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The Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Policy Initiative

The unique insights of Arts and Humanities scholars into the nature of lived experience, the momentum of public culture, the templates of history or the determining effects of language, discourse and representation are essential to the evolution of informed and responsible policy decisions. The Trinity Long Room Hub is committed to bringing research from the Arts and Humanities into a dynamic knowledge exchange with public policy. In representing over twenty diverse disciplines and several interdisciplinary collaborations, we are perfectly positioned to connect advanced scholarship with real-world issues.

The statement of strategy for the newly created Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science aims to support a highly collaborative research eco-system, one which is:

(Goal 2: Innovation – promote research, knowledge and innovation) Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Statement of Strategy 2021-2023 .

Arts and Humanities research offers a necessary and distinctive contribution to policy formation across local, national and international landscapes. The Trinity Long Room Hub Policy Initiative seeks to support Arts Humanities engagement in the policy sphere. It aims first, to develop expertise in the communication skills required for evidence-based policy engagement, and second, to highlight the potential and relevance of the Arts and Humanities to professional policy-making bodies.

The first TLRH ‘Arts Humanities and Policy Round Table’ took place on 8 December 2020 and the team has designed a suite of competency-building Policy Workshops ‘Bridging the Gap’, which commenced in February 2021. Future events will include Arts Humanities Policy Seminars, panel discussions between researchers and policy professionals on policy-related topics.

TLRH Arts Humanities Policy Position Paper

A position paper emerging from the findings of the Policy Initiative 2020-1 is available: Eve Patten, Caoimhe Whelan, Caitriona Curtis, ‘Policy and the Arts & Humanities in Ireland: A Position Paper by the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute’ (2021), 1-11.

Abstract: Academic researchers are coming under increasing pressure to engage with the policy arena. This position paper emerges from discussions and debate on this topic in a roundtable and series of workshops in 2020-21 organised by the Trinity Long Room Hub, the Arts and Humanities Research Institute of Trinity College Dublin. It addresses the positioning of the Arts and Humanities in the policy sphere and reflects on the outcomes of discussions relating to the experience, opportunities and challenges of collaborative research for policy.

Arts Humanities Policy Events

TLRH Policy Workshops ‘Bridging the Gap: Arts Humanities Policy Workshops’, 2021

Policy Workshop 1: Understanding the Arts and Humanities Policy Arena

Tuesday 23 February, 2021 | 13:00-14:00
Workshop 1 of 3

• Introduction to Workshop Series: Professor Eve Patten, Director, Trinity Long Room Hub
• National Policy Landscape and the Arts and Humanities Community: Mary Doyle, Public Policy Fellow, Trinity Long Room Hub and retired senior civil servant
• The Importance of the AH Voice: Professor Lorraine Leeson, Centre for Deaf Studies and TCD Associate Dean of Research.

This first workshop in a three-workshop series will introduce the AH policy arena and will map the local and national policy landscape. After participation in this workshop, we expect that participants will be able to understand the importance of the AH researcher in policy making; better understand local and national policy landscapes; and identify engagement and knowledge mobilization opportunities for AH researchers within the policy arena.

Policy Workshop 2: Embedding the Arts and Humanities in the Policy Arena

Tuesday 23 March, 2021 | 13:00-14:00
Workshop 2 of 3

• Professor Eve Patten, Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub
• Research-Policy Interface: Professor Chris Morash, School of English, Trinity College Dublin
• Analysis of Arts Policy: Dr Ruth Barton, Film Studies, Trinity College Dublin

This workshop will focus on different skillsets needed for researchers to interact with government. It will highlight how to identify opportunities for appropriate engagement, when one should engage with policymakers, how to change public discourse and influence policymakers, and understand the differences between the academia and policy cultures. Using key AH examples, it will highlight the skill set needed and identify underlying structures to promote embedding the AH research in the policy arena. Through this workshop, participants will be exposed to AH examples of the research-policy interface and understand the ethos that moves the policy arena.

Policy Workshop 3: Communication for Policy Engagement

Tuesday 20 April 2021 | 13:00-14:00
Workshop 3 of 3

• Professor Eve Patten, Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub
• TCD Research Policy Environment: Sarah Bowman, Director of Strategic Engagement and Impact Assessment, Office of the Dean of Research TCD
• How to communicate with Policy Makers: Dr Kate Smyth, Trinity Research and Innovation, Consultancy Development AHSS, TCD
• How to write an AH Policy Brief: Dr Doireann Wallace, Project Manager, SHAPE-ID, TLRH

This workshop will help hone AH researcher’s communication skills. After participation in this workshop, we expect that participants will be able to better able to identify how to communicate their message to policy makers and other non-academic stakeholders.

In advance of the workshop Dr Kate Smyth spoke to the Trinity Long Room Hub about Trinity’s newly-established consultancy office in Trinity Research and Innovation, her background in English studies and fiction, and how researchers can benefit from CONSULT Trinity. You can read her interview here.

Report on the Arts Humanities and Policy: A Roundtable Discussion, 8 December 2020

This first event in the TLRH Arts Humanities Policy Initiative examined how Arts Humanities voices are relevant in the research-policy space. The purpose was to begin to develop a vision of how Arts Humanities disciplines can be brought into a more productive relationship with governmental and legislative policy initiatives, and what incentives within academia, funding bodies and policy arenas can help facilitate, support and develop this research-policy collaboration and potential for impactful change.

Professor Eve Patten, Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub, chaired the discussion with our invited panel: Ellen Hazelkorn, professor emeritus TUD; Eunan O’Halpin, professor emeritus TCD; Mary Doyle, former Deputy Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills, and the presentations were followed by an interactive question and answer session.

• Professor Hazelkorn spoke about the ‘public value’ of the Arts and Humanities, its potential to create a ripple effect across society, and how academia must consider how excellence, productivity and academic research is valued and measured, and may necessitate new metrics.

• Professor O’Halpin argued that we must reflect on the way things are done and how we want them to look into the future with regard to institutional support and career development, but also to ensure individual policy engagement does not become overtly bureaucratic or compulsory.

• Mary Doyle spoke about the importance of knowledge management and dialogue between academia and policy makers. She highlighted the importance of thinking about how knowledge is presented internally and externally, and the need to consider the process by which these networks of knowledge are translated.

Relevant Links

Please follow the links below for related research in this area, including the pioneering Hub-led SHAPE-ID webinar, ‘Interdisciplinarity in Times of Crisis’ and recent articles by the TLRH Public Policy Fellows.

• First SHAPE-ID Webinar | Interdisciplinarity in Times of Crisis: Why the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Matter Watch here .

• Second SHAPE-ID Webinar | Pathways to Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences integration: a policymaker’s perspective on bridging the research-policy gap Watch here .

• 'Conflict and Change: A Conversation with Rory Montgomery and Jonathan Powell' Listen here .

• 'Pathways to Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences integration: a policymaker’s perspective on bridging the research-policy gap' Mary Doyle, Public Policy Fellow, TLRH Read here .

• 'Solidarity in a Time of Crisis The EU and the Pandemic' Rory Montgomery, Public Policy Fellow, TLRH Read here .

• 'Johnson will probably cut a deal on the protocol – but Ireland must be wary'. Recent article in the Irish Times by Rory Montgomery, Public Policy Fellow, TLRH Read here.

Other related events: RIA and IRC webinar series ‘Research for Public Policy’, 2021

This series is built around the discussion paper on the background and context of this topic by Mary Doyle (Public Policy Fellow, TLRH), ‘Research for Public Policy and Society: Building a Stronger Architecture for Ireland’ available here .

Workshop 1, ‘Research for Public Policy: Opportunities for Ireland’, 27 January 2021 Participants: Mary Doyle, Simon Harris (Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science), Jane Grimson (MRIA, former Chair of HRB), and Professor Peter Clinch (Chair of SFI). Chair: Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, TCD.

Workshop 2, ‘Research for Public Policy: Developing the Architecture for Dialogue’, 10 February 2021 Participants: Mary Doyle, Orla Nugent, Deputy CEO, HEA. Chair: Orla Feely, MRIA, VP Research, Innovation and Impact at UCD.

Workshop 3, ‘Research for Public Policy: The Vital Role of Leadership to Make It Happen’, 24 February 2021 This seminar focuses on how the learnings, recommendations and suggestions from previous sessions can be implemented so that we can 'make it happen'. Participants: Jim Breslin, Secretary General of DFHERIS, Lisa Keating, IUA, Joseph Ryan, CEO of THEA. Chair: Patricia Reilly, DAFM.

The entire series can now be watched here .

For further information on the Arts Humanities Policy Initiative,
please contact Dr Caoimhe Whelan, Research Fellow, Trinity Long Room Hub


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