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Call 1: GFS resilience of the UK food system in a global context

Copyright: Thinkstock

Call status: Closed
Previous call: 14 September 2015 – 27 October 2015


The Global Food Security (GFS) Programme has announced a 5-year interdisciplinary programme of research. The programme has been co-designed by BBSRC, ESRC, NERC, Defra, The Scottish Government and FSA, in partnership with wider stakeholders, and will address a major food security challenge: ‘Resilience of the UK food system in a global context’.


  • ESRC
  • NERC
  • Scottish Government

Funding total

BBSRC, ESRC, NERC & Scottish Government are contributing £14.5M to support two calls of research.

Projects funded

Five collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects worth £7.2M have been awarded:

  • Increasing resilience to water-related risks in the UK fresh fruit and vegetable system
    Lead PI: Dr Tim Hess, Cranfield University in collaboration with researchers from University of East Anglia, East Malling Research and University of Oxford – £1,291,662.31 (fEC)
  • Resilience of the UK food system to Global Shocks (RUGS)
    Lead PI: Professor Mark Rounsevell, The University of Edinburgh – £1,004,734.09 (fEC) in collaboration with researchers from SRUC
  • PIGSustain: Predicting the impacts of intensification and future changes on UK Pig Industry Resilience
    Lead PI: Dr Lisa Collins, University of Lincoln, in collaboration with researchers from University of Reading, University of Leeds and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – £2,102,293.73 (fEC)
  • IKnowFood: Integrating Knowledge for Food Systems Resilience
    Lead PI: Professor Bob Doherty, University of York – £3,425,141.70 (fEC) in collaboration with researchers from Universities of Manchester and Liverpool
  • Securing the future of the UK’s favourite fruit
    Lead PI: Dr Daniel Bebber, University of Exeter, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Oxford – £1,228,612.93 (fEC)

If you wish to find out more about these projects, please look them up through our Portfolio Analyser tool (see 'Search awarded grants' in related links).


The programme will integrate biological, environmental and social sciences. It aims to build a coherent portfolio of interdisciplinary research across key funders who will deliver evidence for policy and industry to support a resilient UK food system. Knowledge exchange will be integrated throughout, helping to drive innovation and the translation of research into policy and practice for use by policy makers, farmers, food chain stakeholders, and civil society. Through two complementary calls for proposals funders aim to support a portfolio of projects covering the breadth of the challenge.

Thematic priorities

There are three overlapping thematic priorities in the programme. Proposals should address one or more thematic priorities and are encouraged to take a food systems approach.

  1. Optimising the productivity, resilience and sustainability of agricultural systems and landscapes (ref 1)
  2. Optimising resilience of food supply chains both locally & globally
  3. Influencing food choice for health, sustainability and resilience at the individual and household level

Reference 1: This includes aquaculture but wild capture fisheries are not in scope.

Related calls: agriculture food partnerships