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The Institute of Food Research receives strategic funding from BBSRC

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IFR for the Public & Schools

IFR launched 'IFR in the City' during 2007 to provide an opportunity for people with a real interest in the work and future of the IFR, and food science in general, to gain an insight into cutting edge science.

IFR also actively supports school science programmes through the Teacher-Scientist Network and also provides a range of activities throughout the year specifically aimed at engagement with local schools.

Examples of our outreach activities include:

The IFR alongside the other Norwich BioScience Institutes, invite gifted and talented science students from around the region to spend three days on an intensive workshop, hearing about the research we do first hand, meeting students, post-docs and research assistants to find out exactly what it’s like to work in science.

Inside Science 2010 

Eleven enthusiastic pupils were chosen from seven schools to gain an insight to the science carried out on the Norwich Research Park.

This year’s programme featured speakers from across the Norwich Research Park including The Institute of Food Research, The John Innes Centre, The Genome Analysis Centre, The Sainsbury Laboratory, UEA and Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital.

The pupils carried out experiments with Scanning Electron Microscopes, Atomic Force Microscopes and Flow Cytometers as well as spending time in the insectary, mass spectrometry, GM and Genome Analysis Centre laboratories.

“Thanks for a really interesting 3 days I really enjoyed it” Rachel Mumford

“..thanks for setting this up and providing me with such a great experience! I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole workshop..” Niall Jones

Inside Science 2009

Sixteen pupils from across Norfolk attended the 2009 workshops. Pupils heard presentations from scientists working across the Norwich Research Park

There were tours of the facilities and an opportunity to carry out work in the BioImaging suite preparing specimens for the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).


We are following the ‘graduands’ to see what impact spending time in a real science environment has on their future career decisions.

National Science Week 2010

IFR joined forces with the city’s other science organisations to show why Norwich is such a powerhouse in science. We took over The Forum in Norwich for the week with interactive displays culminating in ‘Science in Norwich Day’ . There are over 2,700 scientists working in Norwich; if you’ve ever wondered what they all do then this was a chance to find out.

An innovative project has enabled people with learning difficulties to uncover some of the science behind a healthy diet and to produce resources to share their finding with their peers.

The Garden Science Trust, People First of Norfolk and scientists from the Institute of Food Research have worked with adults with learning difficulties to produce a DVD called ‘superfoods explained.’  This will be distributed widely to residential homes, day services and education providers. 

The DVD was launched on February 3rd 2010

Superfoods explained evaluation report

Tallest Jelly Competition

The Institute of Food Research set local schools a challenge to find out who can make the tallest jelly. The competition takes place at The Forum in Norwich City Centre. Supporting activities and resources are available on the Jellyvision website.



Dr Ken and his dumb waiter, DaveIFR and the Inspirational Science Theatre Company entertained the crowds of the Suffolk County Show in 2009 and the Norfolk Show in 2009 & 2010.

Their unique science cookery show, “Where is the ‘F’ in food?” showcased information surrounding fats, folates, fruit, fresh and frozen foods and fish. Both adults and children alike took on board healthy eating messages, brought to them by Dr Ken and his dumb waiter, Dave. The risqué title pulled in the crowds and certainly did not disappoint.

For more information about Dr Ken and Dave visit:

You can view excerpts of “Where is the ‘F’ in food?” at

Wheat, a plant that changed the world

Funded by the BBSRC, the Institute of Food Research and the John Innes Centre have developed an exhibition and website on the history of wheat and the impact this important crop has had on mankind and the planet.  The exhibition was displayed at Gressenhall Museum (until May 09), and was established to encourage dialogue and to educate about the process of growing wheat, and to gain a better understanding of the needs of consumers and growers.


SAW Showcase event 2008

The Science, Art and Writing (SAW) initiative breaks down traditional barriers between the arts and sciences. SAW uses images from science as a starting point for scientific experimentation, art and creative writing and in doing so stimulates creativity and scientific curiosity. School children realise that science and the arts are interconnected - and they discover new and exciting ways of looking at the world. SAW projects stimulate exploration, enquiry and creativity. And they are fun!

View photos from a SAW Showcase event where 15 schools presented the fruits of their labours.

The book which describes ‘SAW Showcase’ (published February 2009, ISBN 978-0-9550180-2-2) is available from Amazon

You Decide Science Funding

A public audience voted for the science they would fund at The Garage in Norwich. Hosted by BBC Radio 4 presenter Anna Hill, four Institute of Food Research scientists ran the gauntlet after a presentation by Dr Mary Anderson (Head of Contracts) explaining how science funding works in the UK.

See further details

Vulnerable children learn about the benefits of health and fitness - 2010

Vulnerable children from across Norwich, Yarmouth and Dereham attended an event at Sportspark at UEA in July 2010 to learn more about the importance of physical fitnessDr Tristan Bunn and following a sustainable diet. The event was part of the national Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) initiative, with Sportspark the launch venue for a pilot programme designed to encourage healthy and sustainable lifestyles.

Activities included archery and rock climbing, as well as food and taste experiments with Dr Tristan Bunn from Norwich’s Institute of Food Research.

See further details

Research placements

Each year, IFR hosts Nuffield Foundation scholars, undertaking research projects during their A level studies. Undergraduate placements are also available, designed to give students a taster for life at the bench. For further details see Inspiring young science

SAW showcase 2008

Related links

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