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Thematic Areas

  • Global Food and Nutrition Security

    This area will aim to:

    • Develop climate-smart strategies to improve the level, efficiency and sustainability of nutrient-rich food production and consumption.
  • Food Production and Distribution Systems

    This area will aim to:

    • Assess equity of access to nutritious and safe foods and develop strategies to overcome barriers.
    • Evaluate approaches to prevent and curtail the spread of pests and diseases of crops, livestock, fisheries.
    • Identify and develop solutions to market and value chain inefficiencies and constraints in terms of production, equity of food access, environmental impacts.
  • Health, Economics, Livelihoods, and Society

    This area will aim to:

    • Assess and address tradeoffs and synergies of food production and diets with livelihoods, economics, health, and social systems.
    • Characterize the gender dynamics around production, preparation, and consumption of nutrient-rich foods.
    • Evaluate nutrition and health impacts of altering factors affecting the production and consumption of nutrient-rich foods.

    To learn more about this Thematic Area, visit Health, Economics, Livelihoods, and Society Thematic Area

  • Food Production and the Environment

    This area will aim to:

    • Assess environmental impact of existing and alternative food systems and develop mitigation strategies.
    • Develop more biodiverse, nutrient and water efficient food production systems.
    • Explore routes to ‘circularity’ of food production and food systems.

Cross-Cutting Approaches

  • Metrics and Tools
    1. Systems analysis approach to food systems
    2. Use models to explore possible outcomes of alternative scenarios of food production and food systems.
    3. Develop and adapt models to explore possible outcomes of alternative scenarios of household decision making in relation to nutrition, health, and livelihoods.
    4. Develop assessment tools that help generate standardized information to measure progress over time.
    5. Monitor the different pillars of current and alternative food systems (production, economics, livelihoods, social, and environment).
  • Inclusion and Equity
    1. Evaluate effects of different practices, technologies, and systems on gender and youth and other marginalized groups.
    2. Evaluate opportunities and barriers for engagement of women, youth, and other marginalized groups in food systems.
    3. Develop and evaluate strategies that create opportunities for sustainable livelihoods and entrepreneurship along value chains in terrestrial and aquatic food systems

    To learn more about this Cross-Cutting Approach, visit Inclusion and Equity Cross-Cutting Approach

  • Capacity Development for Food Systems (CD4FS)

    The capacity building will focus on individuals and institutions in the following ways:

    1. Support human and institutional capacity development to sustain interventions in the focal locales a) by investing in (young) stakeholders (particularly researchers) and equipping them with the knowledge and skills to contribute to a sustainable food system; b) by ensuring institutions have the necessary administrative and financial structures in place to expand and diversify their research portfolio.
    2. Build a cadre of young practitioner-researchers that are “raised” through the financial and mentoring support of the Institute including graduate students, postdocs, as well as research fellows in the US and abroad.
    3. Explore innovative approaches to strengthen local institutional and individual capacity to support sustainable food systems.

    To learn more about this Cross-Cutting Approach, visit CD4FS Cross-Cutting Approach

  • Adapting/Resilience to Emerging Issues
    1. Explore the impact of emerging issues or events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, on various aspects of the food systems in Florida, the US and elsewhere.
    2. Explore the use of new or alternative technologies and approaches to improve performance of the food system.
  • Enabling Environment
    1. Explore enabling environments for increased adoption of more sustainable and productive alternative practices, technologies, and systems.
    2. Translate evidence-based findings to policy makers at different levels as well as other stakeholders that can influence and catalyze change at different contexts (either state/regional or national level).
    3. Engage with policy makers at different levels to inform research activities.

    To learn more about this Cross-Cutting Approach, visit Enabling Environment Cross-Cutting Approach


Funding Opportunity

Food Systems Institute Cross-disciplinary Research Seed Fund 2020-2021 Call for Proposals!

The University of Florida (UF) mission statement emphasizes the commitment to lead and serve Florida, the nation and the world by pursuing and disseminating new knowledge. The Food Systems Institute (FSI) will further highlight UF’s leading role in finding and promoting evidence-based solutions to the greatest challenge of our time — providing safe and nutritious food for a teeming global population while enhancing livelihoods, societies, and the environment.

The primary objective of this call for proposals is to bring together University of Florida (UF) faculty and scholars from different disciplines to join forces addressing a particular challenge in current food systems. Deadline for proposals: January 31, 2021. Link to additional information and details on this exciting opportunity: FSI Seed Funding

Upcoming Events

UF Food Systems Institute Launch Workshop

January 22, 2021
Online event (via Zooom)

This workshop is designed to let the wider UF campus community learn more about the institute and what it offers. Food systems are complex – innovation and problem solving depend on collaboration among people with varied perspectives and expertise. Interact with current members at the workshop and share how your work and interests related to emerging issues in food systems.

The FSI provides an exciting opportunity for UF Faculty to engage with a diverse, systems-oriented group of researchers and educators. Learn more about this institute through this overview or by watching this 30 minute recording.

Topics to be featured and discussed include:

  • Food Systems and Human Health
  • Circularity in Food and Agriculture Systems
  • Food from the Sea
  • Inclusive Food Systems
  • AI, Big Data and Food Systems

FSI Launch Workshop Agenda

Registration Link

(Open to UF Affiliates)

DSSAT 2021 International Training Program

May 17-22, 2021
The University of Georgia at Griffin, Georgia,
Assessing Crop Production, Water and Nutrient Management, Climatic Risk, and Environmental Sustainability with Simulation Models

In the News...

New institute to address food production and sustainability at global scale