Dr Mark Matthews

D.Phil, M.Sc., B.A. (Hons)

University Fellow

Mark is public policy specialist with specific expertise in science and innovation policy and in the management of uncertainty and risk in the public sector (including the relationship between these two areas). He has worked in both the UK and in Australia. He has a long-standing interest in, and experience of, strengthening both university-government and university-business engagement. 

Mark is currently based in the United Kingdom, where he works in the private sector whilst remaining research active and maintaining a set of academic affiliations. Mark’s contributions to the Northern Institute focus on making methodological advances relevant to:

  • strengthening the effectiveness of government policy engagement with local communities and stakeholders 
  • the diagnostic methods aimed at improving appraisal and evaluation in government as part of an 'experimentalist' governance stance 
  • new approaches to addressing uncertainty and risk management challenges in governance.
  • contributing expertise on ways of building effective government-academic collaboration in these and other areas.

He will also contribute to executive education and other training and capacity building activities wherever possible.

Research Interests

Mark has a long-standing interest in collaborative research and knowledge dissemination aimed at improving how public policy is designed and delivered. He is particularly interested in finding better ways of using local and place-based knowledge in the policy process and on better ways of managing uncertainty and risk in the policy learning cycle (especially because getting better at the former can help to improve the latter). His specific areas of current professional activity are:

  • Public sector strategy advice (higher education, economic development and innovation support)
  • Public policy capacity-building (with an emphasis on developing new diagnostic methods for application in appraisal and evaluation)
  • Public sector evaluations and reviews
  • Public sector reform and innovation
  • Private sector innovation strategy and management
  • Science and innovation policy

Current Projects

Mark’s contributions to the Northern Institute focus on the application of simplified Bayesian methods to enhance learning and adaptation in the policy process. This work is based on expressing government interventions as competing hypotheses to be tested via implementation - an approach that has the potential to create a seamless integration of appraisal, evaluation and risk management.  More generally, Mark is involved in collaborative work in the UK on:

  • the design principles for a new approach to industry and innovation strategy following the UK’s exit from the EU
  • background research on the implications of transnational value chains for national innovation policies

Professional Positions, Memberships & Awards

  • Associate Fellow, Sir Bernard Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics, University of Sheffield
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University
  • Member of the Asia and the Pacific Policy Society
  • Member of the Society for Risk Analysis

Link to Research Publications

Mark Matthews


T: +61 8 8946 7468
E: mark.matthews@me.com

Sheffield, UK