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University professor receives OBE medal from Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace

University of Gloucestershire’s Professor Janet Dwyer has been presented with her OBE medal by the Princess Royal at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Janet, Professor of Rural Policy and a former Director of the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) based at the University, was awarded the honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2022 for her services to rural research over more than three decades.

Hosted by a member of the Royal Family, investiture ceremonies for recipients of the Sovereign’s Birthday and New Year’s Honours are carried at royal residences in the months following their official announcement.

Professor Dwyer (pictured below at Buckingham Palace) said: “I was delighted to receive my OBE medal at Buckingham Palace from the Princess Royal, especially as she lives in Gloucestershire and showed a keen interest in the University’s development and the work of the CCRI.

“The Princess Royal noted our reputation for impactful research, including our collaboration around rural enterprise and innovation with the universities of Newcastle and Warwick in the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise.

“I told her that I felt very lucky to work with such a dedicated and great team of colleagues at the University and the CCRI, as well as our many external partners.

“I hope my award helps to inspire other researchers, particularly younger colleagues, to understand and recognise the impact and significance that their work can have.”

In 2021, Professor Dwyer achieved a lifetime ambition of being elected as President of the UK Agricultural Economics Society, one of the world’s leading associations of professional and academic agricultural economists.

Director of the CCRI between 2013 and 2021, Professor Dwyer has undertaken rural research for more than 35 years, beginning with her PhD examining the contrasting impact of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on rural conservation in Wales and Normandy.

Professor Dwyer managed a series of evaluations on the performance of agri-environment schemes, seeking to influence the path of CAP reform in a more environmentally-friendly direction, while working at the Countryside Commission between 1991 and 1998.

Working at the Institute for European Environmental Policy from 1998-2002, she undertook numerous evaluations of agri-environment and rural development policies. These enabled European and UK policymakers better understand how their programmes were experienced by farmers and rural communities across Europe.

Professor Dwyer moved to the CCRI at the University in 2002, where she has continued her work in policy analysis and development, embracing research on social and environmental sustainability and resilience in the agri-rural domain.

She is working on UK rural enterprise and innovation in the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise programme with colleagues at Newcastle and Warwick Universities, as well as supporting the government of Malta with their agriculture and rural policies.

She is helping the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to develop more synergies between agriculture, trade and rural policies and working with a range of partners to improve understanding of how traditional upland farming systems can better meet future sustainability and climate challenges.

Professor Dwyer advises Green Alliance, the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission and Defra on rural and agricultural issues, and is a Director of Rural England CIC and Trustee of the Organic Research Centre.