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UK Foreign Office role for Cardiff international human rights law scholar

12 September 2022

A senior law lecturer is part of a group of academics drafted into UK government departments to assist in addressing contemporary challenges facing the UK.

International human rights law scholar and practitioner, Dr Sejal Parmar is one of just 21 academics who have been recently appointed as policy fellows within UK government departments and one of just three policy fellows at the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Dr Parmar’s fellowship at the FCDO focuses on foreign policy and disinformation.

Dr Parmar’s fellowship is co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as part of a programme that gives early and mid-career academic researchers the opportunity to work in government departments on high priority areas – including net zero, COVID-19 recovery, health and social care, levelling up and foreign and national security policy – over 18 months. The programme intends to ‘enhance the relationship between academia and government by improving the flow of evidence, insights and talent’ and ‘help fulfill the potential of social, economic, arts and humanities research and expertise to inform and shape effective public policy and its implementation’. It is part of a wider ESRC and AHRC commitment to ‘facilitate deeper and more enduring connections between researchers and policymakers’.

Speaking of her appointment, Dr Parmar said, “This fellowship enables me to understand the processes of UK foreign policymaking and to influence UK foreign policy on one of the critical policy issues of our time, namely disinformation, from an international human rights law perspective – and to do so as an ‘insider’ working from within the FCDO itself. That’s an exceptional opportunity and privilege for any scholar. I am very grateful to my FCDO hosts and the ESRC and AHRC for supporting my role.”

Dr Parmar was appointed Senior Lecturer at the School of Law and Politics in June 2022. She is currently on academic leave from this position whilst undertaking her fellowship at the FCDO.

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