Food security is a major research priority for each of our institutions. Under-investment in training in the disciplines that underpin food security is now widely recognised with a number of niche skills identified as being of particular concern. Our proposal brings together universities with established track records across the entire breadth of food security, to focus on training scientists to be able to respond to the complex and important challenges of supporting the economically, socially and environmentally sustainable production of quality food with the maximum benefit for human health.

Our partnership is specifically designed to give the focused training that is required for a step change in food security research. We firmly believe that the breadth of disciplines  encompassed within food security, from agricultural systems to diet and health, will offer the  Doctoral Training Partnership students a broad base of bioscience training that will equip them with the skills they need to pursue a variety of effective careers as bioscientists.

Our partnership builds on our strong track records of collaboration and working with each other closely. Each of the partners has an extensive record of high quality doctoral training and international excellence in food security research. The partnership is uniquely well placed to deliver the food security research leaders of the future.


Rothamsted Research is the longest running agricultural research station in the world, providing cutting-edge science and innovation for around 170 years.

Their scientific strategy uses a dynamic and integrated approach to crop science, allowing them to study plants from within (e.g. at a molecular level) as well as from their interactions with the environment.

Their mission is to deliver the knowledge and new practices to increase crop productivity and quality and to develop environmentally sustainable solutions for food and energy production.

Rothamsted integrates biotechnology with other areas of science such as agronomy and agro-ecology so both existing and new knowledge can be implemented through agricultural practice.

Their strength lies in the integrated, multidisciplinary approach to research in plant and soil science. (more…)


The University of Southampton is breaking new ground in food security research and contributing to international policy on food security. Southampton are able to offer expertise across a range of disciplines from engineering to international relations to build a world-class research programme around the critical global risks and insecurities which will shape the 21st century world.



The Centre for Food Security at the University of Reading joins together existing areas of research excellence to provide a platform for real-world research into the challenges of ensuring global food security.

A collaboration with policy makers, industry and the global research community help to ensure resilient, sustainable and healthy food chains.

The University of Reading has an international reputation for research spanning the whole food chain, and particular strengths in health, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity. They also have expertise in climate systems science and in human health. (more…)


Diet and health is a major research theme of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey. Research priorities include:

  1. The effects of dietary modifications on health in a variety of metabolic phenotypes. This includes effects of diet on lipid kinetics, body weight regulation, cardiovascular function, metabolic function and diabetes risk, vitamin D status and osteoporosis risk, and cognitive function. In addition there is a focus on colonic physiology in health and disease:  the metabolic actions of dietary fibre as a functional foods, and bacteria interactions that promote intestinal inflammation which precedes and correlates with obesity and insulin resistance.
  2. Interaction between chronobiology and nutrition: including the effects of shift work and diet, circadian rhythms in postprandial metabolism, the effects of diet on sleep, circadian aspects of nutrition and health in the elderly and young, circadian regulation of adipose physiology, and the interactions between the human circadian genotype and metabolism.
  3. Food quality: Evaluation of bioactive components in food. Food processing for health and quality enabling the provision of nutrients required for health in the form of safe and appropriate foods.



Lancaster University is at the forefront of research into global food security. The work being undertaking in the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) is contributing to improving food security for some of the world’s most vulnerable societies in more than 30 countries. The focus is not simply technological advances to increase crop yields, but also about addressing the associated economic, social and environmental factors to enable uninterrupted access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. (more…)