Application deadline: 23 October 2013, 4pm

The BBSRC, in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA), is looking for applications for early career research fellowships (analogous to the David Phillips fellowships scheme) in areas of science that are of strategic and scientific interest and importance to the funders.

The FSA is particularly interested in proposals which can demonstrate potential for significant leaps forward in providing the evidence needed to underpin its objective of safer food for the nation. These may be on current/new areas of interest where building research capability/capacity/new approaches would be helpful, for example:

  • on foodborne disease organisms such as Listeria, Campylobacter, VTEC, Norovirus including realising the full potential of whole genome sequencing approaches.
  • on any emerging/new issues for which a compelling case can be made

For more information please visit the BBSRC website.

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The Global Food Security Programme, working with Cambridge University, recently completed a project to identify priority research questions for the UK food system. The full results are published online in the journal Food Security.

In a blog post on the Global Food Security Programme website, John Ingram explains the process they went through to establish these research priorities, and summarises the outcomes.

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By Tanja Schneider.

As part of our new research into ‘Emerging forms of food consumer behaviour and food governance’ supported by the Oxford Martin Future of Food Programme, we are exploring what kinds of information and communication technologies are available to assist consumers in gathering and exchanging knowledge on a broad spectrum of food issues. We are particularly interested in learning more about consumers’ use of mobile phone apps, online consumer organisations and databases and other websites that provide information on food content, price, availability etc. Related to this, some of you may have seen our invitation to participate in a short online survey to share with us what about food matters most to you and how you go about finding out relevant information with or without the use of new ICTs.

Based on the information you provided in the survey (we are still looking for more participants!) and our own mapping of potential ICT-enabled sources of food information, we recently have become interested in a number of mobile apps, how they work, what they allow consumers to do and for whom these might be of interest and relevance. So one of our OFG team, Tanja, set out to test some apps in her everyday consumer life, took notes and offered to report back her experiences to the group. We decided to share her report with our blog readers for further discussion, thoughts and reflections.

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Dr Tara Garnett, who runs the Food Climate Research Network, has just brought out a paper in the Journal of Cleaner Production which looks at 3 perspectives on sustainable food security: efficiency, demand restraint, food system transformation. She then asks: what is the role of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) within these perspectives?

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In this article, Stefan Dercon, Professor of Development Economics and, currently, Chief Economist at the UK Department for International Development (DFID), questions the role of agriculture in policy narratives for development.

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Technology Strategy Board: Engineering solutions to enhance agri-food production

COMPETITION FOR COLLABORATIVE R&D FUNDING JULY 2013

The Technology Strategy Board, together with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and Scottish Government, is offering up to £13m for businesses to develop engineering solutions across the agri-food supply chain.

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The British Heart Foundation has published the first Coronary Heart Disease statistics supplement to focus on children and young people, presenting a wider range of statistics concerning their behaviour and health.

The statistics were produced by Nick Townsend, Prachi Bhatnagar, Kremlin Wickramasinghe, Julianne Williams, Daniel Vujcich and Mike Rayner from the British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group based at Oxford's Nuffield Department of Population Health.

Download the report from the British Heart Foundation website here.

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A report has been published which maps out environment-related risks in the agricultural supply chain and shows how they might affect assets over time.

The report is written by Ben Caldecott, Nicholas Howarth and Patrick McSharry from the Smith School of Enterprise and the Envionment's Stranded Assets Programme.

Download the report from the Stranded Assets Programme website here.

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A restatement of the natural science evidence base relevant to the control of bovine tuberculosis in Great Britain

This paper, aiming to provide a succinct summary of the natural science evidence base underlying bovine tuberculosis policy in the UK, has been published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The evidence summary can be found as the Appendix to a paper published (August 7th 2013) in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences with an annotated bibliography as supplementary material online. The open access article can be accessed here and a version as a single pdf can be downloaded here.

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Dr Tara Garnett (Food Climate Research Network) commented on the news that the world's first lab-grown burger, grown from cow stem cells, was eaten, live on the Internet, yesterday.

She said decision-makers needed to look beyond technological solutions. "We have a situation where 1.4 billion people in the world are overweight and obese, and at the same time one billion people worldwide go to bed hungry," she said. "That's just weird and unacceptable. The solutions don't just lie with producing more food but changing the systems of supply and access and affordability, so not just more food but better food gets to the people who need it."

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