Knowledge for a sustainable world

Dr Tim Chancellor
Director of Capacity Strengthening and Learning, Plant Disease Vector Entomologist


Natural Resources Institute, Faculty of Engineering & Science

+44 (0)1634 88 3466

Tim Chancellor trained as a vector ecologist and has spent many years overseas working on the ecology and management of virus disease of rice (south and southeast Asia), banana (Philippines and Uganda), groundnuts (Uganda) and tomato (Caribbean). In recent years he has continued to work on pest and disease management in tropical crops but he also specialises in capacity strengthening of individuals, organizations and institutions. He has an MSc in Crop Protection and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Reading. After working as an agriculturist for Tate & Lyle Technical Services in Indonesia and Ghana, Tim joined NRI in 1989. He spent most of the 1990s seconded to the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. He led NRI’s Plant, Animal & Human Health Group from 2001 to 2006. Since then he has been coordinating the Institute’s work on capacity strengthening. Tim is also currently acting as Liaison Scientist for the southern Africa Community of Practice of the Collaborative Crop Research Program of the McKnight Foundation.

Tim is interested in the development and application of ecological approaches to insect pest and disease management. His work has involved integrating knowledge on the population dynamics of insect vectors of crop diseases with an understanding of temporal and spatial patterns of disease spread in order to bring about improved disease control. He has also carried out research on the economic, social and cultural factors which influence crop management decisions and on pest and disease control practices utilized by resource-poor farmers.

He has contributed to the development of new approaches to capacity strengthening of organizations and institutions, including methodologies for institutional analysis and change management. An emerging challenge is how to address the capacity needs of the different types of organizations involved in agricultural innovation platforms so that they can work together effectively and achieve their particular objectives. Tim is currently helping to develop a new global initiative which seeks to respond to this need.

He is interested in exploring ways to make agricultural information more relevant and more accessible to smallholder farmers, especially those located in remote areas. A particular interest is how to harness the potential of new information and communication technologies for the benefit of smallholders.

Tim coordinates NRI’s inputs to the EC-funded Platform for Africa-Europe Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD). PAEPARD aims to facilitate stronger participation of African organizations in European-funded programmes and seeks to encourage the active involvement of the private sector and civil society. Tim leads the PAEPARD’s advocacy work and contributes to information and communication activities.

He helped to develop and coordinate a £10m DFID-funded programme on Strengthening Capacity for Agricultural Research and Development in Africa (SCARDA). The project worked with national agricultural research institutes and their partners in ten countries in association with sub-regional research organizations and regional educational networks. The first phase (2007-2009) was led by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, with a follow-on phase (2010-2011) managed by NRI under Tim’s leadership. SCARDA developed innovative approaches for identifying and addressing the capacity needs of agricultural research and education organizations and for linking postgraduate training to organizational development. In its later phase it designed and tested new approaches for enhancing the capacities of different types of organizations working together in agricultural innovation platforms.

In 2005-06 he led a European Union funded project (TELESUPPORT) which piloted a novel system for exchanging information on improved agricultural practices and natural resources management through the use of web-based communication tools and Village Information Centres. TELESUPPORT facilitated the creation of networks of information users and providers in West Bengal and Kerala by addressing key constraints and information gaps through a demand-led approach.

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