'Understanding the policymaking process is of particular interest'

April 6, 2007

Fergus Lyon joins the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit to help provide policy advice and support to government.

An academic from Middlesex University is set to help shape government policy when he takes up a six-month placement in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit.

Fergus Lyon, reader in Middlesex Business School's Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research, has been selected for the placement fellowship at Whitehall.

The unit carries out strategy reviews, provides policy advice and supports government departments on key issues such as public service reform of education and healthcare provision.

Dr Lyon's research interests include looking at issues of markets and entrepreneurship in the delivery of public services.

In the past he has studied poverty in less developed countries and the role of businesses and social enterprise in the regeneration of deprived areas.

Dr Lyon said of the placement: "It is an interesting opportunity for any academic. My work combines academic research with more applied policy-related research, so understanding the policymaking process is of particular interest to me."

Of his own research, he said: "A recent project has been working with the Commission for Rural Communities, looking at choice and competition in public services and what that means for rural areas."

Asked what he hoped to gain from the experience, he said: "I'd like to know more about knowledge transfer between academics and government departments and whether there are opportunities for better links between the two."

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