Synergy Fund and Rapid Response Fund

As part of the programme, we recognise the importance of cross-project and cross-disciplinary working. This means we’re keen to facilitate collaboration with researchers and stakeholders who are not already in the network.

We have therefore developed two funding mechanisms to support this need: the Annual Synergy Fund and the Flexibility Fund. The Synergy Fund call will run annually for cross-project applications of up to £25,000. This fund will support synthesis work across the funded projects, as well as workshops, reports and pump priming projects. The main aims of this synergy fund are to:

  • add value to the funded portfolio
  • foster cross-project collaboration
  • drive impact for the research generated
  • build capacity and encourage links with related investments.

This year, we have funded two new synthesis projects. One of which is focused on public engagement and communications, and the other covers stakeholder mapping of civil society organisations across the programme.

The first synergy project focuses on citizens and the role they have in shaping, creating and evaluating transformation within the food system. The project will focus on producing materials and empowering young people through sharing new and existing resources and training across the programme. They will also learn from their experiences of interacting with the public.

The second project will map the civil society organisations working to influence food policy in the UK. This will enable projects to develop effective impact strategies that both learn from and build upon the considerable non-academic expertise on food policy in the UK. This mapping will also support collaboration between academic and non-academic organisations towards food policy change.

We have also launched the Rapid Response Fund for members of the funded projects to apply for up to £10,000 to fund time-sensitive activities with direct routes to impact. This could include workshops or responding to calls for rapid evidence synthesis for policy making. We developed this in response to a request from key food systems stakeholders who cited the successful rapid evidence synthesis response to the Holiday School Food Programme, which then led to significant impact and policy change.

We encourage collaboration on both these funds, so please get in touch with project teams if you have an idea you would like to discuss, or email for more information.

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