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The Food System Research Fund is inviting applications for its 2024 RFPs

FSRF is a small, targeted, animal advocacy research fund. We aim to facilitate and disseminate research to accelerate a transition away from an animal product-based food system.

We have issued seven RFPs and each is briefly detailed below. We also welcome other proposals that align with our mission. Please review each RFP in more detail here, along with FAQs and our policies.

The deadline for submission is September 1, 2024. We will notify applicants of our initial decision after September 1st and by October 15th. We'll continue accepting applications after the deadline, but we cannot guarantee the availability of funds or the same application response time.

FSRF conducted its first round of funding in the summer of 2020 and many projects have come to fruition. You can read about these projects here, organized by RFP.

Please feel free to contact us or comment below if you have questions that are not answered on our website.

Displacement - Using consumer panels to estimate displacement of animal products by plant-based analogues

A handful of recent studies have illustrated the promise of consumer panel data for measuring the impact of plant-based analogues on animal product sales (e.g., Cuffey, 2022; Slade, 2023). Proposals submitted under this RFP should expand this body of work with innovative methodologies and more diverse products.

Successful proposals will meet some if not all of the following criteria:

  • Focus explicitly on causal inference by developing a target trial (Hernán, 2016) and exploiting potential natural experiments or other exogenous sources of randomness.

  • Suggest creative modeling approaches that take full advantage of the available data. In particular, consumer panels.

  • Use outcome measures which correspond directly to purchasing behavior rather than self-reports.

  • Examine plant-based analogues not yet widely explored in the literature such as liquid eggs, ready-meals (pre-packaged complete meals), coffee creamer and ice cream. Innovative work considering plant-based milks and meats is also welcome. Consideration should be given to the price differential between plant-based analogues and their counterparts, with products approaching price parity of particular interest.

Policy - Meat policy case studies

Price parity is a major factor in widespread consumer adoption of animal product alternatives, and these prices differ greatly by country. As such, we would like to learn where and why those price differences exist.

Successful proposals will address some or all of the following points:

  • Determine countries in which consumer prices of animal products (meat, eggs, dairy) meat are higher than average relative to other food items sold in the country.

  • Scope the range of government policies that have influenced animal product prices, either increasing or decreasing the consumer price

  • Assess each policy in terms of its ability to increase costs

  • Assess the feasibility of implementing these policies elsewhere, especially in highly populous countries

Cost of Goods - Full cost of goods for animal products

The purpose of this RFP is to determine potential avenues for influencing the price of animal products. Proposals submitted under this RFP should scope and quantify the inputs and costs required to produce meat. Our preferred scope is chicken and top-consumed fish species in highly populous countries but could be narrowed..

Successful proposals should follow an approach similar to the following:

  • Determine the most compelling species and countries to analyze

  • Scope the full range of material inputs

  • Quantify the cost (percentage of total COGS) of each input per animal

  • Assess the likely change or stability in cost of each input over the next ten years under two assumptions: 1) business as usual, 2) rapid reduction in demand

  • Assess each input in terms of opportunity to influence (increase or decrease costs)

  • Assess each input for the potential to be redirected to a different use, such as other food production

Economics - Addressing knowledge gaps around the economics of the animal protein and plant-based alternatives markets

A simple economic model suggests that the best way to reduce the quantity of animal consumption is to increase its cost of production, reduce demand, and increase demand elasticity by offering good alternatives. Proposals submitted under this RFP should help quantify this simple analysis.

Successful proposals will likely answer one or more of the following questions, with those that are not based on self-reported survey data are of particular interest:

  • What factors are affecting the cost structure and production of producing animal proteins

  • What are the costs of producing plant-based alternatives and market dynamics

  • What is the price elasticity of demand for various animal proteins and how is this elasticity affected by the availability of plant-based alternatives?

  • Understanding consumers as demand shifters

    • What are the current levels of consumer acceptance of plant-based alternatives and fish welfare corporate campaigns and can these be increased?

    • Are current plant-based products taking market share from meat, and is this likely to be a lasting trend or just a novelty effect?

    • What is the impact of organizational efforts to reduce animal protein consumption taking into account the costs of conducting them?

    • What is the impact of nomenclature laws restricting use of terminology (such as "cheese", "milk", "meat") for plant-based products?

  • Understanding food services as demand shifters

    • What is the impact of organizational efforts aimed at changing the balance between plant and animal-based meals in corporate and public service food service companies taking into account the costs of conducting them?

PLMICs - Identifying paths to reducing growth in animal product consumption in populous low and middle-income countries (PLMICs)

Rapid population growth combined with increasing wealth has led to substantial acceleration in animal-based food production and consumption in PLMICs. Proposals submitted under this RFP should contribute to a base of foundational knowledge that will guide efforts to improve farmed animal welfare in these countries and reduce or slow the growth of consumption of animal products.

Successful proposals will likely answer one or more of the following questions:.

  • What are the attitudes towards farmed animal welfare in PLMICs?

  • How can the plant-based alternatives industry in PLMICs be best supported?

  • What makes up the cost of plant-based alternative foods in PLMICs (such as plant-based meat and milk), and how do the costs of these foods compare with the animal-based foods they are meant to replace?

  • How can common animal farming practices be changed in PLMICs?

  • What is the government's policy with respect to animal farming and consumption? How much influence does the animal farming industry have with the government? What approaches and methods could be used to encourage the government to take measures to restrict growth of animal-based consumption?

  • What can be done to attract more people to work on the reduction of animal-based food consumption in PLMICs?

New Techniques - Identifying new promising techniques to shift the food system towards being more plant-based

Increasing global levels of animal product consumption are associated with numerous negative outcomes. Proposals submitted under this RFP should address the potential of novel advocacy areas or techniques as well as other approaches to reduce reliance on animal products.

Successful proposals will likely answer one or more of the following questions:

  • What is the potential of non-conventional ways of reducing animal product consumption, such as reducing food waste and altering pet food ingredients?

  • What is the potential impact of efforts that aim to improve the welfare of neglected farmed animals such as fish, or invertebrates, especially shrimp and prawns?

  • What is the potential of relatively novel efforts to support the alternative protein ecosystem, such as increasing government funding to R&D on plant-based alternatives and passing novel laws that support plant-based alternatives?

Advocacy Effectiveness - Quantifying the effectiveness of existing techniques to shift the food system towards being more plant-based

Increasing global levels of animal product consumption are associated with numerous negative outcomes. Advocates are using a wide range of strategies and approaches, some of which are much better understood than others. Proposals submitted under this RFP should address the effectiveness and impact of strategies or approaches to changing the food system that have not yet been subject to much empirical research.

Note: We will not consider proposals for research that can be described as all of: focusing on diet change, studying a population in the Global North, and primarily relying on self-reported data. This is because self-report diet change research from the Global North is perhaps the most common type of research relevant to animal protection. However, proposals that include one or two of these elements will be considered.

Successful proposals will answer one or more of the following questions as they pertain to understudied advocacy approaches:

  • How effectively do current advocacy approaches reduce animal product consumption?

  • How effectively do current advocacy approaches reduce reliance on industrial animal agriculture?





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Great to see this — I am a past FSRF recipient and it was a very positive experience!

Executive summary: The Food System Research Fund is seeking research proposals to accelerate the transition away from animal-based food systems, with funding available for projects across seven key areas.

Key points:

  1. Applications are due by September 1, 2024 for seven research focus areas: displacement, policy, cost of goods, economics, PLMICs, new techniques, and advocacy effectiveness.
  2. Priority research topics include measuring impact of plant-based alternatives, analyzing meat pricing policies, quantifying animal product costs, studying economics of protein markets, reducing consumption in developing countries, and evaluating advocacy approaches.
  3. Successful proposals should use rigorous methods like causal inference, consumer panel data, and non-self-reported measures where possible.
  4. The fund aims to facilitate research that can inform efforts to reduce animal product consumption and improve farmed animal welfare globally.
  5. Proposals outside the specific RFPs that align with the overall mission will also be considered.



This comment was auto-generated by the EA Forum Team. Feel free to point out issues with this summary by replying to the comment, and contact us if you have feedback.

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