Competitions and awards

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Taking part in competitions is a fantastic way to enhance your CV, network with food professionals and make connections across the sector.

IFST offer national and regional opportunities for students. Deadlines are staggered throughout the year so be sure to check back regularly for up-to-date information.

Check out other food science-related competitions and awards (non-IFST).


Ecotrophelia is an EU-wide Dragons' Den style competition rewarding student teams who have developed the best eco-innovative food products. The UK competition is organised jointly by IFST and Campden BRI and is open to teams of students from UK universities. Teams will pitch to our "dragons" for a share of a prize fund worth over £3500 and a year of free IFST membership, as well as the opportunity to go forward to the European competition for a chance to win up to 8000 euros.

Visit the Ecotrophelia website

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology Fellowship

You could gain a unique insight into the inner workings of the Parliamentary Offices of Science and Technology (POST) as part of a three month placement open to final year PhD students. You will gain experience of working in the Commons or Lords researching and writing briefing material for MPs and Peers on a scientific subject, usually in the form of one of POST’s well-known POSTnotes.

Deadline for applications 10 May 2017.

Read more

Young Ambassador Prize

The Young Ambassador Prize offers 7 students the opportunity to take part in the premier events of the IFST year. The Prize includes an expenses paid trip to London to attend the IFST Spring Conference & Dinner and an invitation to become a Young Ambassador for one year. Prizes are awarded to students from each of our 7 regional branches 

All undergraduate and postgraduate students on UK courses from Foundation level through to PhD in food science or technology and related sciences.

Deadline for entries: 20 February 2017

More information and how to enter


John Coppock Award

The Institute of Food Science and Technology of Ireland (IFSTI) will host IUFoST 2016, the 18th World Congress of Food Science and Technology. The International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) is the global scientific organization for food science and technology supporting programmes and projects to increase the safety and security of the world’s food supply. Two awards of £1000 are available towards the costs of travel and attendance at this important international event.  This competition is now closed.

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Kraft Heinz Team Challenge

The Heinz Team Challenge is announced at the annual Student Career LaunchPad. It is open to any student team within a UK university studying food science or a related subject. The challenges changes every year.

Our challenge this year involves the use of Twitter with the ultimate aim of developing a form of ‘Twitter Dictionary’ of food science terms.

As scientists we often have the challenge of trying to express sometimes quite complex terms in simple, clear but still scientifically sound language. So this year’s challenge is to create as many, clear, concise definitions of food science terms but restricted to just 140 characters!

The judges will make their decision based on not just the number of Twitter definitions but also, of course, whether they are scientifically accurate and how clear they are.

Any number of university teams can enter but this year we are limiting the team size to a maximum of five team members.

You don’t need to actually Tweet your definitions as we appreciate you’re going to use up valuable characters on our address and your ID! So please send your entries compiled in a   Word document using the following format.

Salt: Common name for Sodium Chloride used in food to enhance flavour+preservation. Provides essential minerals but can affect blood pressure

The college or university of the winning team will be awarded an engraved trophy sponsored by Heinz to be presented at the following year's Student LaunchPad. In addition, each member of the winning team will receive their own individual version of the trophy. Each winner will also receive a book token kindly donated by John Wiley & Sons to purchase a book up to the value of £140 ($200) to support their studies.

2016/17 competition now open - Find out more

Sensory Science Group Travel Bursary

You be awarded £500 towards the cost of attending a food sensory conference or meeting of your choice to present your research plus one year's IFST membership at Associate rate.You will also join the Sensory Science Student Group. The award is open for full or part-time UK-based students enrolled on a food science or related undergraduate or postgraduate course. Applicants will need to submit an abstract of their research for a poster or oral presentation for inclusion at the relevant conference/meeting.

Materials required for application: A short paragraph giving details of the research project and whether it has been accepted by the conference for inclusion, the research abstract, applicant CV, breakdown of expected conference-related costs, and a supporting letter from a tutor or relevant supervisor verifying the research.

Enter today!

Closing date: 5 May 2017


Young Scientist Competitions - Regional

The Young Scientist Competition offers undergraduate/postgraduate students (UK) the opportunity to present their current/recently completed food-related project in front of their peers and to a panel of food professionals.  This year we are hosting the competition in the following IFST regions:  Eastern, Midlands, North of England, Scotland, South East, Western and Northern Ireland*

It’s the perfect opportunity to find out more about IFST and the benefits of being a member and of course a great opportunity to network with fellow students and people who are working in the Food Industry.


  • £200 First Prize + 1 year membership to IFST and SCI
  • £25 for each student making a presentation

Find out more

Report from the Young Scientist 2016 undergraduate winner Robin Leaper - Greencore site visit


Northern Ireland's Young Scientist Competition

IFST's Northern Ireland's Young Scientist Competition offers undergraduate (UK) the opportunity to present their current/recently completed food-related project in front of their peers and to a panel of food professionals.

The competition is open to any undergraduate student (full or part-time) studying for a food degree at CAFRE, UU, QUB or the Open University. Only one submission per person is permitted.


All students who are shortlisted will receive a certificate and a complimentary 1 year student membership of IFST.

In addition there will be a 1st prize of £1000 and a second prize of £500.

2016 winner

Claire McAlinney, from Queens University Belfast, studying Food Science and Food Security with Professional Studies with “Assessing Traditional Chinese Medicinal Plants for Anti-Alzheimer’s Disease Activity”.

The runner up was Ruth Donnelly, from Queens University Belfast, studying Food Quality, Safety and Nutrition with “Chip shop nightmare: what kind of oil are we eating with our chips?”


Find out more


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