Legal researchers might be interested in the following fellowship opportunity at UK Parliament…
The UK Parliament is currently piloting an academic fellowship scheme that offers academic researchers, from different subject areas and at every stage of their career, the opportunity to work on specific projects from inside Westminster’s walls.
We are now in the second phase of this scheme. This involves an ‘Open call’ which offers academics the opportunity to come and work in Parliament on a project of their own choosing, as long as they can demonstrate that it is relevant, and will contribute, to the work of Parliament.
One area of interest to Parliament is the impact of Parliament on legislation. We are interested in working with academics with knowledge and/or experience in identifying, tracking and assessing impact to help us to understand better, and identify empirically, the influence of MPs and Peers’ scrutiny on legislation.
As a bill passes through parliament, MPs and Peers examine the proposals contained within it at both a general (debating the general principles and themes of the Bill) and detailed level (examining the specific proposals put forward in the bill, line-by-line). More information about the different stages in the passing of a bill is provided on the parliamentary website. In so doing, MPs and Peers debate the key principles and main purpose/s of a bill and flag up any concerns or specific areas where they think amendments (changes) are needed.
We are interested in developing a series of case studies that examine how Peers’ scrutiny of legislation has shaped the focus, content or tone of legislation as it becomes an Act (given Royal Assent). This can include:
- Direct influence, for example an amendment tabled by a Peer is successful and is agreed to by the government and incorporated directly into the bill.
- Indirect influence, for instance when an amendment tabled by a Peer is not successful but the substance of it is subsequently introduced by the government itself (and when the role of the Peer that tabled it in the first instance is not acknowledged).
We envisage that the case studies will look at a government bill scrutinized by the House of Lords and trace the outcome/s of amendments tabled and debated at each stage of the bill’s scrutiny.
The choice of bills to focus on will be decided in conjunction with the academic. This will require the Fellow to:
- understand the intentions of the amendments tabled
- understand how the amendment related to, and interacted with the bill as drafted
- produce an explanation of the outcome in each case
- draft a concise written account of the House’s impact on the bill.
The Scheme is open to academics (researchers with PhDs) employed at any of the 33 universities holding Impact Acceleration Award funding from either the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) or the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). There are opportunities for flexible working including both part-time and remote working.
The deadline for submitting an expression of interest to the Scheme is midnight on 4th September 2017.
For more information about the Academic Fellowship Scheme see: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/offices/bicameral/post/fellowships/parliamentary-academic-fellowship-scheme/
If you would like to know more about this opportunity, please get in touch with Dr Caroline Kenny (firstname.lastname@example.org), at The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.