IFR’s research can be divided into six interconnected areas: 

IFR scientists collaborate with partners on the Norwich Research Park, allowing a multi-disciplinary approach to research. IFR also has strategic relationships with UEA, University College London and works widely with universities, research institutes and the food industry in the UK, across the EU and around the world.

IFR research is structured around two BBSRC-funded Institute Strategic Programmes:

BBSRC funds three National Capabilities that are hosted and maintained at the IFR. National Capabilities are facilities, collections, databases or infrastructures that form an essential strategic component of the UK or international research base, supporting a wide variety of academic, industry and regulatory stakeholders.

The IFR has a number of science support services, including:

IFR scientists also access a large number of other facilities through the Norwich Research Park.

Carrying out IFR's research mission is the responsibility of  Research Leaders, who lead small focused groups and host postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate students.

The primary output from IFR research is peer-reviewed papers, which can be found in IFR’s Scientific Publications Library. IFR publishes extensively in the scientific literature. In 2013, an analysis of IFR’s publications over the previous past 5 years found that 459 scientific papers with an impact factor greater than 2.5 have been published by IFR researchers in 150 leading journals. These papers have been cited over 35,000 times, an average of 17.95 citations per publication.

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