Local Policy Lab

Bridging the gap between research and local policy

The Local Policy Lab is a brand new alliance between the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, and Oxfordshire County Council, that aims to promote relationships and bridge the gap between research and local policy.

As the home to two large universities – the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University – Oxford (and Oxfordshire) can access a wealth of cutting-edge, impact-driven research that could inform solutions to public policy challenges facing the city and county.

Oxfordshire County Council and the five district councils provide an opportunity for students and researchers to engage with their local community and to better understand the public policy context of the city / local environment where they live. The key for this exchange is building meaningful and long-lasting connections between academic researchers and policymakers at the local level.

The Local Policy Lab aims to:

  • connect University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes researchers with County and District Council policymakers, local volunteer and charity organisations, and with communities to support evidence-based public policy in key areas, initially focusing on health and climate policy, and;
  • create opportunities for graduate students, supervised by academics and county officers, to work on existing datasets, collect new qualitative data, and undertake impact evaluations.


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Local Policy Lab Fellowship Programme

In its first year, the Local Policy Lab is launching a pilot Fellowship Programme in partnership with the SDG Impact Lab. The Local Policy Lab Fellowship Programme aims to pair graduate students with a policy partner to conduct research with the goal of supporting evidence-based policymaking in the areas of climate and health in Oxfordshire. For more information, please see Local Policy Lab Fellowships programme information.

Applications for the Local Policy Lab Fellowship Programme have now closed. Successful applicants will be notified according to the programme information.


Our supporters

This scheme is supported by the University of Oxford’s ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (ESRC IAA). The IAA is designed to enable a wide range of knowledge exchange (KE) and engagement activities that translate social sciences research into social, economic and behavioural impact.

Our ambitions to do more in our local community and to strengthen links and coordination with the county, city and district councils in particular aligned well with the ESRC’s ambitions. The Local Policy Lab's development is the first step we take in building trusted relationships and connectivity with public policy actors and local community stakeholders across multiple policy areas.  


Steering Group

  • Dr Adam Briggs, Deputy Director of Public Health, Oxfordshire County Council
  • Professor Alex Betts, University of Oxford Local and Global Engagement Officer
  • Professor Koula Asimakopoulou, Associate Dean Research and KE, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences
  • Mat Hickman, Head of Public and Community Engagement, University of Oxford
  • Aileen Marshall-Brown, Head of Engagement, Social Sciences Division, University of Oxford
  • Professor Rajat Gupta, Professor of Sustainable Architecture and Climate Change, Oxford Brookes University
  • Dr Carol McAnally, Associate Director Knowledge Exchange & Impact, Oxford Brookes University