Catherine Staite is the new Local Government Research Facilitator

The Codrington Library

The Society for Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (Solace), the Local Government Association, and the Economic and Social Research Council have appointed Catherine Staite, Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) at the University of Birmingham, to a new role as Local Government Research Facilitator to develop better connections between academic researchers and local authorities. Forming these connection is a key priority for LARIA following feedback from members. We welcome the appointment and look forward to working closely with Catherine and the team.

This is a statement from Graeme McDonald, Director of Solace.

“Solace is very pleased to welcome Catherine into the new role of Local Government Research Facilitator, a part-time placement for 12 months starting on 1st May 2015, based in the Solace London office. Based in the local government sector but independent of it, the role will build on the work of the previous Local Government Knowledge Navigators and work closely with the Solace Evidence-Based Policy Network. Catherine will act as a link between local authorities and academia to encourage local authority engagement with social and economic research carried out by university researchers.

“Catherine brings to the role extensive valuable contacts with senior managers and politicians in local authorities and, based at Birmingham University, she also brings in-depth knowledge of academia to help local authorities meet their research needs. Catherine will be leading a team of experts from Birmingham who will be able to provide advice and guidance to local authorities on how to find researchers who are a good match for their research needs, and to work with them successfully.”

Abdool Kara, Chief Executive of Swale Borough Council and the Solace Spokesperson on Evidence-Based Policy, who is also the Chair of the Knowledge Navigator Steering Group, said:

“We are very pleased to have Catherine join the Knowledge Navigator programme to help take forward the second phase of the work. We would also like to thank the Knowledge Navigator Team, namely Clive Grace, Tim Allen, and Steve Martin, for their valuable contribution in making phase one of the project a great success.

“Catherine’s first priorities will be to establish a web-based networking and information sharing platform for academic researchers and local authority officers to find each other and initiate collaborations, and to establish a programme of awareness-raising visits and events across England, including the LGA conference in July.”

Photo credit: The Codrington Library, All Souls College by Simon Q

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