Open yourself up to the speed dating experience and you might find your soul mate, a great new friend or a few acquaintances you’d like to get to know better.
What’s more, the event itself is sure to be a fun night out, so what have you got to lose?
Generally arts and humanities research receives less public funding than other areas.
For example, the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s budget is £98 million in 2015-16 but many researchers participate in projects with scientists, engineers, medical researchers and other academics.
Some people wanted more time to have the initial pairing conversations – especially once they had found someone they wanted to talk to, but that did not always apply.
One civil servant commented, “Some of the research was very niche and it was difficult to extract lessons for policy which is very broad.” Further the amount of information people had to absorb in a short space of time was challenging, but some participants thought a two-hour session like this gave them an overview of material they would not be able to access so easily otherwise.
The academics wanted to understand more about how the civil servants do their work.What next This event demonstrated that arts and humanities research is relevant to policy officials working on complex questions such as relating to community, participation and engagement, both in terms of research findings and methods.After this successful attempt to connect arts and humanities researchers with policy makers, we will now organise other such events using the speed-dating format and other methods and explore other policy challenges.After facilitating the event, we followed up by providing one-page summaries about people’s research and policy areas and exchanged contact details so participants could follow up.What participants got out of it All the participants were positive about the experience of being in the event and its value.