Deadline: 16th January

Supervisor: Lisa Boden, University of Edinburgh

Project Description

Evidence-based decision-making must be both scientifically and ethically robust. This project will examine and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of existing mechanisms in the UK/Scotland for the transference and translation of scientific evidence to policy-makers, industry representatives and the public, on issues of food security and animal/public health. Case studies from the Scottish Government Centres of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks (EPIC) will be considered as a starting point. The overarching purpose of this study is to develop/optimise a suitable framework for sustainable, resilient and efficient science-policy communication which may be applicable to developing country scenarios. 

I. Evaluate the effectiveness of existing knowledge-brokering frameworks for science-policy translation in different animal/public health contexts (including contingency planning for exotic disease and antimicrobial resistance) (Boden et al. 2015). 
II. Evaluate the impact of multi-disciplinary sources of evidence provided to government policymaker and industry stakeholders on their subsequent attitudes, behaviour and perception of risk and the formulation of policy decisions and contingency plans to improve resilience of livestock systems and animal/public health and food security. 
III. Investigate the economic, social and ethical outcomes of subsequent science-policy interventions applied to animal and public health sectors. 
IV. Measure the efficiency of knowledge exchange activities related to different strands and sources of relevant science-policy research. 

Research training: The PhD student will use mixed qualitative (semi-structured interviews and focus groups) & quantitative methods (structured questionnaires and KE efficiency analysis) to explore the effectiveness of knowledge brokers and other knowledge exchange models to facilitate stakeholder engagement and co-construction in research. Quantitative techniques (e.g., Data Envelopment Analysis (Toma et al. 2013), Structural Equation Modelling (Toma et al. 2016) will also be applied to identify the efficiency of knowledge exchange related to various strands of research (e.g., proposed research deliverables) and the impact of various determinants on this. 

Application procedures 
Applications including a statement of interest and full CV with names and addresses (including email addresses) of two academic referees, should be emailed to 
When applying for the studentship please state clearly the title of the studentship and the supervisor/s in your covering letter. 

All applicants should also apply through the University’s on-line application system for September 2018 entry via http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees/index.php?r=site/view&id=826 

Applicants for the Principal’s career development studentship must also complete the specific on-line application form. 

Applicants for an Enlightenment Scholarship must also complete the specific on-line application form. 

Funding Notes

This project is eligible for a University of Edinburgh 3-year PhD studentship or Principal's Career Development Studentship. (View Website) or a 4-year Enlightenment Scholarships (View Website

International students applying for a 3-year PhD studentship or Principal's Career Development Studentship should also apply for an Edinburgh Global Research Studentship (View Website). International students applying for an Enlightenment Scholarship should note that tuition fees are included in the award and an Edinburgh Global Research Studentship is not required. 

Read more about supervisor Lisa Boden

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