A new fellowship develops dialogue between government and academia

Leslie Evans and Chris Wormald

The Blavatnik School of Government is delighted to announce a new Fellowship programme aimed at strengthening the links between policymakers and public policy researchers.

The Permanent Secretary Fellowships establish a relationship between a current Permanent Secretary – the most senior civil servant of a government ministry in the UK – and the Blavatnik School. The inaugural Fellows for 2018 are Leslie Evans, Permanent Secretary of the Scottish Government, and Sir Chris Wormald, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Care.

These civil service leaders will use the Fellowship as an opportunity to reflect upon a policy or operational challenge facing their department, supported by interaction with the scholars and practitioners within the Blavatnik School’s global community and the wider Oxford academic community.

Designed to be open and flexible, the programme’s structure will be shaped around each Fellow’s areas of work, priorities and availability. It could include workshops and discussions on key aspects of their work. The Fellows will also enrich the life of the School, stimulating debate over pressing current challenges with faculty and students.

Calum Miller, Chief Operating Officer and Associate Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government, said: “We are honoured to welcome Leslie Evans and Sir Chris Wormald, two of the top UK civil servants, to the Blavatnik School for this new, effective initiative. I hope the Permanent Secretaries will capitalise on the School’s academics and gain useful new insights and knowledge to take back to their departments. Their experience of today’s policy challenges will inform our research and strengthen our teaching. ”

The Permanent Secretary Fellowships at the Blavatnik School were created thanks to philanthropic support from The Beecroft Trust – up to three fellows can be appointed each academic year.