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Historical News

INDUSTRY FUNDED MRes STUDENTSHIPS (starting September 2021): Would you like to carry out a fully funded industry-relevant Masters degree in sustainable agriculture?  

At Harper Adams University, we currently have three industry-funded MRes (Masters of Research) degrees available to start this September. The studentships are linked with industries involved in production, manufacturing, and retail, and all three have full fees paid, as well as an additional stipend. Students will be placed in the Centre for Evidence-based Agriculture at the university, and projects may also include the opportunity to work directly with our industry partners and/or farmers.  

An MRes is similar to an MSc, but has greater emphasis on the research element of the course. MRes students at Harper Adams University spend one third of their 12 month course studying four taught modules which follow a common framework. The remainder of your time will be focused on an in-depth research project.  

If you are interested in gaining a Masters of Research (MRes in Evidence-based Agri-food Sustainability/Agroecology, and are available to start your studies this September, details of the projects and links to the vacancies are listed below. For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Nicola Randall, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Agriculture 

MRes 1 in collaboration with Morning Foods  

Masters of Research (MRes) in Evidence-based agri-food sustainability (12 months tuition funded plus a £5,000 stipend) 

Project title: What is the evidence for the carbon footprint of UK milling oats?

MRes 2 in collaboration with Bayer 

Masters of Research (MRes) in Evidence-based agri-food sustainability (12 month tuition funded plus a £10,000 stipend) 

Project title:  The potential impact of the removal of fungicide seed treatments on cereal production 

MRes 3 in collaboration with Morrisons and RAFT solutions under the School of Sustainable Food and Farming.  

Masters of Research (MRes) in Evidence-based agri-food sustainability/Agroecology (12 months tuition funded plus a £5,000 stipend) 

Project title: Sainfoin as an alternative legume forage for Net Zero on commercial beef farms 

ADVANCES IN AGRICULTURE WEBINAR - Dr Nicola Randall (Director of the CEBA) organised and chaired the recent 'Advances in Agriculture' webinar as part of the Environmental Evidence Summit monthly webinar series. The session aimed to bring together some of the people working in the field of evidence based agriculture, to showcase work that is taking place, and to stimulate discussion and future collaboration. To see the presentation and panel question and answer session please follow the link.

NEW PROJECTS FOR 2021- We have been awarded funding from EFSA for an “extensive literature search on food and feed safety vulnerabilities in circular economy”. Staff in the CEBA are also please to be working on the evidence synthessis phase of the Horizon 2020 Cropdiva project, led by the University of Ghent.


Collaboration for Environmental Evidence - UK Centre

We are please to announce that the CEBA has formed a partnership with the Universities of Bangor and Exeter to form the UK Centre for the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE). The CEE is a global network that also has centres in Australia, Canada, France, South Africa and Sweden.

Advisory work

In 2018, the CEBA manager, Dr Nicola Randall, became involved in two innovative new projects:

Ceres2030 Ending Hunger Sustainably, is a global project that aims to use systematic review methodologies to inform Sustainable Development Goals relating to hunger, and Dr Randall is part of the project advisory board.

The Informed Health Choices project, which provides key concepts for understanding and using evidence in health, is being expanded to other fields, and Dr Randall is advising on the use of evidence in agriculture.


TrainingĀ and Placements

Training Courses for the Green Climate Fund (from Nov 2018)

The CEBA as part of the UK Centre for the CEE are excited to announce they will be involved in delivering training courses for the Green Climate Fund

CEETOP Evidence synthesis short course (November 20-24th 2017 & March 19th -23rd 2018) and placements (between 2nd October 2017 and 31st March 2018)

The Collaboration for Environmental Training Opportunities (CEETOP) was a NERC funded training initiative consisting of two elements, a modular training programme and a placement. Both were flexible and could be attended independently of each other. The training was led by evidence synthesis specialists with experience of producing information for stakeholders including policy makers and business.

For short course registration or placement enquiries, please email Nicola Randall

CEETOP Training and Placements

A 5-day short course consisting of 4 consecutive modules: An introduction to evidence syntheses; Protocol development; Making sense of data; Engaging with policy and industry end-users

For more information please click here.

NERC funded placements were available by individual arrangement and lasted from one week to one month at either Harper Adams University or Exeter University. For more information please click here


Implementing systematic review methods in chemical risk assessment: addressing the challenges of problem formulation and quality assurance. International Expert Workshop, 1-2 December 2016

Dr Nicola Randall presented a talk about the potential benefits of systematic mapping in chemical risk assessment at this workshop hosted by Lancaster Environment Centre in association with the Royal Society of Chemistry Toxicology Group.


EKLIPSE experts on knowledge synthesis working group

Dr Nicola Randall has recently been selected to become a member of the EKLIPSE experts on knowledge synthesis working group. The EKLIPSE EU funded project aims to deliver sustainable and innovative ways of knowing, networking and learning about biodiversity and ecosystems services.

The working group has been established to provide and share knowledge about methods for knowledge collation, appraisal and synthesis so that they can be used to identify and characterise robust evidence and knowledge gaps, in response to requests to EKLIPSE from policy makers and societal actors. Click here for further information 

First International Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE) Conference. Better Evidence, Better Decisions, Better Environment, August 2016


Drs Katy James and Abigale Graceson presented a poster and talk at the first international CEE conference in Stockholm. Delegates from 15 different countries came together to share their experience of knowledge synthesis in environmental sciences. 

Re-thinking Agricultural Systems: Farmers Perspective

This event funded by the British Ecological Society Agricultural Ecology Special Interest Group was hosted by the CEBA at Harper Adams University on the 30 June 2015. Farmers and researchers were invited to have their say about the future of sustainable agriculture research and identify challenges and barriers to sustainable practice. To read more about this event please see the full Harper Adams news article.

Dr Nicola Randall Director of the CEBA travelled to Kolkata to take part in the UK-India Agro-ecology Initiative. This meeting aimed to bring together scientists from the UK’s Agricultural Ecology Specialist Interest Group of the British Ecological Society with scientists from the newly formed Society of Agro-ecology, India to establish a platform to facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange.

Agricultural Ecology: Linking Research, Policy and Practice

The CEBA hosted the BES Agricultural Ecology Special Interest Group, policy-themed day for students and early career researchers, at Harper Adams University on 19 November 2014. To read more about this event please see the full Harper Adams University news article.

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