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BBSRC scientist authors school food briefing for parliamentarians

9 July 2009

PhD student, Rachel Joynes, has today (9 July) published a briefing for parliamentarians on school food as part of a three month parliamentary fellowship, sponsored by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

The document entitled "Nutritional Standards in UK Schools" is part of the Parliamentary Office of Science Technology (POST) ‘POSTnote’ series, which aims to provide information and briefing to parliamentarians on important issues of science and technology.

POST spokesperson Dr Sarah Bunn said: "The real value of Rachel’s work is in bringing together disparate sources of information – the issues around school food are really complex and there are a lot of people involved."

Rachel Joynes, a student at The Royal Veterinary College, added: "I’ve had to speak to everyone from Jamie Oliver’s office to the Schools Food Trust. It’s been a fascinating process and I’ve gained a real insight into the workings of the policy-making machine. More than anything though, it’s been really interesting to see how science and technology can inform policy that makes a real difference to people’s lives."

Dr Celia Caulcott, Director of Innovation and Skills, BBSRC said: "Often we see the wider impacts of bioscience research when outcomes from this are used as evidence to inform policy decisions. In areas such as diet and health the UK faces significant challenges such as rising obesity in children. This fellowship scheme gives young scientists the opportunity to see exactly how their research area could be of benefit to the wider world."


Notes to editors

"Nutritional Standards in UK Schools" is available to download from the POST website.

About BBSRC Parliamentary fellowships

BBSRC Parliamentary fellowships provide an opportunity for BBSRC-funded PhD students to undertake a 3 month secondment to POST, with the aim of working on a policy topic of interest to the fellow and POST and producing a ‘POSTnote’ for parliamentarians on that topic. The 2009 call will be launched soon under the name BBSRC Policy fellowships and will also include secondments to the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly Government and the Royal Society Science Policy Centre. Around 5 fellowships will be available in the next round and successful applicants will receive a 3 month extension to their PhD funding as well as travel and accommodation costs for those who live outside reasonable commuting distance.


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £450M in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. BBSRC carries out its mission by funding internationally competitive research, providing training in the biosciences, fostering opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation and promoting interaction with the public and other stakeholders on issues of scientific interest in universities, centres and institutes.

The Babraham Institute, Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Food Research, John Innes Centre and Rothamsted Research are Institutes of BBSRC. The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research.


Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299

Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382