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Research prepared for Parliament

Scottish Parliament Academic Network (SPAN)


The Scottish Parliament Academia Network (SPAN) aims to coordinate and encourage knowledge exchange between Parliament and academia. 

The network is managed by:

  • Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe)
  • Scotland’s Futures Forum 
  • Beltane Public Engagement Network (external body
  • the Scottish Universities Insight Institute (external body) 

Joining SPAN

SPAN is open to knowledge exchange (KE) practitioners and staff from relevant institutions who hold:

  • strategic research impact roles
  • public engagement roles 

Members are automatically added to our ‘Ask Academia’ email distribution list. This service allows SPICe to send requests on behalf of Parliament staff to KE practioners. KE practioners then forward these to relevant academics for a response. 

SPAN events

SPAN organises 3 annual events,

A half-day seminar 

This is for academics and KE practitioners who are new to engaging with the Parliament. Attendees will: 

  • learn what the Parliament does 
  • understand mechanisms for engaging with different people within the Parliament

An early evening Research Showcase

This focuses around a theme of policy importance, such as climate change, housing, social care. This event will be attended by:

  • MSPs
  • committee clerks
  • SPICe researchers
  • academics and relevant KE practitioners 

A Network Members Meeting 

The purpose of this meeting is to:

  • exchange information on what engagement has taken place
  • highlight recent successes/challenges of engagement
  • share upcoming priorities for knowledge exchange and Parliament

Free membership and events

There is no cost to join SPAN, and all SPAN events are free to attend. 

If you're interested in becoming a member, please contact us telling us about your role.