Global challenges, Sheffield Solutions

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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.

Policy briefs

Our Sheffield Solutions Policy Briefs identify policy gaps or opportunities where our research is uniquely placed to offer fresh perspectives and ideas.

Tackling Homelessness Sheffield Solution

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.

Going Further Back thumbnail

Going further back: Earlier action on multiple needs to prevent homelessness

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. 

Louise Ryan Sheffield Solutions

Beyond the Numbers: Incentivising and Implementing Better Apprenticeships

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).

Kate Dommett Policy Brief

A Recipe For Parliamentary Impact? An academic guide to effective engagement

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).

Martin Jones Policy Brief

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.

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.

Policy events

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 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