News & Updates

Partnership opportunity for food researchers

Food Standards Scotland is calling on research groups that are planning to apply for funding through UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI’s) call ‘Transforming UK food systems for health and environment’ to get in touch about proposals that would align with our strategic vision for a safe, healthy and sustainable food environment that benefits and protects the health and wellbeing of everyone in Scotland.

FSS scientists would be happy to discuss our aims and objectives and possible ways that we can support bids, by providing a letter of support, sharing existing data, or accessing new evidence for collaborative studies.  We may also be able to offer research time or financial resources depending on the nature of the research.

We are particularly interested in research which aims to improve the food environment and provide the people of Scotland with better access to healthy and sustainable food.  

Scotland is faced with a significant burden of diet-related disease, but continues to have a diet that’s too high in calories, fats, sugar and salt, and too low in fibre, and fruit and vegetables. Progress towards achieving the Scottish dietary goals is key and a committed multi-faceted approach is needed to drive change in this critical area.

In relation to the UKRI call, we are particularly interested in interdisciplinary research to:

  1. Transform food environments and improve public health for all sections of society by influencing a reduction in the consumption of foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) in a sustainable way. This aligns with our statutory objective, ‘to improve the extent to which members of the public have diets which are conducive to good health’. We are particularly interested in exploring ways to drive improvement in the Scottish diet including through changing food environments and choices, data-driven approaches, lived experiences, technology, marketing and regulation. We also support investigating opportunities for integrating environmental sustainability and health within food environments.
  2. Transform the UK food system from a focus on ‘calories per unit area’ to one that prioritises the ‘number of people fed healthily and sustainably per unit area’ in a fair way. This meets a key objective of FSS to address health inequalities and transition food environments to those that provide healthy and inexpensive foods for all. We are particularly interested in behavioural economics and incentives in food production and consumption; maintaining affordability whilst reflecting the true costs to health and the environment in food prices and increasing availability of nutrients through the food chain.
  3. To understand where our food would come from in a safe, healthy and environmentally sustainable food system, and how this might be best achieved in practice from a biological, environmental, social, economic and cultural perspective. We are particularly interested in compiling data on the current balance of domestic and imported food sources in Scotland’s diet and how this could be adapted to a future Scottish food system to provide a healthier and more environmentally sustainable supply chain. Protecting consumer interests in the Scottish food system also relies on our ability to safeguard the provenance of our domestic produce, therefore we are also keen to support research on methods which strengthen the traceability in our supply chains.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact