June 6, 2016, by Michael Jennings

Your chance to ‘nudge’ government policy and change the world

Research at The University of Nottingham aims to change the world – but all our researchers recognise that big ideas sometimes need a small policy change to help move their innovative work forward and ultimately have an impact.

Now is your chance to be heard and make a change.

The University’s Political and Public Affairs Unit is asking all staff to come up with suggestions for a policy nudge at national government level that could make a real difference.

If you’ve ever said to a colleague: ‘I really wish the government would make this one small change…’ now’s your chance. Your idea could be one of those debated by MPs and policymakers as part of Nottingham in Parliament Day on 25 October, when the University is highlighting our world-class research, its influence on policy and how our ideas support and encourage innovation.

The deadline to present ideas is Wednesday June 8.

Please download the policy idea form at Nottingham in Parliament Day, fill in as much detail as possible and send to leonie.mathers@nottingham.ac.uk by Wednesday June 8.

These ‘policy nudges’ might be identified from the conclusions of a piece of academic research, from your own expertise, or from a legislative barrier preventing innovations in your own research area. The nudges could cover future policies or current legislation. All we ask is they are not simply a financial ask.

Good ideas might be:

  • A change to the payment structure which rewards energy being put into the national grid at peak times would encourage research into innovative renewable energy storage solutions
  • Our research shows that better identification and classification of long-stay mental health patients and an associated treatment plan would lead both to improved outcomes for individuals, and cost savings for local NHS trusts

Likely to fall on deaf ears

  • Our research shows that local NHS Trusts are underfunded and need an additional £16bn per year to deliver outcomes
  • Climate change research is underfunded

Next steps

  • Submit your idea using this form to leonie.mathers@nottingham.ac.uk by June 8 – if you’ve spotted an issue, but you’re not sure if it would make a good policy change nudge, feel free to drop Leonie a line informally before the deadline.
  • The Nottingham in Parliament Day working group will review all the ideas submitted, and may get back in touch to ask for more information. We might ask you to meet with one of us, to explain the idea in a little more detail.
  • We will then be drawing together a list of the most timely and relevant ideas to present to our group of MPs, who will pick 3-6 issues to raise in Parliament and Government.
  • Over the summer, with a little help from our friends, we will be raising the chosen issues with policymakers across government.
  • Our ultimate aim is to help make one or more of these changes a reality – we hope to be able to use Nottingham in Parliament Day to discuss them in Parliament.


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