Sheffield Hallam launches national policy institute

20th June 2016

Sheffield Hallam University has launched a new research institute to help inform and shape policy at both a local and national level - the Sheffield Institute of Policy Studies (SIPS).

SIPS has been developed to showcase the policy research undertaken across the University and provide access to leading academics and policy researchers. The launch event, which was attended by 250 people, included a keynote lecture from Guardian columnist and social affairs commentator Polly Toynbee at the University's Heart of the Campus site. Policy areas covered by SIPS include housing, the impact of welfare reform, labour markets, regeneration, the voluntary and community sector, social justice and human rights, criminal justice, migration, public health, and education. SIPS will also encourage multi-disciplinary policy studies research with attention on key issues such as austerity, migration, devolution, public sector transformation, and young people. At the launch, Polly Toynbee said: "We have to hope government policy is shaped by practical research. The Government needs to know it is spending money well and, quite simply, needs to know what works. Institutions such as Sheffield Hallam University - and the research they produce - are absolutely essential for making good government policy." SIPS draws on expertise from research centres and departments across the University including: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research Centre for Education and Inclusion Research Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice Centre for Health and Social Care Research Sport Industry Research Centre Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics Cultural, Communication and Computing Research Centre Hallam Centre for Community Justice. Professor Peter Wells, co-director for SIPS, said: "We recognise that solutions to the great economic, social and environmental challenges facing policy makers today cannot be addressed adequately by single academic disciplines, without full engagement of policy communities, nor without the involvement of the public. "With this in mind we have created a space for innovative, inter-disciplinary working and capacity building that will extend its reach beyond the University to engage with a dynamic and expanding group of stakeholders." A series of seminars which will explore key policy issues was also unveiled as part of the launch event. This year's programme focuses on: devolution and the North (5 October 2016); resilience (8 February 2017) and citizenship (April 2017). For more information please visit https://www.shu.ac.uk/sips.

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