UCL plans new department at the interface between STEM and policy

22 January 2013

UCL porticoUCL is opening a new department focused on the interface between science, technology, engineering, maths (STEM) and policy, as well as an associated interdisciplinary research institute, in September 2013.The decision to open this new department reflects UCL’s recognition of the importance of the relationship between STEM expertise and policy at a world-leading multi-disciplinary university. Major investment in a new UCL department will provide a home for existing engagement with policy across the university, as well as presenting an opportunity for significant expansion in this area.

As London’s global university, with established excellence in physical, life and engineering sciences, as well as world-class economics and political science departments, UCL is the ideal setting for a new centre of STEM and policy.

As the UK is already recognised as an international leader on the interface between science and policy, one priority for the new department will be to expand the impact of the UK’s expertise and research to a global audience.

Professor Anthony Finkelstein, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, where the new department will be based, said:

“Science, engineering and technology have never been more central to the work of governments, business or civil society. An important role for universities is to enhance the capacity of STEM expertise and research to engage with policy communities. There is a particular opportunity to educate the next cadre of policymakers, scientists, engineers and technologists, both within the UK and globally.”

He added: “There is, we believe, an overwhelming case for UCL to develop a department around the interface of STEM and policy. It clearly aligns with UCL’s ‘change the world’ approach of engagement and focus on the societal benefits of research; it extends our ability to tackle ‘Grand Challenges’ that have a strong policy dimension; and it fills in a gap between our science and engineering research base and research in the social sciences, notably political science and economics.

“Our location, close to the seats of government, the media and the judiciary gives UCL a unique opportunity to engage policy. The truly multidisciplinary nature of the university means we are well placed to do that in fields related to science, engineering, technology and the built environment.”

UCL will be opening a search for talent with a view to immediate recruitment in the fields of science, technology and engineering policy and welcomes discussions with innovative researchers, inspired teachers and influential policy experts who share our vision.

The department is expected to develop rapidly, allowing UCL to support individuals and groups with significant activity in the area, and we welcome the opportunity for informal discussions.

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