How can academics get involved with the Senedd's work?

Published 15/12/2020   |   Last Updated 16/12/2020   |   Reading Time minutes

How can academics get involved with the Senedd's work?

Engaging with the Senedd benefits both academic researchers and the Senedd. There are many different ways to get involved. Here are a few top tips.

Keep up to date with current issues

The Senedd is a dynamic, fast paced institution where a range of issues affecting the people of Wales are discussed at any one time. By keeping up to date with what’s being discussed, you’ll find out when the best time to engage with the Senedd to maximise the impact that your knowledge can have.

Find out what’s happening in the Senedd by:

  • Seeing what’s coming up in Plenary each week through the business statements and agendas;
  • Subscribing to the Senedd Committee’s current consultations;
  • Receiving notifications of Senedd Research’s publications; and
  • Following the Senedd, Senedd Research and the Senedd’s Committees on social media.

Know who to contact

There are different routes you can take to engage with the Senedd, including with Members of the Senedd, Senedd Committees, Cross-party groups and Senedd Research.

Members of the Senedd

You can look up a Member’s profile which shows which Committees and Cross-party groups they are part of along with their own interests. You can arrange to meet with a Member either at their constituency office or the Senedd and can attend events they organise.

Senedd Committees

Committees are made up of Members from different political parties. Each Committee is set up to look into a broad policy area, such as health or education, and it will scrutinise proposed laws and carry out inquiries in that area.

You can get involved with the work of a Committee by:

  • Submitting evidence when a Committee is collecting information on a topic; and
  • Being asked to be a witness to give evidence at a Committee meeting if your research is relevant to the topic being discussed;

Cross-party groups

These are where a group of Members come together to focus on a specific topic. Cross-party groups are less formal than Committees and don’t form part of formal Senedd business.

They are a useful way for Members to discuss topics that are relevant to the Senedd’s work and subject experts can be invited to the join the discussions.

There is a list of registered cross-party groups which includes the membership and contact details. You can either contact the group directly or speak to an individual member of the group.

Senedd Research

Senedd Research is a research and information service based in the Welsh Parliament. It provides politically impartial research to Members of the Senedd, their staff and Senedd Committees.

Each year Senedd Research puts out a call for applicants to the Academic Fellowship scheme. This allows a senior (post-PhD) academic to spend time working on a specific project with our researchers. Keep an eye out for key dates and take a look at the work of previous Fellows.

You can also become a UK Research and Innovation PhD Intern with Senedd Research. Further information on the placements is available.

You can get in touch with our researchers directly to make them aware of your research and you could be asked to write a guest blog post.

Where to go for more information

A ‘Research Impact and Legislatures’ briefing note has been produced jointly by the four UK legislatures. It was written to inform the work of the four UK higher education funding bodies in developing assessment criteria for the next Research Excellence Framework exercise in 2021. A similar joint briefing note about Knowledge Exchange and the UK legislatures has also been published.

The Campaign for Social Science guide on ‘Pathways to Impact’ has some useful specific tips on engaging with the Senedd and the Welsh Government.

An independent evaluation of the Senedd’s academic engagement work, alongside those of the other UK legislatures by Dr Danielle Beswick and Dr Marc Geddes.