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Training for a Career in Food Security

This week, the U.K. Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) announced that it will commit up to £15 million (about US$23 million) to training in food security research and development through its Advanced Training Partnerships scheme. “The scheme will support the development of staff within the sector and
help companies with succession planning in niche skill areas.
Collaboration between training providers and industry partners will
ensure that high level skills relevant to crops, livestock, and food are
employed throughout the development pipeline,” it says here.

It’s a timely announcement, as Science Magazine devotes much of this week’s issue to the critical issue of food security — that is, ensuring an adequate food supply for the world’s population, expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. The coverage includes reviews, perspective articles, a special news package, and an editorial. This week’s Science podcast is devoted entirely to food security.

Science Careers pitched in with two articles on the topic: An overview piece, Careers in Food Security Span Several Disciplines, by Wales-based writer Cath Janes, and a profile, Plant Geneticist Cultivating a Future for Peanut Farming in Uganda, written by freelance writer Gaia Vince.

The articles both illustrate the multidisciplinary nature of a career in food security. “You have to ask yourself how you can get into food security,” U.K.
science adviser John Beddington told Janes. “There are lots of disciplines
relating to food security, and that makes it an attractive career. Yet
you have to understand the science as well as how your work is
applicable to food producers in tackling a lack of water or their fight
against pests.”