Former CCRI Director, Professor Janet Dwyer has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2022 for her services to rural research over more than three decades.

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.

Commenting on the OBE award, Professor Dwyer said: “Whilst this news has come as a complete surprise to me as I just do a job that I very much enjoy and believe in, I know my family, friends and colleagues are absolutely thrilled that my research has been recognised by the award of an OBE.

“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.

“I have developed a keen interest in supporting and developing impactful research and fostering a strong research culture and environment, with colleagues at the University and the CCRI.”

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.

Professor Janet Dwyer OBE

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.

Currently, 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 advising the government of Malta on their future agriculture and rural policy.

She is helping the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to develop more synergies between trade, agriculture and rural policies and working 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.

CCRI Director, Dr Matt Reed, said: “The whole CCRI team will be thrilled for Janet and her family at this recognition of her contribution to rural research. 

“The Jubilee is a great occasion to recognise all that Janet has undertaken to help create a sustainable agricultural system and vibrant rural communities. 

“Janet has guided the CCRI to where it is today, a centre with an internationally recognised research environment that fosters excellence and rigour. 

“But of course, her research continues, and we look forward to the innovation that it brings.  So, this recognition is truly something to celebrate.”