IFSTAL Digest 28th November 2018

IFSTAL Digest 28th November 2018

by Lauren Blake -
Number of replies: 0


  • IFSTAL webinars
  • IFSTAL public lecture
  • Workshop 2 applications
  • City Food Lecture – exclusive IFSTAL opportunity

Dear IFSTAL members,


As we plunge into winter, we have events and opportunities to warm you, enthuse you and bring everyone together, whether virtually or in person.

Below, you’ll find information about forthcoming IFSTAL events, latest blogs, wider events and activities of interest, PhD and job opportunities, and an exclusive IFSTAL opportunity.


We look forward to seeing some of you at the below!  

Lauren, on behalf of the IFSTAL team


IFSTAL Programme 2018/2019 – upcoming dates

Please put these forthcoming dates in your diary.





Quinoa: A Climate Smart Crop. Lessons from the past and applications for the future

Wednesday 5 December


To join, open the link: https://ox.webex.com/ox/j.php?MTID=m650704761b9a166b85bc6f3a9af6fb32


IFSTAL Public Lecture:

Judith Batchelar

‘Collaboration for Impact’

Thursday 6 December


Live @ SOAS. This event will be held at SOAS, University of London. Simultaneously live-streamed to local events in Warwick, Oxford and Reading. A festive drinks reception will follow in each location. For details and how to register for your local event, see the Events section of the portal. 

Workshop 2:

Saturday 19 January

(all day)

@ Reading University.

Applications for Workshop 2 are now open, please go to the portal and fill out the application form. Applications close on 10th December 2018.


Webinar: Quinoa – a climate smart crop

Wednesday 5 December, 13:00-14:00 GMT. We are really pleased that our first webinar of the year is student initiated and led. We have Luke Grenfell-Shaw and Alex Wankel speaking on Quinoa. Here is an abstract for their talk:

Quinoa is a remarkable crop, having been cultivated by Andean farmers for thousands of years in diverse mountain ecosystems, often with fragile soils, precarious climates, and very little water. Not only does it have an exceptional nutritional profile, but it displays a much higher level of resilience to drought, heat and salinity than traditional staple crops, such as wheat and rice. This makes it an exciting candidate to improve food security in the face of climate change, particularly in dry and hot environments. The science underpinning quinoa's tolerance to stress will be discussed, as will its potential applications in a warming world. Along with this, we will learn the cultural history of indigenous communities that are stewards of quinoa's vast agro-biodiversity, and how quinoa trade has affected the nutrition and livelihoods of smallholder farmers today.  

The format will be about half an hour hearing from Luke and Alex, followed by half an hour Q&A. To join, the link is: https://ox.webex.com/ox/j.php?MTID=m650704761b9a166b85bc6f3a9af6fb32. Please share the link with whoever you think might be interested.

Webinar: Getting into the Food Standards Agency

Thursday 6 December 12:00-13:00 GMT. A webinar with an IFSTAL alumnus who is currently working at the FSA. He will talk about the application process and the sorts of roles available and then answer some questions. Try to log in 15 minutes before the start time, in case your computer needs to install a plug in. Link to join:  https://city.adobeconnect.com/_a1164570163/workifstal/          


IFTSAL Public Lecture

This year’s public lecture, ‘Collaboration for Impact’, will be delivered by Judith Batchelar OBE on Thursday 6 December. The lecture will highlight the role of collaboration in addressing the pressing and contemporary challenges facing our food and drink system.

This is one not to be missed! The lecture will be held at SOAS and livestreamed to the other sites (Reading, Oxford, Warwick). Both the live and streamed events will be followed by a local festive reception, a great opportunity to get together with IFSTAL students, alumni and wider friends. Do invite others who may be interested, this is a free and public event.

Further information for the event can be found on the portal here.

London: to attend the London event in person, please reserve a place through the Eventbrite here.

Oxford: to attend in Oxford, register here, where we will be joined by a discussant, Dr Brian Cook from the Nuffield Department of Public Health.

Reading: register here.

Warwick: register here.

Workshop 2 – Investigation of Systems Thinking

Applications now open – deadline 10 December. Held at Reading University, 19 January 2019. Building on Unit 2, this day of talks, group work and interaction will provide an introduction to systems thinking and how it can be applied to help solve food systems challenges. We will investigate tools for analysing and intervening in food systems problems. Bringing together students and staff from across the consortium, the workshop provides a rich interdisciplinary environment. There will also be a focus on communications, and an opportunity to explore and practice communication theories, styles and methods. A number of experts will be joining us, but please note there will be no “meet the workplace” roundtables at this workshop. For more details and to apply for a place, go to the Events page on the Portal. Places will be confirmed by 14 December. Please note, food and drinks are provided throughout the day for free, as well as the training. Travel expenses to/from the site are not included.  

New blogs – Pizzas, pictures and problem solving – find out what happened at Workshop 1 when we gave our students some paper, a set of Sharpie pens and a pizza-based challenge. Read about it here.

In advance of this year’s public lecture, we caught a moment with speaker Judith Batchelar to ask what’s in store for the audience – read more here.

Food Thinkers Christmas Special at City, University of London: Wednesday 5 December, 4pm. This year's Christmas Special brings together panellists for the UK launch of the 2018 Global Nutrition Report. The launch will focus specifically on the impact of unhealthy diets as a cause of ill health around the world. Stressing the importance of diet, the panel will discuss not only the effects of unhealthy diets, but also the interventions needed at both a national and global level to facilitate positive outcomes. Guest speaker will be The Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for International Development. Registration here.


Conferences Seminars Events


Seminar: LIDC Development Debate – Has #MeToo Really Taken off in International Development? Tuesday 11 December, LSHTM, London. Details and registration: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lidc-development-debate-with-lucy-lamble-executive-editor-global-development-the-guardian-tickets-52517930544?platform=hootsuite

Book launch: Food, Politics, and Society: Social Theory and the Modern Food System. Authors: Alejandro Colas, Jason Edwards, Sami Zubaida, Jane Levi. Thursday 13 December, 6pm, Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1E. Book details: https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520291959/food-politics-and-society. The authors will be in conversation, followed by a reception.

Public Lecture: International One Health Day Lecture: ‘An Economist’s View of One Health’. Wednesday 16 January 2019, 5:15-7:00pm. Public lecture, reception and networking event at the RVC in Camden, London. Registration here: https://goo.gl/forms/zl8jEIvKd3FilSo73.

Lecture: City Food Lecture. 26 February 2019, 10:00-22:00, London. Details here: http://www.cityfoodlecture.com Exclusive opportunity for IFSTAL students – see details below!

Conference: Pig, poultry and dairy Conferences in Asia. March, 2019, Thailand. Details: http://www.positiveaction.info/emails/conferences/threeconferencesOL.html

Conference abstract call: Agriculture, Nutrition and Health (ANH) Academy Week. 24-28 June 2019, Hyderabad, India. Call for abstracts details: https://www.anh-academy.org/sites/default/files/ANH2019_Call%20for%20Abstracts_0.pdf and https://www.anh-academy.org/anh2019-call-abstracts. Submissions encouraged from all relevant disciplines, e.g. economics, nutrition, public health, epidemiology, environmental sciences, agronomy, sociology, anthropology etc. Deadline: 6/1/2019.

Conference abstract call: BSA Food Study Group Conference 2019: Re-Imagining Food Systems, Sustainability, Futures and the Everyday. 24-25 June 2019, Monash University, Italy. Details: https://portal.britsoc.co.uk/public/abstract/Abstracts.aspx. Deadline: 1/3/2019.

Conference: 8th Symposium on Antimicrobial Resistance in Animals and the Environment, 1-3 July 2019, France. Details: https://symposium.inra.fr/arae2019/

Ongoing seminar series: SOAS Food Forum. Details here: https://www.soas.ac.uk/foodstudies/forum/seminarfilm/. Open to members of the SOAS Food Studies Centre only. You can join by emailing soasfoodstudies@soas.ac.uk 

Ongoing seminar series: SOAS Agrarian Change. Details here: https://www.soas.ac.uk/development/events/agrarian-change/


PhD/Masters Funding 


Funded PhD Project: Equity in coverage, processes, and health impacts of a complex nutrition trial in India. LSHTM, London UK. Details: http://mrc-lid.lshtm.ac.uk/files/2018/11/Harris-Fry-Kadiyala-Allen.pdf  Application info: http://mrc-lid.lshtm.ac.uk/apply/ Deadline: 13/1/2019.

Funded PhD studentship in Food Policy. City, University of London. Details: https://www.city.ac.uk/courses/research-degrees/food-policy and https://www.city.ac.uk/courses/research-degrees/sociology 


150 full PhD scholarships, European University Institute


The European University Institute offers fully-funded four-year PhD programmes in the social sciences. There are approximately 150 scholarships available that cover tuition fees and provide a monthly grant.

Further PhD opportunities may be found here:  https://www.findaphd.com/




Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London. Details: City website. Deadline: 2/12/2018.


Research Fellow in Nutrition, LSHTM, UK. Details: https://jobs.lshtm.ac.uk/vacancy.aspx?ref=EPH-DPH-2018-14. Deadline 9/1/2019.


Postdoctoral Position in Spatial Epidemiology of Antimicrobial Resistance, Zurich, Switzerland. Details: https://apply.refline.ch/845721/6726/pub/1/index.html  


Agricultural Economist, CATIE, Costa Rica. Details: https://www.catie.ac.cr/vacantes/uploads/catie5bf32621eaa89-Perfil%204-2.pdf. Deadline: 30/11/2018

Please look at Rosina’s Workplace/Research posting too.


You can also browse further job vacancies at Food Manufacturer and Roots to Work.


Other Opportunities

If you take up any opportunities you hear about through IFSTAL it would be GREAT if you could tell Rosina – rosina.borrelli@eci.ox.ac.uk. Not only can Rosina help with advice on applications, but it really helps us to understand our impact. Many thanks.

IFSTAL Exclusive: City Food Lecture

We have been offered 3 tickets by the organisers for this very exclusive event, including the pre-lecture visit to McDonalds HQ which should be fascinating. Please see feature below for more detail. 

26 February 2019, 10:00-22:00 London http://www.cityfoodlecture.com/     

This is a very exciting opportunity for IFSTAL as we are also able to participate in the student part of the programme which is a visit to McDonalds HQ to hear about their supply chain and nutrition developments. This is then followed by a discussion about the visit and an insight into opportunities in the sector. From 1730 the evening programme can be viewed at the web link above.

You will be accompanied by Rosina Borrelli and you will have the opportunity to blog about your experience to raise your own profile on social media.


·       We have 3 tickets available to current IFSTAL participants who are not on the MSc in Food Policy at City (you have an existing separate process, contact Claire Marris for more info).

·       If you would like to be considered you will need to have a good engagement record with IFSTAL this term and you will need to send me (rosina.borrelli@eci.ox.ac.uk) an email by 9am on Monday 3rd December to request your entry. Please state very clearly in the subject line CITY FOOD LECTURE. If received after this time, you will not be entered into the draw.

·       Your name will then be entered into a draw and you will be informed by Friday 7th December.

·       You will need to accept the place by Monday 10th December or your place will be re-drawn.

·       You will need to cover your own travel costs to and from London. All other internal travel and food costs are covered.

Olam Prize

http://www.agropolis-fondation.fr/Appel-a-candidature-Prix-Scientifique-International-Louis-Malassis-et-Prix-Olam  the Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security, given by leading agri-business Olam International, is awarded in conjunction with Agropolis Fondation’s Malassis Prize. It recognizes an innovative scientific research project for its potential impact on the availability, affordability, accessibility or adequacy of food.

The winning research project will receive US$ 75,000. Deadline: 28/2/2019.

STEPS Centre Summer School

This is a two week Summer School at Sussex University, Brighton, introducing you to the STEPS Centre (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Pathways Approach, as well as general theories and practical approaches to sustainability. This is delivered by an inspiring team. Applications welcome from highly motivated doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. Deadline 27th January 2019.



IFSTAL Certificate – if you would like a certificate of your engagement, please see the information regarding the procedure here on the Portal. You can apply for this at the end of the year, or get an ‘interim’ certificate if you would like to highlight your IFSTAL experience for a job before you have completed the program.


Logging on to the portal more easily

It can be a bit of a pain continually getting to the portal via your institutional VLE. A quicker way is to create a direct login. Follow these steps:

·       Log into the portal via your VLE

·       Log out at the top right of the screen

·       Press log in and you will get to a log in page, where, underneath the green ‘log in’ tab, it says, ‘Forgotten Username or password?’

·       Press this and create a new username and password using your university email address (you can also register it to a personal email)


Connect with us: 

Don’t forget you can also join and follow the IFSTAL network on: 

·       LinkedIn 

·       Twitter

·       Facebook