I completed a six-month, ESRC supported placement at the Home Office, specifically in the Migration and Border Analysis Unit of Home Office Science in Westminster, London. The placement gave me a unique opportunity to see how social science research is used in a public policy context.
During my time there I co-authored several Government research reports, including the UK Annual Policy Report 2012 and a study on Reception Conditions for Asylum Seekers. Additionally, I joined several delegations to European Union meetings in Brussels, gave a Home Office presentation to a conference hosted by the Swedish Government and organised two well attended research conferences at the British Library, one on identification procedures for victims of human trafficking and the other on highly-skilled labour migration. It was a very enjoyable experience, made more so by the welcoming and highly talented team of researchers that I worked with. Most usefully, the placement gave me an inside view on a non-academic, and very different, career path for social scientists. It was insightful to see first-hand an ‘applied’ form of social science that had to forever keep pace with the fast changing public policy environment.
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