Overton Blog

Meet the recipients of Overton's Policy Impact Micro Grant

In September we launched Overton's Policy Impact Micro Grant. Our goal was to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms of policy engagement through research, and so support evidence-based policy making. 

We received many excellent applications, and after a demanding review process are pleased to announce the recipients!

We're incredibly excited to fund the selected projects, and look forward to reading the outputs. The research will be undertaken across the next few months, and will be disseminated here on the blog. In the meantime, find out about the projects and recipients below.

Duber Ignacio Osorio Bustamante and colleagues from the Latin American and Caribbean Evidence Hub received funding for their project "Resonating Voices: Hearing the voices of Evidence Users in LAC region"
Duber Ignacio Osorio Bustamante

Bio: The Latin American and Caribbean Evidence Hub (Hub LAC), an organisation that works to promote cross-national and interdisciplinary collaboration for the institutionalisation of Evidence-Informed Policymaking (EIP) in the Latin American and Caribbean region. 

They work towards the creation a future in which the transparent and systematic use of the best available evidence in decision making is part of the daily life of policymakers and citizens, contributing to the construction of a region with equity, prosperity, diversity and in harmony with nature. 

Sarah Jasim received funding for her project "What ‘skills’ are needed for effective local academic policy engagement?" Sarah Jasim

Bio: Sarah is a Policy Fellow for the London Research and Policy Partnership (LRaPP), embedded within the Strategy Team of the City Intelligence Unit at the Greater London Authority. She is also a Research Fellow in Social Care within the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre at LSE. Through her role she supports CPEC’s partnership in the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North Thames, as a member of the ARC-NT’s Research Partnership Team.

She is a senior mixed methods researcher with previous experience in complex evaluations in mental health, social care and health services. She is particularly interested in structural inequalities and resident/community engagement in accessible and inclusive ways. Sarah has research skills in statistical methods, qualitative research, mixed methods, realist evaluation, participatory action research, co-design/co-production and knowledge brokerage.

Francesca Soldati received funding for her project "The Impact of UKRI funded research on policies"Fra_IMG_9742

Bio: Francesca holds the position of Open Research Advisor at the University of Aberdeen (UK), where she focuses on promoting the responsible use of research metrics and supporting researchers in adopting open research practices to enhance the visibility and transparency of research outputs.

Before joining the Open Research Team at the University of Aberdeen in 2021, Francesca gained a PhD in Conservation Biology and held various roles at the University of Lincoln. Her primary areas of interest include research impact, bibliometrics, and their influence on research culture, as well as the potential of open science to bring about positive transformations within the research community.

Basil Mahfouz received funding for his project "Benchmarking Policy Absorption of SDG Research"1607984876720_photos_v2_faces_x2_colored_toned_light_ai_photos_v2_faces_x2

Bio: Basil is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Public Policy at University College London (UCL). With a BSc in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London, Basil's research critically examines the capacity of governments to leverage the collective intelligence of the scientific community for addressing global challenges. This focus has led to presenting work at prestigious forums, including the Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy (2023), Metascience (2023), and the International Conference on Science, Technology, and Innovation Indicators (2022).

Before embarking on his academic career, Basil co-founded and served as the Director of Research at SynSapien, a platform aimed at applying collective intelligence to environmental challenges. Additionally, he has a background as a strategic communications consultant, where he supported research organizations across the Middle East. This blend of experiences enriches Basil's approach to understanding and enhancing how innovation systems can better incorporate collective scientific wisdom to tackle environmental and societal issues.

Özgür Kadir Özer received funding for his project "Exploring Gender Balance in Citations in Policy Document: A Study of SDG-Related Publications"20240305_125758-1

Bio: Özgür is currently pursuing his PhD in the Science and Technology Policy Studies Program at Middle East Technical University (METU). From 2000 to 2016, he worked at the Ministry of Development of Turkey, where he was involved in developing policies on science, technology, and innovation, as well as funding research infrastructures in universities. He holds a Master of Public Policy from George Washington University. His research interests include science, technology, innovation policy, international research collaborations, and the science of science. He has also contributed to studies on global disparities in science, the global innovation system, managerialism and academic structures, and gender inequalities in science.

Shenmeng Xu received funding for her project “Beyond Borders: The Influence of Language on Global Research-to Policy Interactions”00Profile-sq

Shenmeng is the Librarian for Scholarly Communications at Vanderbilt University, based in the Digital Lab – an innovative unit within Vanderbilt Libraries dedicated to fostering transdisciplinary research, teaching, and learning. Holding a Ph.D. in Information and Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Shenmeng's academic journey fuels her deep interest in scholarly communication, scientometrics, and altmetrics. Some of her research experiences relevant to this project include investigating the communication of research published in English on the Chinese microblog platform Weibo, exploring the Lingua Franca in informal scholarly communication through scientific tweets, and analysing barriers in tracking Wechat mentions of global research.

Alfie Hoar received funding for his project “The Policy Influence of Scientific Petitions During the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Comparison of the Great Barrington Declaration and John Snow Memorandum

Alfie Photo[68]

Bio: Alfie is a researcher interested in how science and society interact, with a special focus on the methods scientists use to handle controversial scientific issues. He's previously conducted research into climate change denial and how this phenomenon has affected climate policy in the UK. He has a bachelor's and master's degree in physics and philosophy from the University of Oxford. 



We plan to run another round of the Policy Impact Micro Grant in 2024 - if you're interested in applying check back on the blog in the Autumn!

What is Overton

We help universities, think tanks and publishers understand the reach and influence of their research.

The Overton platform contains is the world’s largest searchable policy database, with over 12 million documents from 32k organisations.

We track everything from white papers to think tank policy briefs to national clinical guidelines, and automatically find the references to scholarly research, academics and other outputs.