About I4P


Welcome to I4P – the cross University Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice – where we are committed to working with practitioners, policy and decision makers, professionals working in a multiplicity of settings, the not for profit sector, community activists and residents . Whilst we are based in the North West of England we do work across the UK and internationally. Established in 2013, I4P was set up by the University in part as a response to the impact of the global crises post 2008 and the impact of the austerity measures here in the UK. We have three key objectives:

  • To provide a space for those working across the public policy field for critical and informed reflection and thinking;
  • To offer a Research and Practice Informed seminar series open to all which examines public policy challenges,  practice developments and professional learning;
  • To inform the professional development of intending practitioners working and studying at the University.

A key part of our approach is to encourage joint working and collaborative practice. We are both committed to and interested in the ways in which the boundaries between particular disciplines or professional identities have become more porous and sometimes more resistant to change.  We plan a programme of seminars and workshops over the year including our Annual Public Lecture in February.  Over the next twelve months we will be welcoming to the University a number of Visiting Professors, Visiting Fellows and Practitioners in Residence who will be working with staff, students and the networks of practice we have and are establishing.

I4P has an Advisory Group of external members and who have been asked to act as a ‘critical friend’ both to the Institute in particular but to the Edge Hill as a whole.  The External Advisory Group is chaired by an external and it meets at least twice a year.

The world of the ‘public realm’ has undergone a profound shock since 2008. We are, all, living and working in a time of transition and change. We hope that I4P will provide a ‘home’ to those of you who want to reflect and to think strategically as well as differently.  And we hope that the conversations, projects and joint pieces of work (from new approaches to CPD to research and shared learning) will inform your work as well as ours.

We do look forward to working with you.



I4P Engaement – Philosophy and Prctice:

The Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice (I4P) is a cross-disciplinary research and knowledge exchange initiative established in 2013. The political, social and economic context to public policy and the role of public agencies is in a period of change and transformation. The Institute is committed to exploring the opportunities for cross sector collaboration and co-operation and to draw on the experience of practitioners as well as academic researchers to inform new ways of working and learning. Work with the Institute includes undertaking commissioned evaluations and funded research projects which draw upon the skills and expertise of staff across the University; organising and hosting seminars, networks and conferences which bring together researchers, practitioners and policy makers to reflect critically on the developments and possibilities for public and third sector collaboration; and to provide opportunities to support “practitioners in residence” as a way of strengthening links between the University and its regional/national/international communities of practice.

An Advisory Board drawn from practitioners, policy makers and the voluntary and community sector works with the Institute’s Steering Group to provide a point of critical reflection and to offer support and guidance in the work of the Institute.


I4P Engagement – Four Primary areas of activity:

  • Supporting the dissemination of research and knowledge exchange across the sectors through organised events but also by creating Practitioners in Residence who wish to develop their own learning and reflection;
  • Providing a ‘space’ (physical as well as practical) for professionals/practitioners/ service users to meet and to explore developments / changes in their practice or area;
  • Drawing on the skills and knowledge of experienced practitioners and professionals to anticipate public policy changes and their potential impact on services from changes in education to health and social care to the impact of commissioning to the critical questions of voice , accountability and governance which cut across all these themes;
  • Creating more opportunities for the curriculum at all levels (from pre-degree to post-doctoral) to be informed by a sustained and thoughtful engagement between teachers, professionals and users in which learning is seen as a mutually beneficial process in which we all contribute.


I4P Engagement – Values and principles:

We are all working in a time of change and transformation.  The profound changes in the global economy post 2007 and here in the UK have been reflected in the economic uncertainties of the recent past and the ways in which national policy decisions have been made on the funding of all public services.  I4P was established as part of the University’s core strategic vision.  Its work is informed by the University’s overall Strategic Plan and by its Mission Statement:

“Edge Hill University will provide an intellectually stimulating, creative and inclusive environment for its community.  Teaching and Learning of the highest standard supported by pure and applied research of international significance, will provide a firm foundation for its graduates and other stakeholders in a rapidly changing world.  An international perspective, knowledge and understanding, and a life-long capacity to learn and adapt, is the surest way of securing an individual’s and the nation’s future.”

The values and ways of working that we adopt have been informed by and will be informed by the overall values and aspirations of the University.  A core part of the remit of I4P is to facilitate cross disciplinary working between the faculties and within them.  Alongside this aim is the desire to work with practitioners and policy makers to learn from them and to support their learning too.

There are three elements to this process: Listening, Reflecting and Learning and I4P aspires to support colleagues (from all backgrounds) in these processes as part of a commitment to the University’s strategic goals.

We welcome partners to work with us as part of a shared commitment to the overall key objectives of I4P: dissemination of research and knowledge; shaping and framing policy recommendations; promoting knowledge partnerships; providing opportunities for learning and reflection; influencing both the undergraduate and post graduate curriculum.


I4P Staff:

I4P Director, Prof Jo Crotty
Formerly Executive Dean of the Institute of Business and Law and Aberystwyth University and Head of Dept. at Salford Business School, Jo’s research interests lie in civil society development, corporate social responsibility and state-society-business relations, predominantly in former Soviet Union countries. Jo has worked on conceptualisations of CSR using both historical insights and theories from outside the traditional sphere of management. Jo has published circa 70 journal articles, conference papers and book chapters, including British Journal of Management, Sociology, Non-profit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly and Organization Studies. She has also presented papers at international conferences including Academy of Management Annual Meeting and the British Academy of Management where she has been nominated and won prizes. She has been awarded research funding from ESRC and the British Academy and sits on the Editorial Board of Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management Journal. Read more…

I4P Associate Director (External Relations), Dr Victoria Foster
Victoria draws on her background in Fine Art to inform her work with marginalised groups with the aim of consciousness raising and providing a critique of current policy initiatives. She has carried out a number of research projects that have employed a range of arts-based and participatory research methods in order to achieve this aim. This approach to research enables a critical exploration of those elements of life that are often hidden or disregarded. These methods, and their underlying theories, are outlined in her book Collaborative Arts-based Research for Social JusticeVictoria has been the recipient of an ESRC CASE award for her doctoral research and an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship. She has worked on large scale NIHR-funded research as well as a range of smaller projects. Victoria is an advocate of a plant-based diet and is interested in sustainable, organic food production. She is a mother of two sons and, in what spare time she has, practises meditation and ashtanga yoga. Read more…

I4P Fellow (Research and External Funding), Prof Claire Parkinson
Claire Parkinson is Professor of Film, Television and Digital Media and Co-Director of the Centre for Human Animal Studies (CfHAS). Her research interests focus on media, film and Animal Studies; (un)sustainable consumption; eco-media; American cinema; activism; and, film and politics. Read more…

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