The Policy Institute

The Policy Institute at King’s College London combines the rigour of academia with the agility of a consultancy and the connectedness of a think tank.

The Policy Institute logo

One of the ways in which the gap between evidence and policymaking can be narrowed is through policy labs. Policy labs are collaborative sessions that bring together research, policy, practitioner and service user expertise to assess the evidence, understand barriers and constraints to change and use this understanding to inform policy options that can help improve outcomes.

All policy labs seek to draw out a wide range of perspectives and views to ensure that options and ideas are challenged and deliberated.

We have been partnering with the MHJ project to run policy labs on the future of Mental Health and Capacity Law and Policy. These labs have engaged the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act chaired by Professor Sir Simon Wessely in England and Wales and the Review of Mental Health Law in Scotland chaired by John Scott QC.

Please see our reports on the future of the Mental Health Act and Advance Decision Making.

The Policy Institute collaborators

Benedict Wilkinson

Benedict Wilkinson

Director of research

Dr Benedict Wilkinson is Director of Research in the Policy Institute at King’s College London. He has conducted extensive research across numerous areas of public policy, with a particular focus on defence, security and foreign policy. He is highly experienced in translating research and evidence into policy impact, and has overseen the ESRC’s Impact Acceleration Account at King’s College London since 2016.

Alexandra Pollitt

Alexandra Pollitt

Associate director

Alexandra is Associate Director at the Policy Institute. She works on a wide range of topics, but her main focus is science policy. Her recent work includes a series of studies estimating the economic returns of biomedical research, a study mapping the global mental health research funding landscape and a scientometric evaluation of the European Research Council’s portfolio. She has carried out extensive work on the societal impact of research, including a comparison of the relative value researchers and the public place on different kinds of impact.

Lucy Strang

Lucy Strang

Research associate

Lucy Strang is a Research Associate at the Policy Institute. She is a qualitative researcher who focuses on public health, drug policy and criminal justice issues. Her current research includes a programme of work on the mental health of London’s workforce; developing a 10 year strategy for mental health and justice policy; approaches to treatment for opioid use disorder; and projects focusing on values and identity in policymaking. She is also a Visiting Researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s.