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Soil Evidence Review and Defra/ NERC/ BBSRC soil science coordinator - SP1620

A team led by Professor Chris Collins at the University of Reading has been appointed to link NERC's Soil Security Programme, BBSRC's Global Food Security 'Soil and Rhizosphere Interactions for Sustainable Agri-ecosystems' (SARISA) programme, and the STARS Centre for Doctoral Training, with other on-going research into soils to make sure that they work together and can maximise their impact.

Funding over five years has been provided for this dynamic role by BBSRC and NERC , including contributions from Defra and the Scottish Government.

This activity is part of the Soil Security Programme, which aims to secure future soil quality to sustain ecosystems and the services they deliver to people – such as food, flood and disease regulation, carbon storage and clean water. Supported by BBSRC, the Scottish Government and Defra, this NERC-led programme aligns closely to the Global Food Security Programme, which seeks to enhance the coordination of research and training for food security.

As part of this role, the evidence base surrounding a range of key soils policy issues will be reviewed. The outputs of this review will play an important role in informing soils policy, and identifying evidence needs.
We will summarise current and emerging policy on soils, agriculture, land management and the environment, and how this relates to wider policy development in Government. This will involve close collaboration with government officials from the outset of the project. Knowledge requirements will be identified and research programmes reviewed to determine the extent to which current information needs have been addressed. We will review the Defra Soil Protection Research and Development (R&D) programme, including recent projects that address key evidence priorities defined in the Soils Evidence Plan 2011/12, the Summary of Defra Research in Agriculture and Environmental Protection 1990 - 2005 (ES0127) and the Synthesis of Defra Research on Soil Protection 1990 – 2008 (SP1607). Recent and ongoing UK research activities funded by organisations such as the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) will also be reviewed.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Soils Research – Evidence Review   (1849k)
• ANX - Annex : SSP-ER Appendices I-VIII   (574k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2015

To: 2015

Cost: £70,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)