The International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) Asia, in collaboration with the Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi India is organising the International Network for Government Science Advice Capacity Building Workshop for South Asia on the 11th and 12th of December 2018 at the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. Scientific advice plays an important role in policy making in most countries. However, most of the problems and challenges in the society are complex in nature and policy makers need to consider many other factors than scientific advice. Many of the challenges facing modern societies cannot be adequately addressed by simply using common sense, experience, precedent, ideological principles, or basic analytical methods. Whether it is climate change, renewable energy, natural disasters, food security, or disease pandemics, policymakers want scientific advice to inform their decisions. Obtaining rigorous and useful science advice in a timely manner is not a trivial matter and taking careful account of such advice in complex policy areas of interest to many different stakeholders is not always straightforward. The interface between science, politics and society at large is a minefield for both policy-makers and scientists. While, science advice training may not be in the mainstream training of scientists, there is an increasing need for scientists to have science advice and communication skills to ensure that evidence-based policies result in positive impact to all stakeholders. This INGSA South Asia Workshop will be a great platform for participants to become aware of the importance of science advice as well as gain skills relevant to effective science advice. The workshop also aims to create a support network and stimulate the exchange of ideas, experience and knowledge in the interdisciplinary field of science advice. The theme of the Workshop is Science Advice and the Environment. So we are looking to identify participants who have an interest in this thematic area. Programme Structure The INGSA South Asia Capacity Building Workshop is developed as a highly interactive workshop that includes training, application, peer support and mentorship. Participant will attend a 2-days intensive on-site programme at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. Throughout the 2-day workshop, participants will be involved in: A. Skills-training: • Elements of effective (collective) science advice • Strategies towards effective collaboration and network building • Creative and systems thinking • Problem solving and decision-making skills • Effective communication skills • Stakeholder engagement skills • Overcoming cultural inhibitions • Monitoring and assessment of programme impact B. Best practices, experiences and opportunities: • Reflections • Insights from experienced science advisor • Opportunities for participants to apply the skills that they have acquired Expected commitment The INGSA South Asia Capacity Building Workshop is seeking ambitious and values-driven scientist or policy makers who are committed towards actively contributing to or establishing Science Advice as well as promoting greater collaboration within the region. Selected participant will be expected to: Apply the acquired skillsets in existing or new initiatives in the 12 months following the initial training and share their skillsets and experience with fellow researchers in their respective countries. Continue interacting with other participants via events and/or online means of communication. Costs Training, meal, airfare and accommodation costs will be covered by the organisers for all selected participants. There will be some costs that will not be covered by the programme, such as visas and vaccinations, for which participant may need to seek support from their local institution or fund personally. Selection criteria and application process Applicants will need to display compelling evidence of their interest in science advice. This potential can be demonstrated in areas such as research excellence, talent development, advocacy, connection, outreach, education etc. The selection process will not only consider individual qualities but also focus on ensuring diversity of culture, subject background (natural and social sciences, engineering, arts, humanities etc.) and gender among the participant. Where possible, the programme will also attempt to create small nodes of leadership; multiple strong applicants from the same centre or country will thus be considered. The following criteria are used as a guide for the nomination and selection of fellows: A continuing research/academic position at a research institute, institution of higher learning, or industry; A sustained record of scientific output; Interest in translating and communicating the results of their work to create positive impact in society; Demonstrated leadership ability in research and beyond; Interest in the role of research in addressing complex issues affecting society; Interest in collaborations across disciplines and sectors (e.g. industry, government, etc.); Commitment towards engaging in the activities of the region; and Intent to share what is learned in the programme with their broader networks. All applicants have to fill up registration form and provide one recommendation letter from their proposed referee and brief curriculum vitae from this link below. Please ensure that the support letters are sent using accredited institutional letter head. The referee has to commit to be involved in future communications and mentorship of successful participant. This referee should express their willingness towards supporting the INGSA Asia participant’s development as an academic leader. Deadline of applications is on 26th November 2018. Please contact: Ms Farah Ismail (Tel. No.: +6 0102762123 ) IACBE Secretariat Ms. Chitra Pokharia (Tel. No. +917895439955) Email: [email protected] or [email protected] for any further enquiries.
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