The RSE’s reputation for trustworthy policy advice is thanks to its multidisciplinary Fellowship. In partnership with the RSE Policy team, Fellows regularly come together to discuss live and emerging policy issues to grow our catalogue of resources for both decision-makers and the public. Our engagement is twofold – responding to current developments as well as proactively shaping the national policy agenda.

We regularly respond to government consultations and calls for evidence at the Scottish and UK level. We engage directly with parliamentary committees and regularly submit briefings to elected officials. The RSE is also regularly provide oral evidence for governmental and parliamentary committees’ inquiries at the Scottish and UK level.

Fellows can also propose projects and inquiries into issues of contemporary importance to Scotland, such as the Constitutional Futures initiative or the inquiry into public support for tree planting and forestry. Through these activities, the RSE provides neutral ground to unpack complex policy challenges and develop evidence-based recommendations for the benefit of wider society.

There are also standing committees on education and economy and enterprise, as well as newly founded communities of interest on the environment and health and well-being. While committees have been operating for a while now, the communities of interest initiatives are in the early stages of development and there is scope for interested fellows to join these projects at a stage where their remit and objectives are defined.

Guided by RSE’s commitment to impartiality, the RSE regularly organises fringe events at all Scottish party conferences throughout the year, facilitating diverse discussions on a specific topic.

Fellows have the opportunity to contribute to a wide range of policy-focused activities, such as sharing their expertise for written expert advice (e.g. policy advice papers, reports or briefings) or contributing to events (including discussion panels, roundtables and workshops). There are also opportunities for chairing working groups on specific topics to facilitate the provision of expert advice, or preparing public-facing outputs (e.g. blogs, articles, podcasts, talking heads).

How Fellows can get involved with policy advice

Short-term opportunities:

  • Contribute to advice papers and other working groups
  • Provide oral evidence to parliamentary committees when invited
  • Participate in policy-related discussions and events
  • Identify new or evolving issues and topics to which the RSE could add value through expert advice

Longer-term opportunities:

  • Contribute to inquiries and longer-term areas of work
  • Expand and strengthen the RSE’s relationships with academia, business, and other sectors
  • Join a standing RSE committee or community of interest

Explore RSE policy advice work

The RSE provides independent and authoritative evidence to help inform public policy decisions and legislation. Using the wide-ranging expertise of our Fellowship, we provide advice across important national and global issues.
The RSE responds to an inquiry looking at the role of trusted voices in combating the spread of misinformation.
The RSE applauds the Scottish Government’s ambition to have an energy system that provides maximum community and economic benefits, leaving no one behind.
The RSE’s response to the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.
An impartial and expert reflection on Scotland’s constitutional options and how these have been reshaped by Brexit and Covid.
An inquiry into the current public support, financial and otherwise, for tree planting and forestry in Scotland