How to Write a Policy Brief?


Communication skills

Target group

PhD students. Priority will be given to PhD students in the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of the UGent Doctoral School of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

There is no specific knowledge nor preparation needed. Participants should have an idea about a subject on writing a policy brief.


“Life is too short, and those who will not take the trouble to write clearly cannot properly expect to be read”. This sound advice by the great British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, himself a masterful stylist, applies in particular when a researcher seeks to reach those who shape policy: decision-makers and officials, but also the think-tanks, the lobbyists, the NGOs, and the media that turn around them. The aim of the seminar is to learn to translate scientific findings into convincing policy recommendations.


  • Understand the importance of writing for policy-shapers
  • Understand the need to translate scientific findings into policy recommendations
  • Learn to formulate your ideas on policy in an eye-catching way
  • Learn to adapt style and structure for an audience of practitioners
  • Learn to sell your ideas


Prof. Dr. Sven Biscop ( lectures on strategy and the foreign and security policies of Belgium and the EU in the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at UGent, and he is the director of the Europe in the World programme at the Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels, the think-tank associated with Belgian Foreign Affairs.

Dates and Venue

No courses planned.


  • Day 1 (3 hours):

-    Presentation on how to write a policy brief
-    Q&A
-    Each participant introduces the topic he/she chooses to write a policy brief on

-    Write a policy brief of maximum 2000 words on a topic of your choice

  • Day 2 (3 hours):

-    Feedback on the individual policy briefs
-    General debate

Teaching methods

Interactive workshop. See for examples of policy briefs

Registration fee

Free of charge for Doctoral School members. The no show policy applies: no-show policy UGent


Follow this link:   Your registration will be confirmed by separate email from the Doctoral Schools.

Please read the cancellation policy: cancellationpolicycourses

Maximum 20 participants



Evaluation methods and criteria (doctoral training programme)

100% active participation