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What we do

Through UPEN, policymakers can easily access evidence and expertise from several different UK universities. Services offered include:

Calls for evidence

Policymakers can ask for evidence and/or the answers to specific questions. UPEN will circulate to experts within its members' institutions and collate responses.

Identification of experts

UPEN will respond to requests to identify experts with specific knowledge or skills. It will provide list of relevant experts and details of their expertise from across its members.

Knowledge exchange meetings

UPEN will work with policymaking bodies to set up meetings around themes or technical areas identified by policymakers, bringing relevant experts.

Placements and secondments

UPEN can work with policymakers to identify staff and PhD secondments and mechanisms to organise them with minimum, best-practice bureaucracy. They will also promote existing secondment schemes.

Evidence synthesis

UPEN can help policymakers commission evidence synthesis and identify individuals or groups able to carry it out.


UPEN can, through its members, organise training for civil servants and others on specific technical subjects, on research methods and techniques, and also on the role and organisation of UK universities and the best way to engage with colleagues from academia.

In all cases, UPEN aims to be flexible and responsive, and would happily consider requests which fall outside this list.

Sign up to our weekly UPEN update here, which collates opportunities, events and projects in this space.