WHO/Cochrane/Cornell Summer Institute

For Systematic Reviews in Nutrition for Global Policy Making

summer institute instruction in classroom

July 2021, Cornell University, Ithaca campus


This unique institute on the Cornell University campus brings together experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), Cochrane, and Cornell University to train participants in the development of systematic reviews of nutrition interventions in populations.

Systematic reviews following the Cochrane methodology are used to ensure that WHO recommendations are based on sound evidence. Participants will learn to apply the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) tool to assess the overall quality of evidence.

2019 summer institute group photo

The institute is intended for nutrition scientists and practitioners with interest in the application of scientific evidence in policy making. Candidates must have a university degree in health or social sciences with interest in nutrition interventions for public health and be willing to be registered as authors in a Cochrane Group.

Applications from women and from nationals of low- and middle-income countries are particularly encouraged.

In this program, you will:

  • update and develop your technical skills and knowledge in systematic reviews of nutrition and nutrition-sensitive interventions;
  • build understanding of the process for global policy making, nutrition, and evidence assessment and its challenges;
  • complete hands-on training in the development of Cochrane systematic reviews on a topic of immediate global health relevance in nutrition and public health; and
  • develop confidence with the review methods and foster development of professional networks with fellow participants and faculty

Cornell nutrition research will inform WHO guidelines, policy

A Cochrane systematic review on the benefits and safety of fortifying wheat or maize flour with folic acid and population health outcomes, led by scientists in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell, found that fortification with folic acid (the synthetic form of folate) may improve folate status and reduce the occurrence of neural tube defects.

Cochrane launches a new network of US institutions to promote evidence-based health care and public health

As a Cochrane Affiliate Center in the new US Cochrane Network, the Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University will build on an ongoing collaboration with Cochrane and the World Health Organization to train nutrition scientists to produce systematic reviews in nutrition in support of global policymaking. 2019 marks the 6th year of the WHO/Cochrane/Cornell Summer Institute, and this collaboration has already produced reviews that contributed to global policies and guidelines. The goals of the Cochrane US Cornell University Center align closely with the Cochrane Nutrition Field, which seeks to promote evidence-informed decision-making on nutrition policy and practice. Cochrane reviews on nutrition and health, such as this recently published review on interventions to reduce the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, provide key evidence for policymaking and training nutrition scientists to conduct reviews is critical to develop and sustain worldwide capacity for this effort.

Summer course trains experts in WHO policies, Institute launched in 2014

The following article from the Cornell Chronicle, published July 8, 2014, describes our experiences in the first year of the Institute. The 2018 Summer Institute was our 5th Institute.

More than 30 nutrition experts from around the globe gathered at Cornell July 7-18, 2014, for hands-on training in World Health Organization (WHO) procedures to retrieve, summarize and assess reliable, current evidence to inform WHO’s recommendations for nutrition and public health policy.

Institute focuses on global nutrition policy impact

When the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University hosted the 4th annual Summer Institute for Systematic Reviews in Nutrition for Global Policy Making  from July 24 to August 4, 2017, its participants included 29 experts from around the world, and 10 faculty members from the World Health Organization (WHO), Cornell University and Cochrane.

Please visit our registration page for details on how to apply.

Please visit our registration page for information on the cost of the program and related expenses.

WHO Cochrane Cornell Summer Institute, Contact Information

Patricia A. Cassano, PhD
Professor & Director, Division of Nutritional Sciences
Professor, Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, Weill Cornell Medical College
127 Savage Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
+1 607.255.8001 (phone), +1 607.255.2691 (fax)
E-mail:  summerinstitute@cornell.edu


Learn about the WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center on Implementation Research in Nutrition and Global Policy in the Division of Nutritional Sciences which supports the WHO’s mission to provide training and education to nutrition scientists, while providing technical advice to the WHO and aiding in the development of guidelines.