The Visiting Scholars Programme was set up in 2019 for UK government professional analysts working in the Analysis Function of the Civil Service. Each term we are joined by a small number of analysts working on a range of foreign and domestic policy issues, who use that time to produce a piece of new research on a topic of strategic importance. This is the only programme which offers UK government analysts the opportunity to deepen their research at a university, as distinct from programmes for policy professionals (as provided by the Centre for Science and Policy), or programmes teaching the discipline of analysis.

Analysis (interpreting meaning from collected information of all sources), and assessment (drawing conclusions from that interpretation), are disciplines common to academia and to the Civil Service. The primary purpose of the Programme is to enable UK government analysts to broaden their strategic thinking and deepen their analysis through access to the University’s academic expertise on their specialist subject. Visiting scholars aim to produce a piece of analysis and assessment on a strategically significant topic which will enable a greater understanding of a critical geopolitical issue. This will in turn facilitate the exchange of knowledge between the University of Cambridge and the policy-makers who rely on the analysis.

A secondary purpose of the Programme is to enable the analyst to learn how to conduct independent research, develop confidence to build external networks, ask the right kind of challenging questions, and draw their research into relevant conclusions. Visiting scholars are encouraged to make use of interdisciplinary research at Cambridge. The Programme also creates opportunities to generate impact by forging analytical links between academia and practice.

UK government analysts with an interest in participating in the Visiting Scholar Programme are welcome to contact Suzanne Raine, Co-ordinator of the Visiting Scholars Programme, for more information.