The Agile Initiative Summer School
10 Jul

This event has ended.



Keble College
Parks Road
Keble College (right) and the Beecroft Building from University Parks
Keble College (right) and the Beecroft Building seen from University Parks

We are delighted that the first Agile Summer School is fully booked, and we look forward to welcoming the interdisciplinary researchers to this five day event.

Contributors, drawn from academic and practitioner communities, will share their expertise and experiences during the Summer School, enabling participants to build connections across disciplines and the science-policy landscape, and learn what is involved in designing rapid interdisciplinary research to meet urgent environmental policy needs. Participants will develop the skills needed to connect research with policy in practical group exercises throughout the core programme.  

The core programme, developed within the context and conceptual framework of the Agile Initiative, will be delivered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with Monday for arrival and welcome, and Friday for wrap-up and departure. Bed and breakfast style accommodation at Keble College is included in the programme cost, with a college dinner on the Wednesday evening. Core programme activities and networking opportunities will also take place at Keble College. 


Monday 10 July  Arrivals and welcome 
Afternoon Welcome from the Agile Initiative Summer School team: What to expect, what you will learn, and practical information.
Tuesday 11 July  Core programme day one: ‘Science into policy: setting the scene’ – an overview of UK local, regional and national environmental policy and legislature, and approaches for situating science in policy development.
Key learning objectives: 
Understanding ‘science into policy’ at scale 
What this means for decision makers and policy at different scales 
How to put this into practice. 
Morning Introductory session: What do we mean by ‘science into policy’?

Panel discussion introduced and led by Sir Charles Godfray: Overview of UK scales of policy and legislature, and implications for situating science into policy

Facilitated group activity: Science into policy at different scales

Afternoon Panel discussion introduced and led by Dame Sarah Whatmore: Getting science into policy – decision makers’ perspectives

Training workshop: Writing a policy brief

Facilitated group activity: Pulling together learning from the day – reflecting back on science into policy at scale in the context of decision makers’ perspectives

Wednesday 12 July  Core programme day two: ‘Experiences of policy-oriented research’ – sharing learning from the Agile Initiative and other major environmental research programmes on connecting across the science-policy divide and influencing public discourse.
Key learning objectives: 
Exploring how policy-oriented academic research is designed, carried out and delivered 
Understanding of the relationship between research, public policy, and public discourse 
Perspectives and lessons learned from other NERC Changing the Environment programmes. 
Morning Workshop led by Agile Initiative Sprint researchers: Agile Sprint learning on policy-oriented research

Session led by Professor Sam Fankhauser, Oxford Net Zero: The intersection of research and public policy

Afternoon Training workshop: How to connect across the divide – influencing public discourse

Insights from other NERC Changing the Environment programmes

Thursday 13 July  Core programme day three: ‘Practice’ – an exercise on delivering a rapid-response policy-driven research project to respond to policy needs in an ‘Agile’ fashion.
Key learning objectives: 
Gaining an understanding of the Agile model 
Putting the previous days’ learning into practice when designing an Agile Sprint 
Presenting and giving feedback on Sprint designs. 
Morning Presentation by Professor Nathalie Seddon, Agile Initiative Director: What drives the Agile model? What does this mean for Sprint design?

Facilitated group activity part 1: Designing a Sprint

Afternoon Facilitated group activity part 2: Presentations and feedback on Sprint design exercise

Workshop led by Agile Initiative Sprint researchers: What Sprint leads might do differently in hindsight – focusing on how the Sprint research, policy windows, outputs and outcomes are factored in

Friday 14 July  Wrap-up and departures.
Key learning objectives: 
Reviewing key learning outcomes from the Summer School 
Reflections on career pathways within the environmental policy and research space 
Morning Plenary by the Agile Summer School team: Discussion of participants’ learning and reflections from the Summer School programme, and how this year’s programme has helped participants to reflect on their research and career destinations
Afternoon Optional field trip to FarmEd