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Defra Animal Health and Welfare Research Placement Fellowship: Dr Ruth Little - DO0118

Description
Social Science research on bovine TB. Understanding farmer behaviour to mitigate risks of disease spread and identifying alternative approaches to eradication through enhanced stakeholder and public engagement on bovine TB control measures. Project activities include:
• Understanding the influence of cost-sharing on farmer behaviour, focussing on testing and compensation
• Designing innovative ways to engage stakeholders (farmers, vets, taxpayers) in understanding and debating control measures for bovine TB
• Applying and testing the principles of Open Policy Making in the context of animal disease control
Objective
The Permanent Secretary (and relevant DG) have approved the contracting in of external academic social science expertise through appointing 2 research fellowship placements. Appointed as advisors and analysts through their academic institutions the fellows will be working with Defra for upto 12 months (full- or part-time). Funding has been approved by the Chief Scientific Advisor through the Strategic Evidence and Partnership Fund.
The research fellows would undertake two key tasks (in addition to on-going knowledge transfer and expert insight):

- look at gaps identified by the Evidence Investment Strategy e.g. using academic knowledge and experience to examine the key cross-cutting and specific policy questions and highlight where and what further social science evidence could be utilised. This would involve talking with key people in Defra’s analytical, science and policy divisions in order to propose how the work will be shaped. The task will be undertaken by reviewing internal policy / evidence plans and structured discussions with policy and analysis leads covering Defra’s Animal Health and Welfare policy areas and provide an opportunity for the successful applicant to highlight where and what additional evidence is required to address policy questions. A key output will be a short, focused briefing paper on major evidence gaps / priorities and recommendations on using existing evidence or additional new primary or secondary research and analysis.
- undertake evidence reviews, tailored analysis and primary or secondary research on agreed policy questions

This could take the form of robust reviews of existing evidence or secondary analysis of existing data (whether empirical or qualitative). Reviews of evidence would draw together academic, government, agency funded and also international research and analysis and be tailored towards policy questions. Additional analysis could be in the form of inclusion of expert opinion through interviews or utilization of existing quantitative data routinely collected by Defra and our agencies. The outputs would be targeted at a policy audience but will be peer-reviewed by qualified internal and external experts.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2012

To: 2014

Cost: £106,144
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University of Sheffield
Keywords
Economic Research