Understanding Society: Generating policy impact from bio-social research.

Fri Dec 07 2018 at 09:15 am to 01:30 pm
Broadway House, Tothill Street, London, United Kingdom

Broadway House, Tothill Street, London, United Kingdom

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Understanding Society Workshop: Generating policy impact from bio-social research.

The emerging field of biosocial research provides a potentially powerful tool for policy impact and improving health and wellbeing. This is not only in terms of examining how the “social get under the skin” but for early diagnosis of risks, better understanding of how health impacts on daily lives, planning early interventions and in the development of “precision public health policy”.

However, it presents multiple challenges for knowledge exchange and impact generation. Much of the research is path breaking and interdisciplinary. In bringing together social, biological and medical concepts the communication challenges are that much greater. The research maybe relevant for a range of social issues and to different groups of policy makers - from those engaged in social, environmental, health, employment or education policy with little or no knowledge about biology and its relevance. It combines different kinds of data that may have not been previously presented together.

This half-day training course will provide an introduction to generating impact from biosocial research. It is aimed at the new cohort of social scientists, biologists and health researchers engaged in biosocial research. Researchers both new to impact generation or those familiar with engaging policy makers but keen to develop insights into how policy makers might utilise biosocial research will benefit from the course. The half-day workshop will consist of presentations from policy makers, practical exercises and a panel session. Importantly, it will provide a forum for discussing some of the unique barriers to generating impact from biosocial research.


Hear from policy makers about how biosocial research is relevant to their area of work

Learn about the basics of impact generation and why researchers should care about it

Put learning into practice by producing an outline ‘impact plan’ for biosocial research project

Identify and discuss the usefulness of emerging biosocial research and challenges for knowledge exchange.

PROGRAMME (subject to change)

09.15 -  9.30 - Registration

09.30 - 9.40 - Welcome and introductions

09.40 - 10.40 - Usefulness of biosocial research from different policy perspectives (employment/welfare, ageing and public health)

Ellen Flint: Head of Strategic Research, Department of Work and Pensions

Elizabeth Webb: Senior Research Manager, Age UK

Public Health England (tbc)

10.40 - 11.10 - Putting together an outline ‘impact plan’ for your research

Raj Patel, Impact Fellow and Acting Director of Policy Unit, Understanding Society

11.10 - 11.30 - Tea/coffee break

11.30 - 12.15 - Impact exercise (in groups)

Delegates will draw up an outline impact plan for a piece of research. Groups (of 2 to 4 delegates) will work together to come up with a plan using real examples of research.

12.15 - 13.00 - Presentation of plans, feedback and open discussion on key opportunities and challenges for impact through biosocial research

Feedback on (selective) outline plans

Whole group discussion on the unique barriers to communications and impact generation from biosocial research

Panel members: Ellen Flint, Elizabeth Webb and Raj Patel

13.00 - 13.30 - Lunch and networking
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Created By:
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