Agile Initiative Summer School: ‘Connecting environmental research with policy: a pathway to real-world impacts’ 

Keble Collgege, Oxford where the Agile Initiative's summer school will be held.
Keble College, Oxford where the Agile Initiative's summer school will be held.

The NERC-funded Agile Initiative at the Oxford Martin School will be running a one-week residential Summer School at Oxford University between 10-14 July 2023.  

We invite interdisciplinary researchers working on challenges relating to both policy and environmental science to benefit from interactive training and learning guided by experts in the field, including Professor Sir Charles Godfray, Professor Dame Sarah Whatmore and Professor Sam Fankhauser.  

Practical experiences and skills will be embedded in our core programme. Our practitioners will share their expertise, train participants to build connections across disciplines and the science-policy divide, and lead practical group exercises on designing rapid cross-disciplinary research to meet urgent environmental policy needs. Participants will receive training to develop the skills needed to connect research with policy throughout the programme. 

Within the context and conceptual framework of the Agile Initiative, the core programme will be organised along three daily themes: 

  • ‘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.  
  • ‘Experiences of policy-orientated research’ – sharing learning from the Agile Initiative and other major environmental research programmes on connecting across the science-policy divide and influencing public discourse. 
  •  ‘Practice’ – an exercise on developing a rapid-response policy-driven research project to respond to policy needs in an ‘Agile’ fashion.  

This core programme 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 meal on the Wednesday evening. Core programme activities will also take place at Keble College.  

There are fifty places available in total for UK-based active researchers in the field at post-doctorate, PhD, DPhil and MPhil levels. At the application stage you will be asked to provide a narrative CV that clearly outlines how your current research is relevant to the programme, why you want to take part, and what you think you will get out of it.  

Full programme details, costs (including criteria for a limited number of subsidised places), and instructions on how to apply will be provided by January 2023. General enquiries can be directed to