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Policy research and evaluation

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Policy research and evaluation

Theme lead: Julian Dobson

Applied policy research with impact lies at the core of all that CRESR does. The Policy Research and Evaluation cluster focuses on this interface between academic research and real-world practice. We have a twin focus: we seek to explore and improve our methods of research and the underlying concepts that inform them; and we’re interested in increasing the impact of our research.

We recognise that research needs to engage with a complex and messy world in which economic, social and environmental challenges are entangled with each other and must be addressed at different scales of time and geography. This requires constant reflexive learning and critical examination of concepts, methods and applications. At a theoretical level, we are particularly interested in complexity, systems change, institutions and governance. Methodologically, we are interested in ways of generating data that bring us closer to the lived experiences of the people who are affected by policies and the people who make policy. In terms of impact, we are interested in communicating our findings in ways that can directly inform policymakers and practitioners, and in bringing the stories of our research findings and participants to life. Through this focus on theories, methods and impact we seek to develop our own reflective practice as researchers and engage with the wider academic community within Sheffield Hallam University and beyond. Current topics of interest include:

  • systems thinking and complexity
  • institutional change and governance
  • evaluation methods
  • policy formulation and implementation
  • cross-cutting issues impacting on policy and place
  • the civic impact of universities

Recent publications

Related staff

Nadia Bashir 204773

Nadia Bashir

Research Fellow

Nadia Bashir's profile
Julian Dobson

Julian Dobson

Senior Research Fellow

Julian Dobson's profile
Ian Wilson 123768

Ian Wilson

CRESR Deputy Director

Ian Wilson's profile
Sarah Pearson 114600

Sarah Pearson

Professor of Social Research

Sarah Pearson's profile

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Contact CRESR to discuss working with us, doctoral research and more

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