UK-Pakistan Researcher Links workshop
The delegates gather for a group photo ©

Nicola Lowe

Nutrition Policy to Practice in Pakistan:  Challenges and Research opportunities

Professor Nicola Lowe recently returned from a British Council Researcher Links workshop in Pakistan, which she co-organised with her Pakistani counterpart, Professor Mukhtiar Zaman. In her blog she describes the buzzing atmosphere, surprise funding announcements, and how cultural differences enriched an already productive and sociable workshop. 

“The long journey finally came to an end, and we all arrived in Islamabad! After months of planning by the co-ordination team, which I affectionately referred to as the “dream team”, the big launch day arrived.”

The four-day Nutrition Policy to Practice in Pakistan: Exploring the challenges and research opportunities workshop featured fascinating and inspirational talks such as Helen Bingley, CEO of the Abaseen Foundation’s. moving presentation on the plight of children working in northwest Pakistan brick kilns. The presentation focussed on how the Foundation seeks to improve education and healthcare provision for these marginalised communities.

The workshop provided early career researchers from the UK and Pakistan with an opportunity to interact with overseas counterparts, and learn from the challenges and priorities of different countries: sparking new collaborations, research ideas and friendships.


  • A surprise pledge from the Chairman of the Pakistani Higher Education Committee to fund a collaborative project from the workshop group.
  • Several new 1:1 collaborations formed, and existing collaborations strengthened.
  • A memorable dinner at a hilltop restaurant overlooking Islamabad. Cultural barriers were broken down as the workshop delegates showed off their hidden dancing talents including Bollywood, Pashtun and Scottish country dancing.

This is a summary of a blog written by Professor Lowe for the Nutrition Society's website. 

Further information on British Council Researcher Links can be found here. A new call for proposals for Researcher Links workshops will be launched in April, 2015. All information will be announced here.