N8 AgriFood launches Rapid Evidence Synthesis Training programme

A FREE residential training programme aimed at helping early career researchers translate studies into policy guidance is being launched by N8 AgriFood.

The programme has teamed up with partners at the University of Leeds to host its inaugural Rapid Evidence Synthesis Training, which will see 30 students from across the N8 universities produce policy briefs covering a range of topics within food and agriculture.

The training is being led by world leading evidence synthesis expert Dr Gav Stewart, who will supervise students to submit their synthesis for peer-reviewed publication and guide them on the development of a policy brief for policymakers.

The opportunity includes one day training in Leeds on February 26th, followed by a two-day residential workshop off campus in March, with subsequent individual feedback and support from Dr Stewart.

Topics have been proposed by policy teams across Defra and FSA, who will use the resulting briefings directly in policy development. Topic areas include:

– Trade-offs between bioenergy and food
– Reducing GHG emissions from agriculture
– Land use change and biodiversity
– Peatland management
– Flood management
– International trade and land use
– Gene editing and agriculture and food
– Household food insecurity
– Consumer behaviour change around diets and waste
– Biodiversity net gain

This unique opportunity for training, publication and impact is limited to 15 places for the University of Leeds and a further 15 places split across the remaining N8 Universities.

To be eligible to apply, students must:
– Be a PhD student, post-doctoral researcher or early career academic at an N8 University.
– Have an interest in one or more of the indicative topic areas.
– Be available for the initial training day in Leeds on 26th February.
– Based on this training, be prepared to develop a draft protocol for feedback from Dr Stewart by 4th March.
– Be available on the following dates to attend a two-day residential workshop – 12-13th March or 16-17th March. If your application is successful you will only attend one of these workshops.
– Be prepared to complete a draft manuscript and policy brief started during the workshop for submission to Dr Stewart between 20-25th March (depending on the workshop you attend).
– Receive feedback on manuscript by 31st March and be prepared to make revisions and submit to a peer-reviewed journal for publication at any point after this.

Application process:
– To apply, send a short statement (approx 100-200 words) identifying the topic area(s) you would be interested in (see indicative topic list above), outlining why you are interested in the opportunity (e.g. likely benefits to your career) by 10th February at 5pm. If you have a strong preference for which of the residential workshops you would like to  attend in March please indicate this, however, we cannot guarantee you will receive that preference and you must be available for both workshops.
– You will be notified if your application is successful by 12th February.
– If your application is accepted we will send you specific questions developed with policy-makers linked to your topic choice(s), and ask you to provide a first and second choice research question by 17th February at 5pm. You will then be streamed to one of the residential workshops based on the agreed topic. If there are no existing questions that interest you sufficiently, you may propose a new topic and we will discuss this with members of the policy community (only topics that have a direct policy application will be

Please send all applications or any questions to Prof Mark Reed, Newcastle University (mark.reed@newcastle.ac.uk)

This training is offered free of charge. Refreshments and lunch will be provided for you at the initial training day and the residential days. Your accommodation will be covered and you will be provided with dinner at the hotel. Attendees will be expected to cover their own travel costs to the residential component, except those from the University of Leeds whose
reasonable travel costs will be covered.