Centre for Evidence Based Agriculture - What can we do for you? | Harper Adams University
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Evidence syntheses

Staff at the CEBA carry out evidence syntheses for stakeholders to underpin decision-making. Examples of current and past syntheses are on our projects page. The type of methodology used to collate and evaluate existing research depends on the question and timescale available. However, all the methods used to synthesise evidence are transparent and aim to reduce bias when searching for and analysing evidence. 

If you would like us to synthesise evidence for a particular topic or question to support your decision-making please contact us.


We can offer:

  • Training for policy staff, researchers (including PhD students), and for industry interested in working on evidence syntheses. Training courses can be held at Harper Adams University or at your own site.
  • Bespoke advice and support for individuals/review teams planning or undertaking their own evidence syntheses
  • Placements at the CEBA where you can shadow and work with staff undertaking evidence syntheses in the Centre.


At the Centre for Evidence-Based Agriculture we can tailor training courses for all aspects of food and agriculture-related evidence syntheses such as systematic review, systematic mapping and rapid evidence assessments, at a level to suit your requirements. With the  EPPI Centre (University of London) we have previously delivered systematic review training for the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) over a three year period, delivering a total of nine EFSA training courses in systematic reviews and systematic review protocol design for food and feed safety risk assessments. We recently delivered training and placements under CEETOP a NERC funded training initative. More info on the CEETOP courses can be found at the bottom of the page. If you are interested in training tailored to your own requirements please contact us do discuss this further.


Advice and support

We provide a tailored support service for review teams setting up or carrying out evidence syntheses/collations. Advice is available for all aspects of methodology and a range of different evidence syntheses/collations, including systematic review, systematic mapping and quick scoping reviews. We also provide guidance for teams needing to summarise review outputs for policy makers and practitioners, for example through policy briefs. Review teams will benefit most from feedback and advice if they contact us prior to the draft protocol being written. Costs are dependent on the needs of the team and level of support required in hours/days.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements.



Placements are availaible if you are interested in shadowing CEBA staff  working on an actual review that we are involved in. This can help you understand what evidence synthese really involves, or enables you to gain experience on a specific stage of a synthesis eg.  literature searching and reference management, meta-analysis, narrative synthesis, qualitative evidence synthesis in a specific type of review. You may also choose to bring your own review to work on, with support of CEBA staff. Placement availability will depend on Centre activities so please contact us to discuss the opportunties further 


CEETOP Evidence synthesis short course and placements

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.

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

Participants could attend the full 5 day course or select from the modular elements within it. For more details please click here.   If you are interested in similar training opportunities, please contact us for availability and prices.

Placement participants recieved bespoke support for  evidence synthesis on which they were working or were able to gain experience by working with members of staff at the CEBA working on existing evidence syntheses. Placements were offered at Harper Adams or Exeter. Onsite training and support through specialists was be provided (eg in specific stages of a review such as literature searching and reference management, meta-analysis, narrative synthesis, qualitative evidence synthesis in a specific type of review, or in a specific field). Most participants focused on a specific area of their own review, but gained advice and input from experienced staff at the centres. For more information on the CEETOP placements please click here. If you would like to organise your own placement, please contact us for availability and prices.


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