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Joint Fellowship Placements and Postgraduate Research - SD0446

Defra and the Economic and Social Research Council are jointly supporting a number of research fellowship placements and PhDs awards. The development of this added research capacity will help address some of Defra’s present and future evidence needs. Both will help contribute to the development of policy ‘fluent’ researchers, undertake policy-relevant research, build links with academic departments and improve knowledge transfer.

The 7 PhD research themes are:
Rural Communities and Services; Rural Economies; The Horse Industry; Understanding sustainable behaviours; Wellbeing; Animal Health and Welfare Economics; Agricultural Economics.

The focus for the 3 research fellows are:
- Stakeholder engagement in developing policy based on evidence from wellbeing research
- Taking forward Defra’s Evidence Based Policy Making agenda
- Advising on good practice in public engagement as part of Defra policy-making processes.
The objectives for the programme are:
• Building good links with individual academics and networking within wider academia (this may lead to future benefits in identifying key individuals within the academic community)
• Drawing on established expertise to contribute both to meeting defined evidence needs and providing ad hoc advice and methodological input into wider discussions
• Exposing both policy makers and analysts to current academic thinking and encouraging forward-looking (and innovative?) research
• Filling short-term social research and economic analysis capacity needs.
For academics and institutions:
• Gaining a greater understanding of the current policy environment
• Building links within Defra, our Agencies and wider within Whitehall.
• Demonstrating a commitment to building knowledge exchange between policy and academia, to encourage both more policy-relevant research and the development of policy-literate academics
• Investing in research capacity in areas where there are policy requirements.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2006

To: 2010

Cost: £519,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Economics and Social Research Council
Science Policy