Working with policy-makers

EPIC works closely with policy-makers in the Animal Health and Welfare Division at Scottish Government to coordinate and communicate timely, robust policy-relevant and highly impactful scientific research. EPIC scientists meet regularly with policy teams, hold joint workshops and attend relevant stakeholder meetings and exercises.

EPIC has maintained a presence at meetings of the Scottish Government's general stakeholder group. Such interactions with policy-makers and industry stakeholders provide benefits in increasing the profile and reputation of EPIC with the Scottish livestock industry. This forum provides opportunities for EPIC to identify upcoming important issues and review research priorities.

EPIC scientists have been included in workshops and training days for colleagues in the Animal and Plant Health Agency and the National Epidemiology Emergency Group. This has provided opportunities to gain further training in applied outbreak epidemiology. EPIC scientists and government epidemiologists have been able to share expertise and experience, and to better understand each other's roles in a disease outbreak emergency. The insight gained by this training has helped EPIC to further develop its strategy of how to provide the best advice and epidemiological support to Scottish Government in a disease outbreak emergency.

Standing and working together as scientists, policy-makers and stakeholders, we capitalise on our shared knowledge and expertise and ensure that decisions for local action are based on robust evidence which is fundamental to improving further the resilience of our livestock industries.

Scottish Government Chief Veterinary Officer, 2014

Policy Impact

EPIC scientists have produced a great number of highly impactful policy-relevant publications. These include contributions to policy on Foot and Mouth Disease, Bluetongue virus, Bovine Tuberculosis, Avian Influenza, Bovine Viral Diarrhoea, Sheep Scab and others. EPIC scientists contribute to public consultations and are involved in national expert groups. 

Knowledge Brokers

Knowledge brokers connect people to share and exchange information. They are fluent in the language of both scientists and policy-makers and help scientists avoid 'solving the wrong problem'.

EPIC scientists are embedded at Scottish Government Animal Health and Welfare Division and meet regularly with policy-makers to discuss and refine ongoing scientific work and to coordinate EPIC's response to any emerging policy issues. EPIC's knowledge brokering activities have promoted greater inclusiveness and proximity of EPIC scientists to policy-makers and have made it possible to inform specific policy questions that arise at different stages of an outbreak.

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