Thought for Food Initiative

Transdisciplinary research towards more sustainable food systems

Agropolis Fondation, Fondazione Cariplo and Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso are pleased to announce the launch of the “Thought for Food Initiative: Transdisciplinary research towards more sustainable food systems” Call for Proposals.

This Call aims to

  • advance understanding of the sustainability of food systems and explore innovative solutions that could help actors involved to achieve it;
  • facilitate the emergence of excellent, new and high-impact research activities;
  • generate a leverage effect that encourages new collaboration between different types of disciplines with a specific focus on combining natural and social sciences, and that are inclusive of diverse stakeholders.

It will thus support research projects, including those with a capacity building component in any of the following thematic strands (or a combination of both):

  • Diverse agricultural production for more sustainable food systems and diets;
  • Sustainable food processing for more sustainable and healthy diets.

Application for funding under this Call will undergo a “two-stage process.” Applicants will first have to submit a Concept Note (CN) for review. Proponents of selected CN shall be asked to submit a Full Proposal (FP).


To be eligible, a proposal must meet the following criteria:

  • Involve at least one research partner as part of the consortium submitting the proposal. The proposal should clearly identify the Project Coordinator (which does not need to be a researcher or from a research institution) and the Scientific Leader, if different from the former. A single proponent may submit a proposal provided that it is from a research organization.
  • Focus on either of the two (or both) thematic strands of the Call;
  • Involve various disciplines combining natural and social sciences;
  • Address several dimensions of sustainability (environment, economic, social, cultural, nutritional/health);
  • Tackle various aspects of the food systems defined as referring to all processes, actors, institutions and interactions involved in feeding a population; and which include the required inputs and generated outputs, activities and services with both their positive and negative impacts along the different stages of the value chain (i.e., production, processing, distribution, preparation, consumption and disposal of food);
  • Make publicly available project results and outputs to ensure that food systems stakeholders have access to it.

Eligibility is not subjected to any geographical limitation. A particular but not exclusive interest shall be accorded, to the extent possible, to projects which are led or co-led by researchers from Agropolis Fondation’s scientific network and/or Fondazione Cariplo’s reference area.

Research projects must involve partners from concerned countries, especially if they involve developing country case studies.

For-profit-organizations may be involved as associated partners but are neither eligible to receive funding nor to share intellectual property rights related to any output of the projects funded under this Call. They are, however, encouraged to provide funding towards the implementation of the project.

Project budget and duration

For this CfP, an over-all budget of € 2M is available for a small number of research projects jointly performed by researchers and their partners. Funding request for each project should be for a minimum of € 200K over three years.

Application date
3 years
Social sciences
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology
Other : Biology, Chemistry, Physics, mathematics and engineering