This is a great opportunity to become involved in Parliament, get your research noticed and have policy impact. Parliament’s Knowledge Exchange Unit has opened applications for Parliamentary Research Leads in the following areas:
- Thematic Research Lead on AI and Digital
- Thematic Research Lead on Arts and Humanities
- Thematic Research Lead on Business, Economics and Trade
- Thematic Research Lead on Climate and Environment
- Thematic Research Lead on Crime and Justice
- Thematic Research Lead on Health
- Thematic Research Lead on International Affairs and National Security
- Thematic Research Lead on Transport
- Monday 11 December: Parliamentary Thematic Research Leads 2024 – 2026 opportunity opens for applications
- Wednesday 17 January, 1pm – 2.30 pm: Online Information Session
- Sunday 3 March: Deadline for applications
- Second half of April: Interviews
- May – August: Research Organisation submits request for funding to UKRI, security clearance sought, Fellowship Agreement signed
- September: Thematic Research Leads take up their positions in UK Parliament
It is our expectation that the process will follow the timescales above. Should any changes to this be necessary, we will update the Thematic Research Leads webpage with details as soon as possible.We are aware that adjustments of timing may be required for some applicants throughout this process including disabled people, those with caring responsibilities and those observing religious occasions or festivities. If you have any adjustment needs that will impact your participation in the timescales above, please let us know so that we can consider an adjustment for you.
What is a Thematic Research Lead?
This is a prestigious and influential role, the purpose of which is to facilitate and enhance the use of research evidence and expertise in Parliament (in both the House of Commons and House of Lords) through effective knowledge exchange and collaboration. Each TRL leads on a specific policy area.
To achieve this, TRLs conduct three primary activities:
- strategic support for the production and delivery of research evidence for Parliament, within a broad policy area
- activities to support the development of a research and innovation landscape that facilitates and encourages knowledge exchange between Parliament and the research community
- participation in a network of Thematic Research Leads to share intelligence and insights across policy areas.
Who is this opportunity open to?
Applications are open to:
- all UK-based mid-career university researchers who already have a PhD and are employed on an academic contract, at a university. Exceptionally, they are also open to those who don’t have a PhD but have equivalent experience of a mid-career researcher and are employed in a UK university on an academic contract.
- those who work in UKRI’s ‘Eligible Independent Research Organisations’ and are active researchers within their organisation. They will either have a PhD or equivalent experience of a mid-career researcher.
- for the purposes of this call, mid-career researchers are defined as those employed on a contract that actively involves research (including joint teaching and research contracts) up to but not including professorial level.
Why apply to be a TRL?
The position of TRL is a highly influential and prestigious role at the heart of Parliament. As far as we are aware, we are the first parliament globally to have developed such a position, and the first nation to have embedded an academic network in our legislature. In a global landscape, delivering and developing this role therefore provides exciting possibilities.
The role offers an exciting opportunity for you to see first-hand how research feeds into policy, through shaping parliamentary work with your research expertise and participating in the development of parliamentary processes for knowledge exchange.
You will be uniquely placed to build connections with parliamentary and government stakeholders, and this participation will provide you with rich and varied experiences to support you on an upward professional trajectory. Current postholders have reported that the role has contributed to advancement in their careers, including to professorial level.
Where can I get more information?
- More information is available on their webpage: www.parliament.uk/trls
- You will also find detailed Guidance Notes on our TRL webpage – please read these before applying!
- They will be holding an information session on 17 January, 1pm – 2.30pm. This session will be for interested applicants, knowledge mobilisers, professional services teams supporting applicants, or senior management; it’s an opportunity to find out more about the TRL role. The link to register for this will be made available on the TRL webpage and will be circulated in one of our normal weekly round-ups.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance if you are interested in applying for one of these roles.