January and February 2012 have been particularly busy months for the N8 Research Partnership’s social sciences team. Our research on demographic change featured at the Work Foundation/Lancaster University ‘EngageHEI’ conference which took place at the start of February 2012 and was attended by David Willetts. We used our research on demographic change to highlight how involving research users in the design, delivery and dissemination of research provides an effective route for influencing and supporting policy and strategy decisions.
We are building on the success of this collaborative model in developing a series of research programmes in the social sciences. Working with research users to understand needs and develop a demand-led approach is a key feature of our approach. In addition, and unique to the N8 Research Partnership, we assemble best-with-best teams from across the N8 universities to address these needs. These teams reflect the complex and multi-disciplinary nature of our research themes.
We have delivered two workshops in connection with our developing research programme: one on ‘Just Cities and Urban Rebalancing’, which took place in York at the end of January. The other on ‘Transformational Infrastructures’ was in Manchester in February, attended by Peel Holdings and United Utilities. These sessions have enabled us to determine issues and priorities for research users and the next stage is to finalise the two work programmes.
We also brought together the Local Economic Partnerships (LEPs) from the North to identify economic opportunities and growth sectors that could be better supported by working together. The meeting was hosted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Leeds, and attended by the Departments for Business Innovation and Skills, and Communities and Local Government. The N8 universities will continue to support the ongoing work of the LEPs, to exploit both local and national economic opportunities.
Visit our ‘Working with the Public Sector’ page to find out more.