How can Humanities researchers engage with Parliament?

arlene and gemma open masterclass

How can Humanities researchers engage with Parliament?

A masterclass led by Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson, Humanities Division Policy Leader

On 24th June, British Academy Innovation Fellow Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson led a masterclass for colleagues across the university on how researchers can share their evidence and expertise with Parliament. She talked about her experience of working with the Oracy All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) as an expert advisor on their Speak for Change Inquiry. Dr Holmes-Henderson was joined by Gemma Carroll, Clerk to the Oracy APPG on behalf of its Secretariat Voice21, the national oracy education charity. Together they shared how to develop and maintain fruitful collaborations between researchers and parliamentarians.

All-Party Parliamentary Groups are cross-party groups formed by MPs and Members of the House of Lords who share a common interest in a particular policy area, region or country. While APPGs are not official parliamentary committees, they can significantly influence public policy because of their non-partisan, bicameral approach to an issue. With APPGs for everything from Albania to Zimbabwe, Blockchain to Youth Employment, researchers from every discipline should know to look out for, and take up, opportunities to collaborate with these policy partners.

One participant said, ‘This has been the best policy engagement event I’ve ever attended. The focus on practicalities has shown me how I can share my research effectively with parliamentarians. It has been so refreshing and I feel inspired!’

This event was one in a series of masterclasses designed with Humanities researchers in mind, and was part of the Oxford Policy Engagement Network’s (OPEN) programme 'Engaging with Public Policy: an introduction for Humanities researchers'. Arlene’s masterclass was also the finale event of OPEN's inaugural Showcase week. To find out more about the OPEN Showcase, please visit:

You can keep up to date with Arlene’s policy engagement activities via Twitter and Linkedin at @drarlenehh