New database to improve research engagement with policy

We’ve launched a new database of Areas of Research Interest to improve government’s access to external expertise and help the research community better understand policy priorities

The UK government publishes list of policy issues or questions known as ‘Areas of Research Interest’ (ARIs) as a way to share their knowledge and evidence needs with researchers. 

Overton was commissioned to develop a tool that makes these ARIs more accessible and easier to navigate. They brought together all of these questions from across all government departments into one user friendly and searchable format.

The database was developed in collaboration with the Government Office for Science, the Economic and Social Research Council and Transforming Evidence.

Researchers can use the database to search for particular research areas, and find out what government’s priorities in relation to these topics.

Civil servants and policymakers will be able to more easily identify experts and get access to the right people to fill their knowledge gaps. 

Our hope is that the database will increase transparency around these policy questions. We think this will drive engagement between policy-makers and researchers and so help to ensure that policies are grounded in sound evidence

Euan Adie, Overton Director

The database also links the ARI to related UKRI funded research projects, with an explanation of why this work might be applicable and useful in answering the question.

The database is updatable by registered government users only, ensuring that as new ARIs are produced, government officials can upload them and identify relevant research, policy, and experts.

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