N8 AgriFood-IFSTAL Food Systems Training

N8 AgriFood-IFSTAL Food Systems Training: Higher Impact through Collaboration

On the 8th and 9th May 2019, N8 AgriFood and IFSTAL delivered a Food Systems Training event at the University of York for doctoral students and early career researchers (ECRs). The purpose of the training was to introduce participants to the concepts, theories and methods of food systems approaches, as well as facilitating reflexive thinking about their role as post-doctoral researchers within food systems.

Key aims of the event were for participants to be able to:

  • Describe a food systems approach and some of the theories and models underpinning it
  • Reflect on their own role as ECRs in food systems change
  • Demonstrate how they can communicate their research to maximise its impact
  • Deploy food systems tools to work with other researchers in an interdisciplinary environment on food systems case studies

The course brought together a diverse group of interdisciplinary researchers, including natural, social and medical scientists, each representing several departments across the University of York, the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University in Thailand.

The training was undertaken by Food Systems specialists, including Prof Bob Doherty (N8 AgriFood Chair at York) and Prof John Ingram (Oxford Environmental Change Institute). They were joined by Dr Rebecca Wells and Dr Harley Pope as training facilitators. Providing support throughout the preparation of the course and training day activities were N8 AgriFood Knowledge Exchange Fellows, Dr James Stockdale, Dr Sally Howlett, and Dr John Atibila.

Feedback was very positive, with suggestions to deliver the course on a wider basis for participants across the N8 universities and internationally. The success of this event reflects the power of institutional collaboration and integration of expertise to deliver innovative, interdisciplinary training.