Introducing the Science to Policy Accelerator

Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 18:52

The COVID-19 pandemic has put science in the spotlight like never before, illustrating the critical role that science has to play in public policy decisions. More than ever, scientists need to be able to understand and participate in the many different processes that contribute to public policy. But to do so effectively, they need access to skills-based training and opportunities to put those skills into practice.

While science communication training is becoming more widespread in Canada, there is a limited offering of programs designed to help scientists develop the skills that will help them enhance the impact of their research in various policy contexts.

That’s why, today, we’re very excited to share that in winter 2022, Evidence for Democracy will be launching the Science to Policy Accelerator (S2PA) program!

Our pilot program will welcome up to 25 early-career researchers from across Canada (i.e. individuals with a PhD in any discipline, or a Master’s degree with at least three years of research experience). This demographic will benefit from specialized skills training, as their expertise and ongoing research positions them as key knowledge brokers and emerging leaders at the science-policy interface.

S2PA participants will first master foundational knowledge in science policy and communication. Then, they will apply these concepts to specific forms of policy engagement, such as writing briefing notes and participating in pre-budget consultations. The program will be delivered through four weekly sessions in February and March 2022. Currently, sessions are scheduled to take place on Friday afternoons (ET) for 4-4.5 hours. We will confirm session timings following program acceptances.

Why should early career researchers take part in S2PA? In the face of pressing issues like climate change, COVID-19, the opioid crisis, and societal inequality, it is increasingly important that policy-makers can access and use scientific evidence. Researchers can play an important role in this by honing their skills and expanding their engagement with public policy.

Interested? Want to apply to the S2PA program? Applications to our pilot cohort are now open. Applications close on January 20, 2022 at 11:59 PM PST. We look forward to seeing your application.

In particular, we encourage individuals who are Black, Indigenous, disabled and/or a Person of Colour to apply.

This program is offered at no cost to participants. If you have questions about the S2PA program, please get in touch at info@evidencefordemocracy.ca.

 

Farah Qaiser

Director of Research and Policy

In 2020, Farah completed a Master of Science at the University of Toronto, where she carried out DNA sequencing to better understand neurological disorders, and later worked as a researcher at the University Health Network’s Epilepsy Genetics Clinic.