The aims of the internship were to foster better understand the role of a ‘broker’ organisations like CSaP and for the fellow to gain a better grasp of the relationship between academia and policy makers. 

Whilst at CSaP I helped to manage the Green Recovery Report. The report aimed to bring together leading experts from across the University on the topic of how the UK can recover from COVID-19 in a sustainable and equitable manner. Much of this work involved working with Cambridge Zero and the Cambridge Policy Forum, which I also helped to manage.   

The placement provided me the opportunity to build on existing skills that I have developed in past professional positions. Perhaps most useful was the chance to use my communication skills. PhD research can be a relatively isolated endeavour punctuated with moments where communication skills are necessary (conferences for example). As CSaP is a broker organisation that seeks to span the varying gap between academia and policy, communication is a vital part of its day-to-day functioning.   

I gained a valuable insight into the relationship between science and policy. My understanding had been more theoretical up until this point. I believe engaging with a wider set of stakeholders, especially in the world of policy, has prepared me for taking up a similar position in the future. I have experience at report writing for a policy audience but my time at CSaP allowed me to hone these skills. Indeed, it gave me more confidence in my ability to turn around high-quality reports on a tight deadline. I wrote numerous reports for CSaP, which culminated in the Green Recovery Report. I also wrote several blogs for early career academics and civil servants, advising them on how they become involved in policy and research. I am grateful that the outputs I produced were tangible, this added to a feeling of accomplishment and allows me to highlight specific work examples when I apply for future positions.   

My time at CSaP caused me to re-evaluate my career goals. I have known for some time that I do not want to stay in academia. However, I am still very much interested in applying my research skills in a more grounded and policy-orientated way. Working for an organisation like CSaP in the future would be a perfect fit. I think the fact that CSaP is very well-respected organisation in policy circles should also help me secure future positions.   

With thanks to CSaP. 

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