The five collaborating institutions are all internationally recognised leaders in different aspects of the food security agenda.
ECI has an internationally-recognised track record in food systems research, with special emphasis on the interactions with environmental change. Key strengths include using a food systems lens to research food security issues, and developing research partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders including business, policy, development agencies, NGOs and academia at large. It also has expertise in managing consortia, in levering additional funding after start-up investment; and innovation in engagement (e.g. UKCIP ). The group run an MSc elective module on food systems for the School of Geography and the Environment.
This is a 20-year old unique postgraduate European research centre specialising in the critical analysis of food policy development. The Centre is based in the School of Social Sciences but draws from other disciplines and Schools, notably in public health, environment and business. The Centre emphasises the public interest in food policy, working in line with the University’s Strategic Plan and commitments which are to make unique contributions to education, research, enterprise and internationalisation.
The Centre’s goals are:
- To be a focus for interdisciplinary learning and research on food policy for the School and University
- To be a beacon of high standard food policy analysis
- To champion the connections between health, inequality, environment and society in food policy
- To contribute to local, national and international policy discourse
LCIRAH is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) dedicated to research and training on feeding a world healthily and sustainably in 2020. LCIRAH has operated since 2010 within a formal inter-Collegiate consortium, the London International Development Centre (LIDC). LCIRAH comprises over 30 dedicated staff, postdocs, PhDs and visiting fellows and implements a £10m development research and training programme on themes including agriculture, poverty, and health; agriculture, diet, and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in development; emerging food borne and zoonotic diseases; value chain approaches in agri-health research; innovative metrics for agriculture and health research and evaluation; and impact of environment and climate change on agriculture, health, and nutrition.
The Centre joins together existing areas of research excellence to provide a platform for real-world research into the challenges of ensuring global food security. The Centre collaborates with policy makers, industry and the global research community to help ensure resilient, sustainable and healthy food chains. Reading has an international reputation for research and training on food chains and health, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity. It has adopted three strategic headline themes, all of which are relevant to this programme:
- Securing and sustaining societies, by thinking across conventional boundaries, drawing on multiple disciplines to develop solutions that reflect human behaviour as well as scientific progress.
- Educating 21st century lives, by focussing on building skills and resilience outside of traditional specialisms.
- Advancing policy and practice, by advancing government policy, changing business practice and engaging the public, for the better.
In the form of its Global Research Priorities (GRP) programme, the University of Warwick has identified a number of ‘grand challenges’ which currently confront our global society; ‘food’ is one of the challenges http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/research/priorities/foodsecurity.
Current research themes around food include: food policy and insecurity at the household level; the potential for decision-based modelling to provide a basis for graphical modelling of the complex inter-relationships involved in food security; diet and health; the influence of Brazil in remaking the international politics of food and energy security and using participatory theatre and arts events to offer innovative ways for generating new understanding of global food systems. With regards to food production, the School of Life Sciences has considerable expertise in plant and crop science and in the epidemiology of diseases of livestock.
PhD teaching covers a range of topics associated with food, across science, social science and the humanities. The Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership is a BBSRC funded doctoral training partnership between the University of Warwick, the University of Birmingham and the University of Leicester and ‘food security’ is one of the research areas on which it is focussed. Masters modules on ‘food’ are delivered by the Department of Sociology, Department of Politics and International Studies and the School of Life Sciences. Masters courses on ‘Crop Production’ and ‘Food Security’ are led by the School of Life Sciences.