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Venue: SLU Ultuna Campus, Uppsala, Sweden

Information Note


SPDC has a long history of organising Training Workshops on pertinent subjects relevant to forest scientists in conjunction with large IUFRO conferences and congresses. The IUFRO World Congress 2024 in Sweden represents another ideal opportunity for selected early- and mid-career scientists to enhance essential skills for generating high-quality research results and for communicating such results to policy and practice. The SPDC pre-congress training workshop week therefore offers the following three events:

  • Research Methods in Forest Science
  • Science-Society Interactions: Making Science Work for Policy and Practice
  • Systematic Evidence Evaluation in Forest Science

During the Pre-Congress Training Workshop week, the three courses will run concurrently for 3.5 days from 19 to 22 June 2024. Each workshop is led by a senior scientist specialised in the respective workshop theme. One or more resource persons will assist and contribute specific topics and case studies from various regions from around the world.

The workshop will be concluded with a KNOWLEDGE CAFÉ for all participants across the three courses on 22 June 2024 followed by a closing session around mid-day. In the afternoon of the same day, the participants will travel from Uppsala to Stockholm to join the IUFRO World Congress.



Lead Facilitator:
John Kershaw
, University of New Brunswick, Canada

This workshop module will present a framework for preparing a scientific research study plan. It will lead the participants through the process of asking scientific questions, developing meaningful hypotheses, and designing the research to test these hypotheses. At the end, each participant will be able to prepare, on a single piece of paper, the important elements of a Gowin Vee for their research, and to share this with the group.

The content will include an approach to research study plan preparation that is simple, straight forward, and comprehensive. The sessions will seek active student participation, including brief introduction of self and current/recent research topics.

By following the model of the Gowin Vee the focus is on three stages – first, on the real system under study -- everything is a system – with composition, structure, and environment, ending with stated knowns and unknowns about the system. The second stage begins when it is recognized that everything in the system composition has properties that can be represented using constructs – either a concept or a proposition or a theory, ending with a testable statement or claim about nature. The final stage identifies or develops methods of testing the claim about nature. These methods may include data gathering/sampling, working with historical or your own numbers of limited precision, selecting powerful statistical tests, and drawing proper conclusions from tests.  The idea is to cover all the ‘bases’ of a research problem on a single sheet of paper, so that understanding and representing the real system and one can demonstrate to someone that you understand: a) the real system, b) how to represent the system conceptually, and c) what techniques are appropriate to test your conjectures. 



Lead Facilitator:
Steve Makungwa
, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malawi

Resource Persons:
Anders Malmer
, Swedish Forest Agency / Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Sweden
Madelene Ostwald, Linköping University, Sweden
Klas Bengtsson, Eco-Innovation Foundation, Sweden
Michael Kleine, IUFRO-SPDC, Austria

Science-society interactions serve as platforms for exchanging knowledge between scientists and various stakeholders including policy makers and practitioners. This fosters mutual understanding and collaboration.  By engaging with diverse stakeholders, these interactions enhance the relevance and applicability of scientific research, leading to informed decision-making and more effective policies. The workshop will explore policy and governance approaches, as well as technical and managerial solutions, needed to enhance science-society interactions for effective forest and landscape conservation, restoration, and management.

This workshop discusses ways and means of transforming scientific knowledge into useful information for decision-making in policy and forest landscape management on the ground. Participants will enhance their understanding of the interconnected realms of forest science and policy and practical forest management. The workshop will discuss approaches and tools to successfully bridge these two spheres for improved science-policy/practice interactions and joint learning of scientists, policy makers and forest practitioners. Topics addressed in the workshop include:

  • The nature of science to policy and practice interactions,
  • Approaches and methods suitable to successful transforming scientific knowledge for policy making and practical implementation,
  • Examples of relevant science-policy/practice initiatives from various regions of the world mainly Africa and Europe, and
  • Capacity development for increased impact of scientific information on policy and forest management on the ground.



Lead Facilitator:
Gillian Petrokofsky
,Oxford Systematic Reviews, UK

Resource Persons:
William Harvey, Leo Petrokofsky
,Oxford Systematic Reviews UK & University of Oxford, UK

This Workshop will introduce participants to robust and up-to-date methods and tools for framing questions of high priority and assembling relevant information to support good decision-making and forestry practice. The methods are derived from best practice for systematic review, but can be adapted for any current problem that requires unbiased information. Participants will work collaboratively to explore all stages of preparing systematic reviews. Teaching examples will be drawn from all themes of the congress, including forests for sustainable societies, forest resilience, bioeconomy, and biodiversity. The course will introduce participants to issues surrounding the responsible use of Artificial Intelligence in literature reviews. Participants are encouraged to bring to the workshop particular topics of interest to them and their regions that would benefit from a scientific evidence approach. Topics will include:

  • Framing answerable questions to address policy and practice concerns,
  • Searching the literature,
  • Managing the literature and selecting appropriate evidence,
  • Employing Artificial Intelligence appropriately,
  • Planning a collaborative systematic review,
  • Critically appraising the evidence for its validity and reducing bias,
  • Presenting results in different formats for different audiences, and
  • Legacy of your research, copyright/intellectual property.

The application for the Scientist Assistance Programme to attend the Congress and the Pre-Congress training is now closed, and we are not longer accepting any further applications.

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