A central strand of our public affairs strategy is the promotion of research expertise and outcomes to enable evidence-based policy formulation or implementation. The University's Public Affairs Team facilitate interactions with elected members of national and local governments (Scotland, UK, Europe), and senior policymakers within those governments. At a local level, the team supports relations with the local authorities and community.

Key points of the strategy for policy and political engagement include:

  • Communicating with policymakers and influencers at Holyrood and Westminster and elsewhere
  • Keeping up to date with parliamentary and government activities at a devolved, UK and European level, from debating chamber through to the various committees and groups
  • Providing advice and training for staff seeking to engage with policy and policymakers

Key points of the action plan include:

  • Monthly parliamentary monitoring report for University staff available here
  • Monthly news bulletin for parliamentarians and their teams in the North East of Scotland.
  • Range of meetings and events to raise the profile of University in Edinburgh, Brussels and London.
  • Range of meetings and events on University campus to facilitate engagement between parliamentarians, academics and local communities.
  • CPD events for staff and students in conjunction with our Researcher Development Unit

The Public Affairs Team comprises of Dr Sue Bird and Godfrey Brown - read more about them below.

Dr Sue Bird

Communications Manager, Public Affairs (Corporate Communications) and Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.

With a background in nutrition research, Sue has over 20 years experience of science communication and stakeholder engagement. She has been responsible for managing the knowledge exchange programme for the Scottish-Government-funded research at the University’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health since 2001. She is also involved in the dissemination work-packages of two major EU FP7-funded projects.  Sue has wide-ranging experience and understanding of communicating with audiences including politicians and policy makers; health professionals; industry; media; sectors of the public and schools.  In 2012 Sue took the lead, in partnership with Godfrey Brown, for the establishment of the University’s first strategy for policy and political engagement.

Godfrey Brown

Public Affairs Officer, Public Affairs (Corporate Communications)

Prior to joining University administration in 1989, Godfrey Brown’s academic research interests were in visual and corporate identity and design education. With the exception of three years as a Development Officer within the University’s fundraising arm, Godfrey’s role has been in public relations. As Public Relations Officer, he had ‘full-spectrum’ experience of media relations, event management, design and publications’ issues. Latterly he supported political and community engagement. In 2012 he combined expertise with Dr Sue Bird to create a strategy for political engagement and stewardship.