UK project leads

IPPO Across the UK Nations

Core Team

The International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO) is being led by UCL’s Department of Science, Technology Engineering and Public Policy. STEaPP was founded in the recognition that science, technology and engineering expertise are vital to tackling today’s most pressing global challenges. It collaborates closely with external decision-makers to ensure it is asking relevant questions and addressing real needs through its education and research programmes.

IPPO is a £2 million, two-year collaboration funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to build bridges between policy and research as it seeks to mitigate the biggest social impacts of COVID-19 and accelerate the UK’s recovery from the pandemic. Professor Joanna Chataway, STEaPP’s Head of Department, is IPPO’s Principal Investigator, working with co-investigators Sir Geoff Mulgan and Sarah Chaytor, Director of Research Strategy & Policy, UCL.


The College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow is one of the largest groupings of researchers working on public policy in the UK. Spread across five schools – Adam Smith Business School, The School of Education, The School of Interdisciplinary StudiesThe School of Law and the School of Social and Political Sciences  – they draw upon expertise across a range of areas including sustainability, digital transformations, social policy, urban governance & housing, civil justice, disabilities, mental health, the economy, and health & wellbeing. The University has close links with local, national and international policymakers and works with many academic partners on collaborative projects to help bring evidence and research to inform policymaking.

Graeme Roy is the Dean of External Engagement in the College of Social Sciences and Deputy Head of College. He is working with local stakeholders – including from other universities – to ensure that the distinctive nature of devolution in Scotland, and the policy challenges and opportunities, are reflected in the work of IPPO. As a former Senior Civil Servant he understands the benefits (but also the challenges) of developing policy, particularly in uncertain and challenging times. Graeme is also Chair of the Scottish Fiscal Commission, Scotland’s official independent economic and fiscal forecaster.

Northern Ireland

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) will lead work to connect policymakers in Northern Ireland with the IPPO’s analysis and resources, including gathering information about Northern Ireland’s evidence needs. We will engage with public servants and other stakeholders to advance the work of the IPPO and make sure the benefits are maximised across Northern Ireland.

The project lead, Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh, is Professor of Politics and Public Policy at QUB. He will work with local stakeholders to ensure the distinctive policy challenges they face from the effects of COVID-19 in Northern Ireland are reflected in the work of IPPO, and that the Observatory’s outputs are disseminated as effectively as possible across the public service.


The Wales Centre for Public Policy at Cardiff University generates rigorous, relevant, and timely evidence that supports policy makers to tackle key economic, environmental, and societal challenges – including climate change, poverty, and post-Covid recovery. It works closely with Welsh Government Ministers, the civil service, and public service leaders to ensure that they can engage fully with IPPO’s workstreams. The Centre is a member of the UK’s What Works Network and provides IPPO with strong links to the What Works Centres and other policy experts from across the UK and internationally.

Dan Bristow is Director of Policy and Practice at the Wales Centre for Public Policy and has played a leading role in establishing its an award-winning, demand-led approach to mobilising evidence. Amanda Hill-Dixon is Senior Research Fellow in the Centre and leads its work on poverty and inequalities. Helen Tilly is Senior Research Fellow in the Centre and leads its work on the Economy, Decarbonisation and Skills. 

Steve Martin is Director of the Centre. He is a Professor of Public Policy & Management at Cardiff Business School and has been a member of the What Works Council since 2015.