The question of the academic value of delivering scientific evidence and advice to the Scottish Government was a key reason for gathering the CXC Post-Doctoral Research Fellows – our only full-time research staff – to a recent networking day. On the agenda was a visit from our Scottish Government customer, a presentation of the importance of research impact for future funding and a workshop on how to write better for a non-scientific audience. It was a packed day.

Making better use of publicly funded research in policy development, and a frustration with the silos within which policy development and research operated, were key reasons to establish ClimateXChange in 2011.

At the core of everything we do is academically robust and brilliant science – new knowledge co-produced with policy makers at the relevant time, in an accessible format and with expert judgement and recommendations within a practical policy context. Sometimes for maximum impact we need to be able to distil years of academic research to as little as three bullet points. This is a skill in itself.

During the time CXC has been operating we saw the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 introduced, placing a monetary value on demonstrating impact both in terms of reach and significance. We know that CXC projects do this as a matter of course.

But it is not about laying more data or academic papers in front of policy makers. We have had a relentless focus on delivering a research and analysis service that meets the needs of the end user – the policy teams and public agencies – to demonstrate the value of embedding academic analysis in their work, and on building a network of researchers willing and interested in engaging with policy.

Read more about how we do it in our recent report The ClimateXChange Centre of Expertise – A knowledge exchange model for research, policy and practice