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Tools for Academic Engagement in Public Policy

Many scientists and engineers seek to engage with policymakers and there is a clear need for them to do so. However, very few receive the training necessary to effectively impact public policy. This online module will provide an introduction to the policymaking process and practical tips for engaging with the policy community.

Tools for Academic Engagement in Public Policy

There is one session available:

7,179 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archivedOpens in a new tab.
Starts Jan 21
Ends May 26
Estimated 3 weeks
1–3 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
Optional upgrade available

About this course

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As public policies become increasingly complex and technical in nature there is a clear need for scientifically informed solutions to major public policy challenges. However, most researchers do not have the training to effectively engage with policymakers.

This short course will provide an essential introduction to the policymaking process through the lens of the U.S. federal government, while providing specific steps researchers can take to engage policy stakeholders and articulate the policy implications of their work. Specifically, it will focus on:

  • Understanding the complex public policy ecosystem, its many stakeholders, and the role research and evidence play in the creation of public policy,
  • Strategies for informing the policymaking community with research results,
  • Developing a pitch for policy audiences, and
  • The importance of building two-way dialogues with policymakers

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English

What you'll learn

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  • Basic understanding of policymaking and policy stakeholders
  • How to identify and prioritize policy stakeholders
  • Practical skills to enage with policymakers

Section I: Overview

  1. Introduction to the course
  2. Ten mistakes scholars make when engaging with policymakers

Section II: The Policy Community

  1. The public policy ecosystem
  2. The Executive Branch
  3. Congress
  4. Congressional 'Asks'
  5. Other Policy Stakeholders

Section III: Strategies for Engagement

  1. Identifying and Prioritizing Stakeholders
  2. Assessing Policy Windows

Section IV: Tactics

  1. Developing a Pitch
  2. Building Relationships with Policymakers
  3. Interview with Professor Lydia Bourouiba

Section V: The Policy Lab

  1. The Policy Lab at the Center for International Studies: A model for enhancing academic engagement in public policy

About the instructors

More about this course

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No material is needed to prepare for the course. Related readings and external material will be provided within the course.

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

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