POST, is a bicameral body within the UK Parliament. With more than 30 years of experience in sourcing reliable and up-to-date research evidence for the UK Parliament, POST is one of the first bodies of its kind in the world.

What do we do?

POST produces impartial, non-partisan, and peer-reviewed briefings, designed to make scientific research accessible to the UK Parliament. The briefings come in the form of POSTnotes and POSTbriefs. Timely and forward thinking, they cover the areas of biology and health, energy and environment, physical sciences and computing, and social sciences.

Beyond that, POST:

  • Organises parliamentary horizon scanning activities.
  • Offers a range of services to Select Committees.
  • Trains the next generation of policy shapers through the POST fellowship and other schemes.
  • Holds seminars and events for UK Parliament and the public.
  • Develops best practice with legislatures across the globe and supports foreign research advisory bodies.
  • Facilitates knowledge exchange between UK Parliament and research communities.

A brief history of POST

POST helps bridge the gap between research and policy in the UK. It is a bicameral body, working for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The work of POST

  • The core objective of POST is to supply trusted and impartial analysis to the UK Parliament. To do this, our advisers are in constant contact with experts from academia, industry, government, the third sector and beyond. Experts help us scan the horizon, identify literature, contextualise research, and peer review our work. This allows a range of reporting on a huge variety of topics.

  • While fellows typically get to help us with the production of a POSTnote or POSTbrief, this once in a lifetime opportunity to view the epicentre of policy-making from the inside may also include a secondment to a select committee or the House of Commons or House of Lords Libraries. By the end of their time at POST, our fellows learn how to write for policy with balance and impartiality.

  • POST is committed to making research accessible to the UK Parliament. To achieve this we host a range of events throughout the year, which aim to give parliamentarians and staff the opportunity to hear directly from leading experts. POST events range from closed intimate round-table discussions for parliamentarians, to presentations to academic delegations, seminars on key topics, and even full-day conferences open to the public, often in collaboration with major academic bodies.

  • To help experts, students and parliamentarians understand how policy and research intersect we have developed a series of resources. Whether you want to understand what research evidence is and how to identify quality evidence, how we write our research briefings, or you just have questions about our fellowships we have you covered.

  • The Knowledge Exchange Unit provides information, advice, and a point of contact at UK Parliament for the research community. It trains researchers, publicises opportunities for engagement, and supports academics who want to share their research expertise with UK Parliament. It connects UK Parliament with researchers, helping parliamentarians gain access to the best available research evidence.

  • POST is currently developing a new strategy for its international work and creating a set of resources to support other legislatures to strengthen their science advice capabilities. We have also recently taken over the Presidency of the European Parliamentary Technology Assessment network. For UK 2020 we will be hosting technology assessment practitioners from around the world at the network’s annual conference.

  • The POST Board oversees POST’s objectives, outputs and future work programme. It meets quarterly to discuss proposals for POSTnotes and decide which briefings should be produced. These meetings ensure that POST’s work programme reflects the current interests of UK Parliament.

  • A list of corrections of our research briefings. This system was discontinued in January 2020. Major corrections are now denoted on the landing pages of research briefings.

  • Our team of advisers, knowledge exchange managers and science communications experts is available to parliamentarians, parliamentary staff, experts and members of the public. We aim to get back to internal enquiries within 24 hours.

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