The Forum’s objectives are delivered through a rolling three-year Delivery plan agreed and funded by members.
The objectives set in each Delivery Plan are achieved by a variety of means, such as:
- by ERFF Secretariat permanent staff or secondees from ERFF member organisations;
- by contract staff or contracts to outside organisations;
- by the individual or combined efforts of staff working in ERFF member organisations.
Each activity is managed or overseen by a working group, project board, management group or similar grouping made up of ERFF members supplemented by additional members from other, non-ERFF, organisations where appropriate.
One of the major concerns expressed by members of ERFF is the need to stimulate a productive and mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge between the science and policy communities to ensure that the UK has better evidence-based environmental policy and that the development of research questions and agendas is better informed by policy needs. The Forum is actively pursuing this goal, and this activity supports the delivery of the Chief Scientific Advisor’s Guidelines on Scientific Analysis in Policy-Making.
Members of the Forum were involved in a baseline review and a Science into Policy workshop held in 2006, and ERFF subsequently commissioned further work which led to ERFF Report 03 - Using research to inform policy: the role of interpretation.
The Forum is now working on implementing the recommendations of ERFF Report 03 and the findings of the baseline review and the workshop. The first results of this effort are to provide an easy way of searching for research reports published ERFF members (see Access to Research Reports, below) and to encourage and publicise opportunities for researchers to be seconded into policy organisations (also below).
The Science-Policy Group is responsible for this work.
Access to Research Reports
Many ERFF members publish final reports from the research that they fund. We have created a Google Custom Search to allow you to search across ERFF members’ websites for the research reports that they have published.
Science Policy Placement Opportunities
Our work has shown that secondments into policy organisations are a valued way to give researchers experience of working on policy. Secondment opportunities are usually through informal arrangements with individual members but both the ESRC and the NERC do have formal secondment schemes.
NERC Policy Placement Scheme
NERC’s Policy Placement Scheme allows environmental researchers and staff to work closely with policy-makers within government and other organisations in the UK. The scheme covers two types of placement:
- a ‘fellowship’ option whereby a researcher works for 3 to 12 months in a policymaking organisation on a topic specified by the organisation;
- a ‘work shadow’ option whereby the applicant sets up their own work shadowing arrangement in a policy-making organisation, for up to one month.
For further details see the NERC Policy Placement Scheme on the NERC website.
ESRC Parliamentary and Government Postgraduate Placements The scheme provides an opportunity for ESRC funded PhD award holders in their 2nd or 3rd year to spend three months in a government department or parliamentary office, where they work as part of a team involved with public policy.
For further details see the ERSC Parliamentary and Government Postgraduate Placements.