WHO/Cochrane/Cornell Summer Institute

for Systematic Reviews in Nutrition for Global Policy Making


2023, Cornell University, Summer Institute


This unique Institute takes place during 2 weeks of summer; in 2023 the Institute format will be one week virtual followed by one week on the Cornell University campus. The Institute 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.  

The first week of the 2023 Summer Institute will be a virtual week, which is primarily asynchronous instruction (work at your own pace, in teams) with about 3 synchronous (live, collaborative and interactive) sessions. The synchronous sessions will be held between 10:00 am and 1:30 pm EDT. The second week of the 2023 Summer Institute will be a residential week at Cornell University; we look forward to working with participants during the Institute!

The 2023 WHO/Cochrane/Cornell University Summer Institute for Systematic Reviews in Nutrition for Global Policy Making dates are as follows: 

Week 1 July 1 through July 7, 2023

Week 2 July 16 through July 20, 2023 [arrival day July 15, 2023]

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

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 in 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;
  • 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 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. 2023 marks the 9th 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 and Physical Activity Thematic Group, 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; training nutrition scientists to conduct reviews is critical to develop and sustain worldwide capacity for this effort.

Applications are submitted via our online system*. 

We look forward to reviewing your application to the 2023 Summer Institute! The application site is now open and the review of applications will begin on March 15, 2022 and continue until the class is filled. We anticipate accepting 25-30 participants; accepted applicants will receive an email in mid-April 2023 with further information about how to register (also see here for information on how to register).

If you are interested in attending the program, please submit the following:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of interest stating the following:
    • Your area of interest
    • Whether you will work on an existing protocol (either one you are working on now, or possibly on a review to be assigned by organizers prior to arrival at the Institute), or whether you wish to propose a topic (if you intend to propose a topic, please describe how you will identify collaborators)
    • Sponsorship/mentor approval (intended source of payment)
    • Commitment to complete a review and a description of the skills you bring to the workshop and your goals in attending
    • Financial support that will be provided to you and by whom
    • Have you previously applied to the Summer Institute? If so, when and what was the outcome?
    • Names of two colleagues providing a letter of reference for you
  • Reference letters may be submitted by referees directly, OR uploaded by the applicant on the writers' behalf, through our online system. These letters should specifically address your research and technical skills, and your readiness for the Institute. (Note: if you include your letters of reference within your application packet, as opposed to uploading them separately, you may receive an automated message reminding you to submit reference letters. Please feel free to contact us at summerinstitute@cornell.edu to confirm that your application packet has been received in its entirety, however, we check each weekday and will personally confirm receipt of your materials and inform you when your application is complete.)

*note, the online application system for the Institute is managed through Academic Jobs Online. Please contact us at summerinstitute@cornell.edu if you have any questions regarding the application process.

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

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, Director, Summer Institute
Professor & Director, Division of Nutritional Sciences
Professor, Division of Epidemiology, Department of Population Health Sciences, Weill Cornell Medical
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 Collaborating Center on Nutrition Research for Health 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.