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Insider Insights: OneZoo Students Explored How Science meets Policy at DEFRA Headquarters in Westminster

In an exclusive opportunity, OneZoo PhD students recently participated in a tailored training program hosted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) at their headquarters in Westminster. This event marked the first part of a two-part training program. The initiative aimed to provide firsthand insights into the dynamic intersection of science and policy, offering a glimpse into the significant number of scientists actively contributing to governmental processes. The program also highlighted the challenges encountered in navigating ever-evolving political landscapes.

Part 1 of the policy training program focused on exploring the infectious disease implications for environmental health. During this phase, students actively engaged in discussions with DEFRA’s One Health teams, particularly the Human Animal Infections and Risk Surveillance Group. This unique session provided a firsthand look into how government entities work together across the devolved nations, to analyse the current zoonotic risks in the UK. The experience fostered a direct and meaningful connection between OneZoo and the professionals at the forefront of policy-making.







The OneZoo CDT embarked on its journey with a vibrant residential induction week held at the picturesque New House Country Hotel in Thornhill, just outside of Cardiff.

The immersive introductory event provided students with a unique opportunity to delve into critical topics at the intersection of human, animal, and environmental health. Engaging discussions and collaborative exploration took center stage as students connected with their peers and academic and non-academic partners, gaining invaluable insights from a variety of sectors.

A highlight of the week was an enlightening trip to a local farm, enriching participants’ understanding of zoonotic diseases in the agricultural sector. This hands-on experience further underscored OneZoo CDT’s commitment to fostering a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to research and learning