Together, the FSA and UKRI are interested in funding pilot research projects that tackle food standards challenges through citizen science methods.
For the purposes of this opportunity, to guide the expectations of how citizen science methods are applied, applicants should consult:
Through the funded projects, we aim to facilitate the spread of citizen science methods in the academic community and expand the range of people from outside of academia involved in research. The projects should also better equip the community to take advantage of future funding opportunities through new connections and skills in citizen science methods.
The citizen science elements of the project should be integral to the overall research design and have a clear benefit for the members of the public involved. We encourage applications that involve citizens in the research design process where possible.
Food Standards Agency areas of interest
Applications should be related to one or more of the FSAs areas of research interest themes.
The themes are arranged under four high level research priorities.
Priority one: food hypersensitivity and allergy
How can the FSA protect the UK consumer from the health risks posed by food hypersensitivity (including allergies and intolerance)?
Priority two: assuring food safety and standards
- How can the impact of chemical contaminants (including nanomaterials and microplastics) in food be assessed and minimised?
- How can the FSA better understand and reduce the impact of foodborne pathogens?
- How can the FSA improve the evidence base concerning antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and food?
- What is the role of food safety and standards in nutrition and health?
Priority three: innovation in food regulation
- What role does consumer and food business operator behaviour and perception play in ensuring food safety and standards?
- How can data and digital innovations be used to create a safer food system?
- How can the FSA remain at the cutting-edge when developing and implementing food regulations?
Priority four: the future of food systems
- How can the FSA remain responsive to emerging challenges and opportunities in the UK food system, including unprecedented challenges such as those associated with COVID19?
- What is the impact of novel and non-traditional foods, additives and processes on the UK consumer?
- What is the impact of crime in the UK food supply chain, including food fraud, and how can it be better detected and monitored?
Requirements for all projects
All projects must:
All projects are expected to:
- have a clear justification and aims for using citizen science methods
- involve a defined group, or groups, of people in the UK that are involved in co-developing the project from the beginning, expanding engagement outside academia with FSA areas of research interest themes
- adhere to best practice in citizen science, as outlined in the ten principles of citizen science (PDF, 193KB) and the ECSA characteristics of citizen science where possible
- demonstrate a commitment to the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion in both the project design and delivery team.
We are particularly interested in projects that:
- involve people from groups and communities who are under-represented in decision making linked to FSA areas of research interest themes
- involve partnerships with non-academic organisations that can enhance the outcomes of the project
- demonstrate potential to share the learning, outcomes and successes of their approach widely among the academic community.
You should design your project based on the latest available information about the coronavirus outbreak and the associated social distancing regulations. You should be clear about the levels of uncertainty involved in your approach and about how you will adapt as the situation evolves.
UKRI and FSA will provide support and guidance throughout the lifetime of each project, and successful projects will be invited to take part in cohort activity to enhance the outcomes of the scheme.
Before the projects start, a workshop will be held for successful applicants, providing an opportunity to present their proposal and build networks with other funded projects and the wider FSA and UKRI teams.
Each project will be supported by a lead contact within the FSA. This relationship will be maintained by regular meetings and updates. The appropriate frequency and content of these meetings will be decided between the successful applicant and the FSA lead contact. Following project completion, successful candidates will be required to present the outcomes of the project to key stakeholders during a network event arranged by the FSA and UKRI. Each project will also be expected to produce a final report, using a template provided by FSA and UKRI, that will be published on the FSA website.
Each project must also report on the project outcomes using Researchfish. Find out more about reporting your research outcomes.
The project is funded at 80% fEC and is generally expected to cover:
- principal and co-investigator time
- research assistant or technician time
- external consultants’ and/or partners’ time
- expenses for citizen participants, where relevant
- travel and subsistence
- equipment and consumables
For non-profit organisations (for example, charities, community groups), directly incurred, project-related costs can be claimed by the applicant at 100% full economic cost. This might include:
- salary costs for time spent on the project (excluding national insurance contributions)
- travel and subsistence
- venue hire
- any other costs that are deemed eligible under the directly incurred costs heading in the BBSRC grants guide (PDF, 354KB).
If you are unsure whether a project partner qualifies for non-profit status please contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
Where partners are claiming costs, research organisations should ensure that the budget is transferred to the partner in a way that does not produce unnecessary burden for the partner and is agreed by both parties in advance.
Detailed guidance on the resources that can be requested can be found within the BBSRC grants guide (PDF, 354KB).