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Research centres

There are many UK research centres conducting research into food security.

This page contains institutes of BBSRC, the 15 top funded universities by BBSRC food security spend, and centres who receive strategic support from BBSRC. The list will be regularly reviewed and updated.

Institutes of BBSRC


Babraham Institute

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Undertakes world leading innovative basic biomedical research, including investigating the molecular mechanisms that underlie the effects of nutrition upon gene expression and the ability of the body to respond to infections.


The Pirbright Institute

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Formerly the Institute for Animal Health, this world-leading centre of excellence for research into infectious diseases of farm animals. Impacts of the institute's research include improvements in animal welfare, safeguarding the supply and safety of food, and protecting public health and the environment.


Institute of Food Research

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A world leader in research into harnessing food for health and controlling food-related diseases, centred around the characterisation and understanding of the gut as an integrated biological system. Its scientists address the UK’s grand challenges of obesity and healthy ageing by defining the relationship between food, diet and health, and are making a vital contribution to the food security agenda through research into the behaviour of pathogens, predictive modelling, and developing healthier food. 


John Innes Centre

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A world-leading centre for research and training in the understanding and exploitation of plants and microbes, with special emphasis on yield and productivity, quality and valuable products and environmental interactions. Research provides scientific underpinning to address the issue of food security, focuses on the effects of climate change on yields and assists the industry in improvement of crops for food, chemical and energy use.


Rothamsted Research

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As the UK's largest agricultural research centre Rothamsted Research is internationally recognised as a provider of new scientific knowledge to underpin the economic, environmental and societal value of agricultural land. Rothamsted Research plays a major role in the provision of food security with research advancing crop protection, identifying and reducing environmental impacts, sustaining and enhancing soil quality and improving resource-use efficiency.


Earlham Institute

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Conducts genome analysis research that feeds into the protection of livestock and agriculture from emerging diseases - a major threat to future food security - and the development of even more nutritious fruit and vegetables.


Universities and centres

The following list comprises the 15 top funded universities by BBSRC food security spend, and centres who receive strategic support from BBSRC. The list will be regularly reviewed and updated.


Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), Aberystwyth University

Visit the Aberystwyth University website    Visit the IBERS website

Research in the field of security includes:

  • Crop breeding programmes underpinned by plant molecular genetics technologies
  • Ruminant livestock nutrition to increase efficiency of conversion of feed nutrients to meat and milk and improve product quality
  • Sheep breeding to improve carcass quality, maintain litter size and increase ewe longevity
  • Genetic tests to diagnose drug resistances and reduce losses of sheep and cattle worldwide to parasite infestations

The Roslin Institute

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The Roslin Institute undertakes research focussed on the health and welfare of animals and applications of basic animal sciences in food security, the livestock industry and human and veterinary medicine.

The Institute aims to translate the animal bioscience research undertaken at The Roslin Institute with the view to managing animal diseases, sustainable high quality food production and interactions with the natural environment.


Imperial College London

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University of Birmingham

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University of Bristol

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University of Cambridge

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University of East Anglia

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The University of Edinburgh

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University of Glasgow

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University of Leeds

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The University of Manchester

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Newcastle University

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The University of Nottingham

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Research aims to discover and apply fundamental knowledge from "Farm to Fork" and:

  • Ensure effective resource utilisation
  • Enhance sustainability
  • Improve quality and safety of food production in the context of animal and human health

University of Oxford

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The University of Sheffield

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The University of Warwick

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A centre of excellence for crop research, encompassing crop genetics, crop production and pest, weed and disease management.  Expertise is applied to the challenges and opportunities that a changing climate presents for agriculture and the rural landscape.  An interdisciplinary approach to food security combines crop science with social science research on equitable access to food and on agricultural policy. A relatively new area of multidisciplinary research uses complexity science/intelligent systems to model the food supply network.


The University of York

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