economy” with speakers from DWP, Resolution Foundation and Oxfam
Having an impact
We work with academics to help maximise the accessibility and influence of their research. Our helpful Top Ten Tips guide offers some useful steps that can be taken to share research and boost impact.
For more information on Sheffield Solutions or to get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org