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Research Grants /

Call for research grant applications

🎯 Deadline: 16 October 2022

We call for research proposals aimed to improve the understanding of nutritional, health and environmental aspects of incorporation of plant-based dairy alternatives in the context of the whole diet in European populations.

To be submitted no later than October 16, 2022 midnight (CET) to: alprofoundation@alpro.com

Why this call?

Our current food system puts a lot of stress on human health, as well as on the planetary boundaries.

Today our food system is responsible for about 1/3 of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe) and substantially contributes to other environmental impacts such as land and water use and biodiversity loss.() Despite providing only 37% of protein and 18% of the energy requirements, over half of GHGe and 83% of land is associated with producing animal-based foods.()

A synergistic combination of substantial shifts towards more plant-based dietary patterns, large reductions in food losses and waste, and major improvements in food production practices will be needed to sustainably feed 10 billion people within the planetary boundaries by 2050.()

A diet rich in plant-based foods and with fewer animal source foods confers both improved health and environmental benefits.() Food-based dietary guidelines already incorporate fortified soya and other plant-based drinks within the dairy and alternatives food group in a number of countries.()

In addition with other dietary shifts, plant-based alternatives to dairy can be a way to help people move towards a more plant-based diet. These foods can easily be incorporated in the daily diet without a significant change in meal patterns, preparation or eating habits.

The aim of the new research grant should be focused on the place of plant-based dairy alternatives within the broader dietary context and the essential move towards more plant-based diets.

Plant-based dairy alternatives include plant-based drinks, alternatives to yogurt, desserts, and/or culinary cream made from plant-based ingredients such as soya, pea, almond, oat, rice, etc.

Potential research questions for the Alpro Foundation grants 2022

  • Which nutrients (nutrient density) are key for plant-based dairy alternatives within the context of the whole diet to ensure more sustainable dietary patterns for flexitarians?

  • What methods can be proposed to assess both the environmental and nutritional aspects of plant-based dairy alternatives in the context of the whole diet?

  • What is the nutritional, health and environmental impact of the incorporation of plant-based dairy alternatives (ie. partly or completely replacing dairy) in the context of the whole diet?

Eligibility of research proposal and applicants

  • Geographic target area of the research scope: European population

  • Age range: adults, adolescents, children +3y

  • Human studies (animal experiments or in vitro studies are not eligible)

  • Environmental impacts should not exclusively consider GHGe (if data are available)

  • First applicant must be resident in a European country

  • First applicant must be affiliated to a European university or a European research institute

  • Applicants should hold at least a Master of Science (MSc) degree or equivalent

Timeline

Submission deadline short proposals: October 16, 2022 midnight (CET).

The Scientific Advisory Committee of Alpro Foundation will shortlist the proposals which will be invited for the next stage of selection by November 15, 2022.

If invited to submit a long proposal, this has to be submitted by January 31, 2023 midnight.

Final decision on the grant will be communicated by March 1, 2023.

The awarded research grant should start in April 2023.

Funding policy

The Alpro Foundation has a policy of funding documented direct costs of projects. Alpro Foundation is an independent charity and does not fund unspecified indirect and overhead costs exceeding 20%. The Alpro Foundation will not support travel costs or investment in permanent equipment. If the project is already receiving other funds, this should be notified in the application.

Selection procedure

Only research topics which endorse the objectives of the 2022 call of Alpro Foundation will be considered. Judging criteria are based on:

  1. Excellence (weight 50%)
    - Proposed work has innovation potential (e.g. potential for novel concepts and approaches, innovative results, innovative product development, …)
    - Quality/Credibility of the proposed approach/methodology
    - Quality/Credibility of the research team

  2. Impact (weight 30%)
    - Extent to which the outputs of the proposed work could increase the understanding of nutrient and environmental consequences of including plant-based dairy alternatives within the whole diet
    - Extent to which the outputs of the proposed work could result in recommendations for the general European population
    - Extent to which the outputs of the proposed work could result in recommendations for product development

  3. Quality and efficiency (weight 20%)

    - Clarity and pertinence of the objectives

    - Likelihood that the proposed approach can be be accomplished within the timeframe

    - Likelihood that the proposed approach can result in publication(s)

References

  1. Crippa M, Solazzo E, Guizzardi D, et al. Food systems are responsible for a third of global anthropogenic GHG emissions. Nature Food. 2021;2:198–209. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-021-00225-9

  2. Poore J, Nemecek T. Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers. Science. 2018;360(6392):987-992. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaq0216

  3. Willett W, Rockstrom J, Loken B, et al. Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. Lancet. 2019;393(10170):447-492. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31788-4

  4. Wheel of Five (NL); Eatwell Guide (UK); Food triangle (BE), Food plate (US & Canada)