Feed, Protect, Care Global Collaborative PhD Platform

The Feed, Protect, Care Global Collaborative PhD Platform was developed as a joint initiative between the University of Montpellier (UM) in France and the University of Pretoria (UP) in South Africa. The Platform connects the next generation of sustainability scientists from across the world in a lifelong network of expertise and influence. It serves to strengthen and secure the capacity of the global scientific community to inform and support the critical transformation to sustainable futures across local and global levels.

The Platform confronts several critical challenges and opportunities, including:

  • Mobilising science in support of global sustainability transformations.
  • Ensuring scientific rigor, increasing scientific relevance.
  • Building sustainability science capacities at scale.
  • Strengthening effective and equitable international collaboration.

The Platform’s strategic objectives are to:

  • Build a truly global community of future sustainability science leaders through the internationalisation of doctoral education and the development of lifelong networks of expertise and influence.
  • Increase the impact of sustainability science through the promotion and support, at the doctoral level, of inter- and trans-disciplinary research approaches and the development of expertise at the science-policy-society interface.
  • Facilitate longer-term research opportunities for, as well as career development prospects of, early-career sustainability scientists.
  • Advance the practices of open science and open education through the development of new and equitable global partnerships.

The Platform is being launched in May 2023 during Africa Week at the University of Pretoria. At least 30 PhD students from 15 institutions around the world will form the cohort, with a focus on students studying sustainable food systems. Students will have the opportunity to attend in-person events where they will receive training and networking opportunities on cross-cutting issues at the science-policy-society interface. Virtual events and ongoing exchanges via a dedicated virtual research environment will also form part of the project. Once students graduate, they become members of the Feed, Protect, Care Alumni Network.

During Phase I of this ambitious initiative, the Platform’s thematic focus will fall specifically on the complex and urgent challenges of building sustainable food systems at local to global scales. The platform will be open to additional universities with a wider thematic focus during Phase II and III.