The Department of Science and Technology Policy Studies was founded in 1997 under the Graduate School of Social Sciences at the Middle East Technical University (METU) and launched the first post-graduate education program in Science and Technology Policy Studies [Bilim ve Teknoloji Politikası Çalışmaları] in Ankara, Turkey. In the following year, in 1998, the Research Center for Science and Technology Policies [Bilim ve Teknoloji Politikaları Araştırma Merkezi] was established under the President's Office. It has been the only center in Turkey that can coordinate research and education concurrently. The abbreviation "TEKPOL" is in use for both the department and research center, which are closely linked formations.
METU-TEKPOL aims to provide science and technology policy-related human capital for the government bodies, agencies and other related organizations and to conduct research in science, technology and innovation policy issues. It adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of the economic, social and political factors that drive technological change and innovation. The research and post-graduate training programs span an extensive domain in close relation to recent policy questions concerning national and international regulations of science, technology, and innovation, with a particular focus on the networks of inter-organizational relations on the side of knowledge management issues.
Currently, the department is constituted of 4 faculty members, who are also full-time researchers at the center. Post-graduate education is offered at the M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels at the department. The research center includes 16 researchers in total (eight full-time researchers and eight co-affiliated researchers).