Science researchers compete for policy prize


New researchers working in science found out how to apply their expertise to the political process by taking part in a University competition.

The University’s Science In Policy group organised a contest for interdisciplinary groups of postgraduate and early career researchers. They were tasked with producing a POSTnote: a four-page briefing document similar to ones produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.

The winning team was made up of Elspeth Kenny from Animal and Plant Sciences, Katie Grayson from Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Sophie Turnbull from Psychology and Monica Ortiz from Geography. They were presented with a £500 cash prize by former Home Secretary, David Blunkett.

DSC_0928The Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP spoke at the prize-giving about his political career and experiences of policy-making. Each team taking part in the competition gave a five minute speed-presentation on the topic of their POSTnote and their experiences of writing it.

Social mobility and science education was the subject of the winning POSTnote. Dr Briony Norton (APS), Daniel Jenkinson (Chemistry), Ben Christmas (MBB), Dr Jonathan Perkin (Physics and Astronomy) and Stefano Golinelli (Politics) came in second place for their POSTnote on mobile health apps, and

Third prize was awarded to Stella Kritikou (Chemistry), Cesar Cruz (MBB), Rebecca Bright (Medicine) and Gaia Brezzo (Psychology). Their POSTnote was on Parkinson’s disease.

Science in Policy is run by a group of early-career researchers from the University of Sheffield. The group, founded in 2013, aims to foster increased understanding of the policy-making process and the ways in which scientists can impact policy, through an exciting programme of monthly seminars and events.

Science In Policy

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology