A robust research effort investigating and quantifying the human health impacts of global environmental change is the engine at the heart of building a discipline of Planetary Health and meaningfully informing policy discussions. The Planetary Health Alliance aims to support the ongoing growth of a robust field of research in several ways:
Establish and coordinate a network of planetary health scientists and practitioners. We hope to serve as a clearinghouse where research groups around the world can register their projects by geographic and thematic area, in order to create a thinkmap that conceptually relates projects in a way that enables our community to identify potential areas of collaboration. We would also request research groups to note whether there are volunteer or paid employment opportunities for students or young investigators. We envision that such a thinkmap network could lead to brainstorming workshops to incubate new research ideas as well as to increased capacity for systematic reviews of existing literature to build a more cohesive and comprehensive evidence base in planetary health. We also hope to work with members of the research community to assist with the process of extracting, synthesizing, and publicizing lessons learned across existing projects.
Planetary Health Fellowship. We will be administering the new Rockefeller Foundation Planetary Health Fellowship for post-doctoral candidates interested in completing transdiscplinary research in planetary health. There is currently a dearth of post-doctoral fellowship opportunities that allow young investigators to work across disciplines related to human health and environmental change. Entraining scholars at this early point in their career will help build the foundations for a community with the skills needed to address emerging critical questions.
Convenings. We intend to work closely with The Lancet to put out a call for abstracts in planetary health research each year and create an opportunity at an annual planetary health convening to highlight top abstracts in oral presentations and poster sessions.
Virtual Review Board. We will work with the planetary health community to develop a virtual review board of scholars who are committed to prioritizing journal reviews for manuscripts related to planetary health. Editorial staffs at numerous journals have indicated that having a group of scholars committed to performing reviews of transdisciplinary manuscripts would be an invaluable resource and would facilitate publishing quality research in planetary health.
Curated Index of Datasets. We are interested in facilitating access to planetary health-relevant datasets as a way of increasing the potential of these datasets to generate new lessons and creating a testbed for young investigators interested in exploring existing data. We will host some of these datasets directly on our website as well as direct users to external databases via web links.
Policy Support. Finally, we are committed to connecting planetary health science to policy and will actively build relationships with policy makers to help identify critical policy-relevant research questions and concurrently assist in translating the results of research back into the policy domain. The policy dimension is further in our Policy section.