An important part of the ESRC's mission is to ensure that research findings have an impact on public policy. We believe that evidence-based social science should be at the heart of policymaking and that social scientists should regard influencing public policy as a key part of their role.

An effective approach to public affairs should be an important part of your overall impact plan. This is likely to require a much higher degree of interaction with your target audience of policymakers than you may need with other audiences.

Individual policymakers are highly influential. Maintaining good relationships and promoting research that helps them realise their policy objectives will have long term benefits that outlast any individual project you are working on.

Academic researchers often complain that their work is ignored by policymakers. In fact, the government depends on receiving a flow of information from the public and private sectors. Decisions about public policy can only be as good as the information they are based on.