Transforming UK Food Systems SPF

The £47.5M ‘Transforming the UK Food System for Healthy People and a Healthy Environment SPF Programme’ is delivered by UKRI, in partnership with the Global Food Security Programme, BBSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, Defra, DHSC, PHE, Innovate UK and FSA.

It aims to fundamentally transform the UK food system by placing healthy people and a healthy natural environment at its centre, addressing questions around what we should eat, produce and manufacture and what we should import, taking into account the complex interactions between health, environment and socioeconomic factors.

By co-designing research and training across disciplines and stakeholders, and joining up healthy and accessible consumption with sustainable food production and supply, this Programme will deliver coherent evidence to enable concerted action from policy, business and civil society.

The programme is supported by UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF)

Aims:

The programme aims to:

  • Transform the UK food system by placing healthy people and a healthy natural environment at its centre
  • Determine what we should eat, produce and manufacture in the UK and import, for health and sustainability
  • Bring together researchers, government, business, and civil society to determine what interventions might be required
  • Co-produce research across disciplines and stakeholders to provide evidence for coherent policymaking
  • Train the next generation of food system thinkers

The programme is delivered in several stages

Call 1 (£25M) will support 5-year research grants of up to £6M. These will be multi-centre, interdisciplinary and bring together the different parts of the food system. They will build a critical mass of researchers and stakeholders and will enable an integrated approach to addressing the objectives of this programme. These grants must include collaboration with a cross-section of stakeholders (government, business and civil society) to shape the research and help drive impact.

A Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) (£5M) will support one CDT to ensure a pipeline of skilled people who are able to apply critical interdisciplinary systems thinking to health and sustainability challenges, across academia, industry and government. The CDT will deliver three cohorts of students and will bring together research organisations to ensure coverage of different parts of the food system and different disciplines.

Call 2: Transforming UK food systems for health and environment (£14M) will support two to three- year research grants of between £250,000 – £2,000,000. Project can be led by any discipline but must; integrate both social and natural sciences; collaborate with at least one stakeholder organisation from government, business or civil society; address UK government priorities.

The Expression of Interest stage of Call 2 is currently open, with a deadline of April 22nd 2021. More information about eligibility, scope and how to apply can be found here. Please register on the online portal for access to a call webinar, networking events, Q&A sessions, stakeholder videos and a collaboration finder.