Workshop: Cultures, Behaviours and Histories of Agriculture, Food, and Nutrition, UKRI GCRF Collective Programme

08 March 2019, Wellcome Trust, 215 Euston Rd, Bloomsbury, London NW1 2BE  

This workshop is the first part of an interdisciplinary programme which will support the development of international research partnerships focussed on the intersection of culture, history, and society with all stages of the food systems chain, from production through to consumption and policy, in Lower and Middle Income Countries (LMICs).

The Programme aims to contribute to the development of the GCRF Food Systems challenge portfolio as a part of the UKRI GCRF Collective Programme. It is designed to be a part of a challenge-led, internationally collaborative and interdisciplinary programme delivered by UK Research and Innovation and steered by the GCRF Challenge Leaders. Whilst the AHRC is leading on this programme, it is intended to support cross-disciplinary working and applicants from all relevant disciplines are encouraged to participate.

As a part of the UKRI GCRF Collective Programme two partnership development funding calls are planned, one in early 2019 and one in autumn 2019.

The workshop is open to all researchers working in this area, regardless of disciplinary background. The aims of the workshop are to:

  • create a networking opportunity bringing together a diverse group of researchers from a variety of institutions, disciplines, and methodological approaches,
  • enable participants to discuss some of the key thematic and practical challenges of working in this area,
  • present information on the wider programme and the funding calls, including some examples of work already funded under previous programmes
  • provide an opportunity for researchers to talk to the Challenge Leader and staff from UK Research and Innovation about the programme and the funding calls.

To ensure these aims are met the agenda for the day will include a mixture of presentations, discussions, networking, and opportunities for questions.

The Cultures, Behaviours and Histories of Agriculture, Food, and Nutrition UKRI GCRF Collective Programme

Cultures and histories have an impact on every aspect of the food systems chain, from production (for example, through historical farming methods and techniques that have emerged as more effective than modern methods in some contexts) through to consumption and policy (for example, through the gender and cultural dynamics around allocation of nutritional resources and food-related work within a household). Many interventions in relation to agriculture and food systems fail due to a lack of understanding of their cultural and historical contexts and their reception by the very people and societies they are intended to benefit. Efforts to address issues such as malnutrition or poor diet can be misdirected, or have unintended consequences, if cultural knowledge about food systems is not apparent or shared effectively across disciplines or professions. Historical lessons learned from previous initiatives can be missed and past mistakes repeated. Poor communication and community engagement can lead not only to poor uptake but also result in negative consequences for organisations, damaging trust in them or their ability to understand local needs or respect local cultures. Inter-disciplinary, internationally collaborative research integrating understanding cultures, traditions, and social movements around food can allow for more effective, contextually-driven policy and practice to emerge and enable the development of science, technology and innovation to take into account cultural enablers and barriers to adoption.

The Cultures and Histories of Agriculture, Food, and Nutrition Programme seeks to support researchers, across a range of career stages, to work collaboratively across cultural and international boundaries, to blend scientific, cultural and policy research, to develop contextually-informed and community engaged research approaches and to build bridges with food systems development policy and practice. Funding will be made available through this programme to support interdisciplinary, international partnership building awards up to £200,000 value at 100% Full Economic Cost (to be funded at the standard 80% rate) and up to 24 months in duration. More information on the first funding call will be made available on the AHRC website prior to the workshop.

How to attend

Researchers from any of post-doctoral or equivalent research standing from any relevant field, or potential project partners, wishing to attend the workshop need to complete the Expression of Interest form at:

The deadline for completing this form is 4pm, Wednesday 6th February.

We will confirm if you have a place at the workshop no later than Friday 15th February.

Please note that we will allocate places to ensure that a range of institutions and disciplines are represented at the workshop. In the event of oversubscription, AHRC may limit the numbers attending from particular institutions or teams and will prioritise expressions of interest from researchers who express a strong interest in interdisciplinary, international partnership development specifically related to the focus and aims of the Cultures, Behaviours and Histories of Agriculture, Food, and Nutrition Programme. However, attendance at the workshop is NOT a prerequisite for applying to the planned funding calls. Where possible, we will make materials from workshop available to people unable to attend.

Partnership Building

In order to support the development of new partnerships able to respond to this programme, the AHRC will be publishing on our website the details of people interested in forming research partnerships in this area. This will include areas of interest and contact details. For those able to attend the workshop the EOI form linked to above requests the information required for this. It is not a requirement that you have your details published in order to attend the workshop, it is simply an option open to people applying.

If you are unable to attend the workshop but would still like to have your details published so that researchers and/or potential project partners can contact you please complete the form at:

Other details

Please note that the AHRC is not able to provide travel and subsistence or other funding support for attendance at this workshop.

UKRI is planning to hold Town Hall meetings in early 2019 covering the wider Collective Programme. Details will be published on the UKRI GCRF Collective Programme page as they become available.


Queries regarding the workshop can be directed to

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