The end of the first working program of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) provided an opportunity to draw lessons from its work. This perspective paper captures insights from ecosystem services (ES) researchers and practitioners, largely drawing from the Europeancontext (referred to herein as ‘ES community’), on this key science–policy interface. We synthesize reflections from a workshop on how (i) IPBES can engage the ES community; (ii) the ES community can engage with IPBES; and (iii) individual scientists can contribute. We note that IPBES constitutes a great advancement towards multidisciplinarity and inclusivity in ES research and practice. Key reflections for IPBES are that funding and visibility at ES research events could be improved, the contribution and selection processes could be more transparent, and communication with experts improved. Key reflections for the ES community include a need to improvepolicy-relevance by integrating more social scientists, researchers from developing countries, early-career scientists and policy-makers. Key reflections directed towards individual scientists include contributing (pro)actively to science–policy inter-face initiatives such as IPBES and increasing transdisciplinary research. These reflections intend to contribute to the awareness of challenges and opportunities for institutions, groups and individuals working on ES.