National Engagement Group Terms of Reference

This page sets out the Terms of Reference for the ESRC Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre’s National Engagement Group (NEG), covering purpose, membership, functions, responsibilities, and accountabilities.


The purpose of the NEG is to support national policy engagement, provide advice on policy, practice and research developments and opportunities, and ensure effective connections between the Centre and relevant national stakeholders and user groups. The NEG will also serve to support and enhance the dissemination and application of the research and innovation, with a particular remit to support the Centre’s impact and engagement strategy.

Given the inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary expertise that exists within the NEG, it will be well-placed in considering the research findings and their application within relevant policy fields and practice communities. It will facilitate and foster strategic discussions, helping stimulate system-level thinking, initiatives and new opportunities for collaborative working, ultimately to enhance harm reduction in diverse fields related to policing services for vulnerable groups.

The National Engagement Group fulfils the ESRC-described role of ‘advisory board’. As such it has responsibility for overseeing the activities of the Centre and the development of the ESRC grant’s strategy and programme of work.


The group will meet three times a year, including a mixture of in-person and online or hybrid meetings. Proposed schedule of meetings for years 1 and 2:

  • 23 November 2022 – London (aligned with Launch event)
  • February 2023 – London
  • June 2023 – London
  • October 2023 – York (hybrid/online option available)
  • February 2024 – London
  • June 2024 – Leeds (hybrid/online option available)


In line with ESRC research funding guidelines, due consideration has been given to the membership of this group in terms of gender and geographical location, as well as a combination of research users and academics. Attention to race and ethnicity will also feature in membership consideration. Membership will be listed on the Centre website. Additional members may be added over time.

The Centre’s Co-Investigators will be invited to attend in accordance with their potential contribution in relation to agenda items for each meeting.


The NEG will receive regular updates from the Centre’s Leadership Team and designated Co-Investigators via its meetings. Further updates and engagement will be provided via newsletters and online discussions as part of the Centre’s work strand 3 (WS3) activity.

The NEG will oversee and advise the Centre’s Leadership Team and Core Academic Team in relation to ensuring the Centre’s work helps to address current policy needs, and will support communication, engagement and dissemination strategy and activity through the contacts and networks of individual and organisational members.

The NEG will oversee and advise the Centre’s Leadership Team and Core Academic Team (Co-Investigators) on the best use of the Translational Fellows programme, helping to solicit and secure appropriate applicants that enhance the national and international reach of the Centre. The Group will not be asked to contribute to decisions about allocation of posts or funding in relation to this programme, but will be kept informed of decisions by the Centre’s Leadership Team.

It will have a specific role to advise on how insights from Thematic Advisory Groups (TAGs) may be utilised to influence national policy agendas and support the innovative demonstration projects that arise from the translation of the research.

The NEG also has a remit to input into communications and engagement in relation to the Centre’s work, amongst relevant stakeholder networks, including extending the reach of the work, to maximise opportunities for the take-up and wider adoption of insights and recommendations emerging from the research.


The NEG fulfils a strategic advisory role and as such feeds back recommendations to the Centre’s academic team both directly and via the Leadership Team.

In line with ESRC funding requirements, these Terms of Reference, together with details of the Group’s membership, will be published on the Centre website.

Members of Centre governance groups are expected to commit to observing the values and principles of the Centre in their engagement with the Centre. ESRC advisory bodies, panels and groups are expected to observe the highest standards of integrity as outlined in the ESRC Code of Practice.