from £214


Autumn 2024

The in-person course in July 2023 had 100% positive feedback.


Interactive online course or Wallingford or Bangor;  Edinburgh and Lancaster at a later time, subject to demand.


Students: from £199

Professionals from £249

Prices increase by £50 after the early bird discount period ends. In-person-courses cost an extra £15)


Autumn 2024

Express your interest here, so we can fix a new course date.

Alternative on-demand course: Evidence Synthesis - on demand - a self-paced course with immediate access (from £149)

Short course description:

This highly interactive course will introduce you to Evidence Synthesis, Evidence Review, Systematic Reviews and Rapid Evidence Assessment. It will give you the knowledge, skills and confidence to carry out an Evidence Review Synthesis for an area of Natural Environment research of your personal interest. You will gain and improve skills in undertaking an evidence review – from inception and question formulation with clients, to undertaking a systematic search and data extraction, and reporting. We will also cover the nature and application of different synthesis methodologies within different evidence contexts, policy research, evidence synthesis, mapping and meta-analysis. The training involved hands-on group exercises doing a mini-Quick Scoping Review, developing review questions and undertaking a review.  

Beyond the Evidence Synthesis methodologies, we will cover aspects such as

  • Interpreting science for application in setting policy and business goals
  • Working across the natural-social science boundary
  • Experience and understanding of working with multi-disciplinary teams and outputs
  • Communicating across disciplines
  • Interrogating large datasets and data mining
  • Understanding the requirements of policymakers (science to policy).
  • How to work with groups of experts to put reviews in a wider context
  • The value of objective vs subjective analysis

Learning outcomes:

  1. You will have a better understanding of the principles of evidence review, identifying the difference between traditional reviews and ERs
  2. You will gain skills for all stages of doing an evidence review, such as setting research questions and including/excluding search results
  3. You will learn how to ensure you apply the processes in a systematic and transparent way.
  4. Learn how to set research questions.
  5. You will be better able to do ERs and understand the value for science-policy/business interfaces.
  6. You will gain transferable skills in the field of environmental science.

Target audience:

  • PhD students and Early Career Researchers with an interest in Environmental Sciences
  • Researchers in industry
  • Statutory organisations
  • Environmental Consultants
  • Nature Conservation - Voluntary sector


Beginner – you do not need any previous knowledge or skills on Evidence Synthesis


A maximum of 20 per event to ensure a quality learning experience

Hardware and software requirements:

You will need a laptop or tablet for the in-person course.

For the interactive online course, we recommend a second external screen (not essential). Having a webcam is desirable (but not essential). If you plan to participate from an open-plan office or noisy environment, please wear headphones with a built-in microphone.

Course leaders:

Mike Perring, Plant Scientist and Ecologist, UKCEH

Andrew Singer, Senior Environmental Microbiologist, UKCEH

Michael Hutchins, Water Quality Modeller, UKCEH

Ingo Schüder, Commercial Training Manager, UKCEH

Course delivery:

The course includes two short pre-course videos which we will make available online. This will include some theory of Evidence Synthesis (ES). It will be essential that you look at this material in your own time.

Training will be interactive and focus on skills development to provide the learners with insights into the value of Evidence Reviews (ER) and how to conduct an ER. We will tailor courses so that attendees can apply these skills to their own research.

We encourage you to conduct your own full Evidence Review exercise in your own time once you completed the training.

We will encourage you to evaluate your learning and to give us feedback throughout the training. 

Previous course participants said:

The in-person course in July 2023 had 100% positive feedback.

"Trainers were very engaging, knowledgeable and helpful.“ (Bethany Doo, Defra, July 2023)

I really enjoyed all elements of the workshop and specifically how interactive it was" (Civil Service Fast Stream learner, May 2023)

"Charlie and Ingo were fantastic teachers. The setup  worked well and resulted in a good level of interactivity" (Civil Service Fast Stream learner, May 2023)

"Knowledgeable presenters who communicated clearly and effectively.” (Amanda Porter, Defra, March 2023)

“Trainers were fantastic, really dynamic and engaging people and made the day fun and interesting.” (learner, March 2023)

"I appreciated the hands-on practical with the different stakeholder perspectives. I also liked the way the material was clearly communicated by James and Charlie." (Dr. Chidiebere Ofoegbu Leicester University February 2023)

"I really enjoyed the course. Cannot think of anything to improve" (course participant February 2023)

"Highly enjoyable training course that was informative and 'super' relevant to my role.  It has clarified quite a few things with regards to how research is collated and evaluated in the civil service, which does differ to the private sector.  It is a definite addition to my 'tools' and I am looking forward to using them in the current project ideas I have." (course participant November 2022)

"I liked the whole day - it was enjoyable.  It really made me think about the research question and how it can be refined to make the research itself more applicable."  (course participant November 2022)

"The group work in the second half of the course was a great way to get to grips with the skillset (Bethan McGregor, Defra, 29 March 2022)

"I particularly enjoyed the group exercises and the continual engagement throughout the workshop (Joshua Leigh, Defra, 29 March 2022)

"Both the morning and afternoon sessions were helpful, was great to have a theoretical and practical element to the course." (Scott Lampon, Shift Insight, 15 February 2022)

"Really good - I appreciated the ability of the trainers to come in and out of the breakout rooms"  (Bethany Green, Scientific Officer, Office of Chief Scientific Adviser, Defra, 30 March 2020)

"Mixture of teaching and doing practical exercises very good. Found emphasis on floods very useful (Dr. Hannah Reid, Defra, 22 March 2022)

“Brilliant course. I am now very confident on the components of an evidence review. The practical activity in the afternoon was brilliant - really good to put the skills into practice.” (PhD student from King's College London)

"A really brilliant course - helped me to understand and practice the "what, why and how" of evidence reviews!"

Relevant links and key publications: