Scottish Parliament Academic Fellowship Scheme

The purpose of the Scottish Parliament is to hold the Scottish Government to account, scrutinise legislation and represent the people of Scotland by debating issues of national importance.

The Academic Fellowship Scheme, which is managed and hosted by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), enables academics to work on projects with the Parliament in support of this purpose.

The scheme aims to:

  1. provide the Parliament with specialised resources which allow it to undertake and communicate analysis which would otherwise not be possible
  2. increase the use of academic knowledge, skills and research within the Parliament
  3. promote knowledge and understanding of the Parliament within the academic sector



Find out more about the scheme here

We have provided answers to some frequently asked questions

If you have any queries, please email

Previous SPICe Research Fellows

Dr Paulina Trevena

Paulina is a researcher at the University of Glasgow where she is currently working on the Social Support and Migration in Scotland (SSAMIS) project.

Paulina specialises in international migration and is particularly interested in migrant integration with a focus on the social aspects of mobility, migrants’ labour market positioning and occupational mobility, and issues around education (schooling, access to FE/HE, transferability of educational qualifications).

Paulina’s project with the Scottish Parliament will explore whether Scotland would benefit from introducing a social integration strategy as a way of attracting and retaining migrants post-Brexit. This project ties in with the Scottish Government’s goal of growing Scotland’s population through immigration.  This project will evaluate the idea of introducing an inclusive social integration strategy for all types of migrants (asylum seeker and refugees, economic migrants, students, those arriving as family members) from an attraction/retention perspective.

Professor Hugh Bochel

Professor Hugh Bochel, of the University of Lincoln started his fellowship with the Scottish Parliament in March 2017. Hugh has extensive experience of research and publication across a wide range of topics associated with public policy.

Hugh’s project will be looking at the diversity of committee witnesses in the Scottish Parliament. This project reflects the Parliament’s desire to examine the effectiveness of its committees in achieving a diversity of witnesses giving oral evidence, with an initial focus on gender diversity and consideration of the promotion of equal opportunities for all. This is very much in line with the ideas of openness and transparency that were associated with the creation of the Parliament.

Drawing on existing data from the Parliament, academic and related literature, information from other legislatures, and interviews with MSPs and parliamentary officials, the research will inform a report to be published during 2017.

Alison MacDonald

Alison MacDonald of the School of Law, University of Aberdeen, started her fellowship with The Scottish Parliament in April 2017.  Alison’s main research interest is marine law and marine spatial planning. 

Alison investigated opportunities for fisheries management following the UK’s departure from the European Union. 

Alex Wright

Alex Wright is a PhD Candidate in International Public Health Policy, in the Department of Social Policy, University of Edinburgh. 

Alex’s research interests are in health policy, policy implementation, uses of evidence, and alcohol policy. She has a particular interest in understanding how national health policies are implemented at local level. Her PhD research is focused on the process of alcohol policy implementation in Scotland, and how evidence is used in this process.

Arianna Andreangeli

Arianna Andreangeli is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. Arianna's research interests lie in the area of EU and domestic competition law, both substantive and procedural. She is especially interested in exploring how the competition rules can be effectively applied so as to safeguard genuine rivalry in the market while safeguarding the concerned actors' economic freedom and incentive to innovate and invest. Her current work examines the complex interplay between securing the good functioning of open and competitive markets and maintaining the effective exercise of regulatory powers, so that "market failures" can be appropriately corrected, if not altogether prevented.

Dr Kirsteen Shields

Kirsteen (School of Social Sciences, University of Dundee) worked in SPICe from September to December 2016.

"I have a PhD from the University of London and hold a lectureship at the University of Dundee. I teach and research a broad range of subjects; human rights, constitutional reform, food security, global governance. Most of all, I am motivated by teaching and research that creates meaningful change. In 2015 I was invited to give evidence on human rights and land reform to the Committee on Rural Affairs, Environment and Climate Change after writing a paper on the subject for the Scottish Human Rights Commission’s journal. Through consultation on the Bill, I was able to influence the direction of the Land Reform Bill - for a legal academic, this one at least, it doesn’t get more exciting.

Subsequently, I was invited to pilot the Scottish Parliament Academic Fellowship Scheme. I was asked to prepare a SPICe briefing paper on human rights to be shared amongst the MSPs and Parliamentary staff and also to be publicly available. I was pleased to be asked to contribute to this and work with SPICe researchers at such a critical time for human rights, Scotland and Europe.

My experience at SPICe has surpassed all expectations, and I had high expectations. My role involves lots of stakeholder engagement and cross-disciplinary dialogue and there are opportunities for training. For example, I went to Doughty Street Chambers in London to engage in capacity building around the UN Concluding Observations on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Walking to work through Holyrood Park is not bad either."

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