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AuthorAID's Research Communication for Policy Engagement Self-Study Course

By Maisie Northing | Feb. 29, 2024  | Online courses

Did you know, that apart from Massive Open Online Courses, AuthorAID also provides a variety of free self-study courses on the learn@inasp platform? ‘Self-study’ means you can undertake the course at your own pace, study at the times you want to, and that the course is not facilitated. This enables you to fit your learning around your schedule. You can enrol in any our self-study courses at any time.

Today we introduce you to AuthorAID’s Research Communication for Policy Engagement Self-Study Course.

This course is for anyone involved in science and research who is new to using research to engage with policy and practice. The course has been designed for researchers who may face significant challenges at the research/policy interface, including early-career researchers, women researchers, and those based at institutions that are less prominent or not located near the centres of government.

AuthorAID graphic - red background and all text in white. The AuthorAID logo is at the bottom, and a white straight border surrounds all the text. The text reads 'Did you know that AuthorAID has lots of self study course? Enrol in our Research Communication for Policy Engagement course now! Learn how to develop communication tools for your research and use tools to influence policy' Are you…

  • someone who is a researcher or practitioner, who would like to know more about positioning research to inform policy practice?
  • someone who simply would like to learn more about the interface between evidence, policy, and practice?
  • someone who works at a university, NGO, government agency, media outlet, think tank, community group, or in the private or public sector?
  • someone who works alone or in a team, irrespective of the type of institution you work in. 

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, our Research Communication for Policy Engagement course is for you!

Read on for key information about the course. We hope to see you enrol soon!


What is the course about?

We have developed this online course to address the challenges and questions posed when engaging with policy and practice. This course introduces some of the key approaches and tools used in contributing to policy. It will help you think about how to best use research to contribute towards policy and create change. 

Key exciting aspects of the course:

  • Real-world experiences of people from across our networks who are working to engage with policy in their countries and regions. These experiences give current insight into the unpredictable, challenging, and changeable landscape of research uptake and policy formation for individuals and organisations.
  • Ideas, principles, and techniques based on systemic thinking, which help you reflect on how research can be shared; how to engage with others who might have opposing views to yours; and how to design spaces for conversation that can move you towards co-creation and solutions.


What are the learning outcomes of the course?

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • Describe the importance of engaging with policy.
  • Reflect on your own opportunities and challenges in this area.
  • Develop a vision for your research in alignment with your context, identifying the associated challenges and opportunities.
  • Create specific and realistic goals to influence policy.
  • Select appropriate tools and strategies for working with stakeholders and collaborators.
  • Develop an effective communications plan for your research.
  • Use appropriate tools and techniques for your research communication (for example, as a policy brief, infographic, or elevator pitch).


What is the estimated time a learner would have to invest in undertaking the course?

Learners on the course should set aside at least 10 hours to complete it. Whilst the course is self-study, and therefore you can undertake it at your own pace, we recommend that you complete the course within three weeks of enrolling. 


What this course is NOT

Learners should understand that this course is NOT:

  • A definitive guide on ‘how to’ engage with policy and practice.
  • A literature review on policy engagement and research uptake—while we have drawn from the extensive literature on this topic, this course is aimed at practical reflection.
  • A ‘one-size fits all’ answer to some of the challenges you may be facing. Instead, the course provides some insights into what others have experienced in situations that may be similar to yours and invites you to learn from them as appropriate.


Example certificate for completing the course. The INASP logo and 'research and knowledge at the heart of development' is at the top right, in blue font. The certificate reads 'Certificate of Completion', next line, blurred out name of completer, 'has met the completion criteria for the self-study tutorial Research Communication for Policy Engagement'. The next line is the date, and below are the 7 learning outcomes, the average study time of 10 hours, and then text that the tutorial is offered by INASP, and how to verify the authenticity of the certificate.

What are the certification criteria?

To complete the course and receive a certificate showing your completion, you need to:

  • go through all the learning resources.
  • pass the check-your-understanding quiz (unlimited attempts are allowed on the quiz).
  • complete the feedback survey.


How do I enrol?

You can enrol - at any time - for the course here: https://learn.inasp.info/course/view.php?id=361#section-0 

If you don’t already have a learn@inasp account, you will need to register and create an account. Once you are logged in, you can enrol in the course. 


Completing the course – ensuring you have fulfilled the completion criteria – will mean you receive an exciting downloadable certificate. You could share it on your LinkedIn - or other social media - profile, and tag @AuthorAID!

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