A pilot network of Thematic Research Leads (TRLs) will launch at the end of 2022, with three TRLs appointed to join pilot policy hubs in Parliament from January 2023.
- The Women and Equalities Committee and Home Affairs Committee have published a joint Area of Research Interest: ‘Violence against women and girls’ to help support their scrutiny in this topic area.
- The ARI comes with several specific areas of interest aiming to further break down the broad area. These include the prevalence and types of violence against women and girls in different communities across the UK, cultures underpinning male violence against women and girls, the role of early intervention, and availability of interventions.
- Academics at all career stages, research institutions, and experts are encouraged to register their interest in the ARI, add their existing research in the topic areas to the ARI repository, provide their insights, and suggest questions that the Committee could be asking the Government.
- Those who respond to the ARI survey will be entered onto a database of experts who may be contacted by parliamentary staff in order to help them scrutinise government in this area of interest. There is no need to contact committee staff directly, as they have access to all information you enter on the database.
Women and Equalities Committee and Home Affairs Committee Area of Research Interest 2022
Violence against women and girls (VAWG)
Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
- The prevalence and types of VAWG in different communities across the UK.
- Differences across the UK in VAWG prevalence and presentation and how it is being addressed.
- International obligations in relation to VAWG and how the UK is meeting them.
- Cultures underpinning male violence against women and girls (for example but not limited to gender stereotypes; the impact of music, social media and sport; and cultures and attitudes that develop in schools).
- The extent to which perpetrators commit lower-level offences which can escalate to more serious crimes, and how early interventions can prevent this.
- The need for and availability of perpetrator interventions, for domestic abuse and wider violence against women and girls.
Women and Equalities Committee, Commons Select Committee
The Women and Equalities Committee examines the work of the Government Equalities Office (GEO). It holds Government to account on equality law and policy, including the Equality Act 2010 and cross Government activity on equalities. It also scrutinises the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Social Mobility Commission.
Home Affairs Committee, Commons Select Committee
The Home Affairs Committee is a cross-party committee of MPs responsible for scrutinising the work of the Home Office and its associated bodies. It examines government policy, spending and the law in areas including immigration, security and policing.
What are Areas of Research Interest?
Areas of Research Interest (ARIs) are lists of policy issues or questions. They are a way for an organisation to express interest in seeing more research evidence in certain topics.
How can researchers share their insights on the ARIs?
If you have evidence or insights on the ARIs (including evidence reviews): you can add information about the research and your contact details to the repository of research relevant to the ARIs. If this area becomes a topic of scrutiny within Parliament, parliamentary staff may search the repository for relevant research and contacts.
How does Parliament use ARIs?
An inquiry into the effectiveness and influence of the Select Committee system by the 2017–19 House of Commons Liaison Committee made several recommendations on how to improve the use of research evidence in select committees. One recommendation was for committees to develop and publish areas of research interest (ARIs). The House of Commons Scrutiny Unit, with the support of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), is trialling select committee ARIs as a pilot exercise to better understand and assess how they can support parliamentary scrutiny.
ARIs are not an exhaustive list of all areas in which Parliament may be interested in research evidence in the future. Parliamentary priorities are driven by elected representatives responding to current affairs. In particular, select committees issue calls for evidence based on their current priorities; ARIs do not replace these calls for evidence. However, ARIs may be used by parliamentarians and by parliamentary staff in POST, the Libraries and select committee teams to scope and/or inform future work.
House of Commons Scrutiny Unit
The Scrutiny Unit forms part of the Select Committee Team in the House of Commons and exists to strengthen the scrutiny function of the House.
The House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee has published an Area of Research Interest on ‘Unpaid carers’ to support the Committee’s scrutiny of adult social care services in England. The ARI comes with several specific areas of interest aiming to further break down the broad area and focus the responses received from the research community.
The International Trade Committee has published five Areas of Research Interest (ARIs) for 2021 to help support the Committee’s scrutiny of UK trade policy. Each ARI comes with a series of questions aiming to further break down the broad areas. The ARIs focus on UK trade policy and include: Trade negotiations, Gender and trade, Food standards, Developing countries, and Foreign Policy and Trade.