IFSTAL Digest - 17 May 2017

IFSTAL Digest - 17 May 2017

by Lauren Blake -
Number of replies: 0

IFSTAL Digest 17/05/17

Dear IFSTAL Community,

We hope you are all well in this often busy time of year in the academic diary, especially for those with exams and getting their dissertations off the ground. For this reason, within IFSTAL, we try not to offer too much to distract you, however, there are still some activities and opportunities that may be of interest, and plenty externally also. Please see below for details.


In the mean time, your EC’s, PI’s and Rosina are always happy to talk and help in any way we can.



on behalf of the IFSTAL team



Careers and skills days

Following two sessions at Oxford and Reading over the last two weeks, we have the Warwick event tomorrow, Thursday 18th May and the London one next Thursday 25th May. The day includes a specialist 2 hours careers session as well as a 20 minute 1:1s with a careers advisor. Please sign up to the relevant Eventbrite pages below if you wish to attend the event:

  • 18th May: Careers / Skills event for Warwick students.  Warwick Eventbrite
  • 25th May: Careers / Skills event for our London students. London Eventbrite  (both City and LCIRAH)


PhD Away Day - Tuesday 13th June, 9:30am-4pm 

LIDC, 36 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Following the huge success and positive feedback from our PhD away day back in November, we have another great day planned specifically for PhD students in June. This will bring together a wide range of doctoral researchers from the IFSTAL consortium in a relaxed setting to discuss their work and build skills around interdisciplinarity, in particular regarding research and funding.

Sessions include:

  • talk and Q&A with guest speakers on experiences of interdisciplinary research (from LCIRAH and City)
  • talk and Q&A with a panel of Grants Officers from the Wellcome Trust on postdoctoral funding opportunities
  • a workshop on writing interdisciplinary research funding proposals 

We will provide lunch, refreshments throughout the day, and finish with tea and cake, ensuring opportunities to chat to each other and our colleagues and guests. 

Applications close 29th May - click here to apply. Further details can be found on the IFSTAL portal events page.


2016/7 Student Survey

Thank you to those who filled out our student survey, we had a great response rate and will be collating your feedback and taking it on board for improvements as we enter year 3. Winners of the prize drawer will be announced and contacted shortly. 


Research / Careers / Internships / Certificates

As some of you approach the end of your studies, IFSTAL may be able to help you with finding suitable opportunities in the workplace. Check out Rosinas latest workplace update in the workplace forum HERE, and the workplace tile in general for links to research opportunities with OXFAM, research ideas of interest to the Eden project, and opportunities to support the Sustainable Food Trust in their policy work.

Dont forget to include IFSTAL on your CV many organisations recognise and favour this.

If you would like a certificate to reflect your participation in IFSTAL, please see the information regarding the procedure here on the Portal.


Aquaponics Trip

An opportunity to visit GrowUp aquaponics Urban Farm in Beckton, East London E6 6LS on Friday 26th May. The tour lasts an hour and a half and costs £10. Interested? Contact ifstal-city@city.ac.uk


New Blog Posts

Read IFSTAL EC Kelly Reed’s reflections from a special workshop on diet and nutrition in our national institutions, with a focus on food in prisons and hospitals.

Read our new paper 'Training Future Actors in the Food System', published in Exchanges: the Warwick Research Journal, which outlines the rationale for the IFSTAL programme and provides a review of our first year.

Workplace Engagement Lead, Rosina Borrelli, writes on the launch of the 2017 Food Issues Census which provides an overview of the work of civil society organisations working on food and farming in the UK.


New IFSTAL staff

We would like to welcome Dr Saher Hasnain and Dr Annabel de Frece to the IFSTAL team. Saher is the education coordinator at Oxford for the next year during Bex’s maternity leave, and Annabel is the education coordinator at City, job sharing with Rebecca.


Saher is an environmental geographer with interests in food systems, food environments, and urban health issues. Her doctoral thesis focused on the influence of factors like fuel scarcities and terrorism on food systems transformations, food consumption, and spatial mobility in urban Pakistan. She has previously worked on interdisciplinary approaches to studying environmental health issues in urban areas at the University of Pennsylvania, and policy proposals for the development of national level energy management cultures at Bahria University, with The National Energy Conservation Centre, Government of Pakistan.


Annabel holds a BA (Hons) in Development Studies and Geography from SOAS and an MSc in Rural Resources and Environmental Policy from Wye, which led to her interest in agricultural livelihoods and the links between policy, the environment and social and cultural systems. Her doctoral research in the Yucatán, Mexico explored local meanings attached to the milpa and the interactions between farmers, development interventions and environmental narratives in examining the role of the milpa in explaining resistance to agricultural change. Her research interests are interdisciplinary in nature, exploring the connections between representation, discourse and the cultural and political interactions between people and the environment with a focus on social inequality and gender issues. She also works at the Centre for Environment, Development and Policy (CeDEP) at the School of Oriental and African Studies, where she teaches gender and social inequality and supervises research students.






  • Policy and Research Officer, The Food Foundation. Applications close Monday 22nd May. For more information, go to their website here.
  • There are quite a few positions at the moment, all listed in the latest Workplace Update here.



  • Food security and conflict: narratives and interventions. Part of the 'The nature of conflict' seminar series hosted and organised by the Oxford Martin School. Presenter: Professor Gunnar Sørbø (Chr. Michelsen Institute). 18 May 2017 at the Oxford Martin School, Oxford. Website and registration here 
  • Imperial College. Lecture by Yolanda Kakabadse, International President of WWF, on food waste, climate change and global hunger. The lecture is free to attend and takes place between 6pm – 7:30pm, followed by a reception on Thursday 18 May at Imperial College London. Registration in advance is recommended. Please RSVP. More information is available here.
  • Coventry University, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience. CAWR have two seminars in May, which run from 11:30-12:30. 19th May: Water Issues in Ethical Perspective: Using the Phillipi Horticultural Area in Cape Town, South Africa as a context. 25th May: LC-MS at the heart of everything. To book a FREE place on one of our seminars please email: CAWROffice@coventry.ac.uk
  • SOAS Summer School: Food and Nutrition in Development (24th July – 11th August 2017) Location: SOAS, University of London. Designed for students, academics and practitioners interested in gaining knowledge on food, nutrition and health in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), drawing on a range of disciplinary perspectives, such as political economy, nutritional science and anthropology. The course features field trips to Livestock Production Units lead by IFSTAL. Click here for further details: Deadline for application: 23 May 2017

  • “How can we make progress on normalising Sustainable Diets?” Speakers: Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy, City, University of London; Tara Garnett, Director, (FCRN) Food Climate Research Network and Modi Mwatsama, Director of Policy and Global Health, UK Health Forum. 24 May 2017, City University of London. Website and registration
  • Sustainable Diets In The 21st Century. Panel discussion with Professor Charles Godfray (University of Oxford), Sir Peter Kendall (Former NFU President, Chairman AHDB), Professor Mike Rayner (University of Oxford), Helen Browning (Chief Executive of the Soil Association). Part of the Grand Challenges Seminar Series 2017. 30 May 2017, Oxford Martin School, Oxford. Website and registration
  • TRF Food Sustainability Media Award. This event is organised in partnership with the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition – food sustainability media award. The Award seeks to recognise outstanding reporting on issues related to food sustainability, both published and unpublished, in the categories of written journalism, photography and video. This would be a great opportunity for students to learn more about a potential topic of interest and to meet other media professionals and experts working in the area. Winners in the unpublished categories will win a place on a Thomson Reuters Foundation media training course on food sustainability. The deadline for submissions is 31st May
  • VentureFest, Oxford: From Start-Up to Scale-Up, 21st June, free registration for students. This one-day event showcases science and entrepreneurship and is a great opportunity to mix with successful entrepreneurs, showcase an idea or just browse the exhibition. Register here: http://www.venturefestoxford.com/venturefest-2017/ 
  • Women's Environmental Network:  Sustainable Sustenance: How Can Your Diet Change the World? Thu 22 June 2017 18:30 – 21:30 BST. Speakers include: Guy Watson, Founder/CEO of Riverford Organic Farmers, Biba Hartigan, Founder/CEO of Climates Network, Dr Tara Garnett, Food Climate Research Network, Environmental Change Institute, Deidre Woods, Community Food Growers Network/BBC Cook of the Year 2016/Food Sovereignty Movement. Ecology Pavilion, London. Tickets here.
  • Pop up activity programme running every Wednesday 10-6 at Selfridges, London until June 8th 2017. A free drop in opportunity to engage in activities such as pea podding, tea making, herb bundling and spice grinding. Held around a giant table with lots of conversations happening about memory, culture, tradition and health. Click here for details.
  • Every Thursday 1-3 and 4-6 £15 SOAS Alumni ‘Anthropologists of Eating’ are running Bookable workshops alternating on the themes of the Sourdough Story and Preserves.  For more information email: anthropologistsofeating@gmail.com
  • IHR Food History Seminar will be held at 5.30pm on alternate Thursdays during the summer term. For further information, please see http://www.history.ac.uk/events/seminar/food-history or email foodhistoryseminar@gmail.com You can also follow us on Twitter: @IHR_FoodHist
  • Utrecht University Summer School: Food Politics in the EU (3rd - 14th July 2017)  Middelburg, The Netherlands. For students who are interested in a comprehensive overview of key problems with respect to our food system and the way EU and national policies seek to address them. The course - co-funded by the Erasmus+ program - includes guest speakers, a full day excursion to local farms as well as a day to Brussels where we will focus on the glyphosate controversy. The course earns 4 ECTS credits and offers an optional exam for students who want to have a course grade in addition to a certificate of participation. Further info and application details can be found on the website: https://www.utrechtsummerschool.nl/courses/social-sciences/food-politics-in-the-european-union


Calls for sessions/papers:  

  • It’s Not Always Just About the Flavour! Monday 22nd May 2017 - 09:00 to 16:30. Jubilee Conference Centre, Triumph Road, Nottingham, NG8 1DH. A one-day interactive conference organised by IFSTs Sensory Science Group (SSG).
  • Journal of Urbanism has a special issue call: ‘Food and Urbanism’. The aim is to explore and extend our knowledge and understanding of the ways that food and urbanism interconnect in diverse urbanism contexts worldwide. More information here, Deadline 1st September.


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