Writing for Policy

The NCR is an academic research hub, using evidence to inform policy and practice. Bridging the gap between academia, policy and practice by promoting cross-sector partnerships to improve resilience when planning for, responding to and recovering from natural hazard events.

Policy briefs play a big role in getting information to policymakers. 

Below is a checklist on how to write a policy brief:


  • To give clear and realistic recommendations for action. Make sure your recommendations are clear and easy to identify. 

What to cover:

  • What is the issue and why is it important/critical?
  • The implications of current policy or a lack of policy in this area.
  • What needs to change and why?
  • How can things be changed and by whom?


  • Title – use this to indicate the specific topic or issue you will be addressing.
  • Up to 1500 words (where possible, reference published supporting material to save on words and open access material is best).
  • Provide web links in full (so that anyone reading offline can type in the address and find the site).
  • Graphs, charts and other graphics are welcome, but avoid pictures.
  • British English.
  • Clear font (e.g. Calibri), size 11 or 12.
  • Avoid bold, italics, CAPITALS and !
  • Remember you are writing for a diverse audience, avoid jargon, specialist terminology and acronyms.
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Routes to Policy

There are various ways you can respond to policy requests and enquiries. Below are just a few useful contacts and links to get you started. 

Scottish Parliament Academia Network (SPAN)

SPAN aims to formalise, coordinate and encourage knowledge exchange between the Parliament and academia via a network of knowledge exchange/brokering professionals throughout Scottish Higher Education institutions.

UK Parliament Knowledge Exchange Unit

The Knowledge Exchange Unit is the first point of contact for any researcher looking to work with the UK Parliament. They offer policy training, academic fellowships, regular network updates and other resources.

Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN)

UPEN, is a community of UK universities committed to increasing the impact of research on policy. UPEN offers a dedicated contact point for policymakers, and a collective response to requests for evidence.
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