About

LCIRAH is a collaboration between Colleges of the University of London who belong to the London International Development Centre (LIDC).

Founding members include the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). City University of London, and specifically its Centre for Food Policy, joined LCIRAH in 2018. A grant of £3.5m grant from the Leverhulme Trust helped to establish LCIRAH in 2011, and it changed its name from Leverhulme to London Centre in 2019.

LCIRAH has been a hub for developing research ideas and methods to address complex problems at the nexus of environment, food and health. We work across institutions, bringing together sectoral and disciplinary expertise to develop and deliver joint research projects, train new researchers in interdisciplinary approaches, and build a global interdisciplinary research community which provides evidence for policy making.

From its specialist institutions, LCIRAH brings together a unique community of researchers in public health and nutrition, agricultural and environmental science, economics, sociology, anthropology and policy research. Meeting monthly, we take an interdisciplinary approach to sharing and discussing ideas, developing collaborative projects and supervising postgraduate students.

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LCIRAH’s research challenge

Today, the need to understand complex interactions between agriculture, environment and health is greater than ever. More and more people, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, suffer from one or another form of malnutrition created by poor diets. At the same time, food systems are increasing in complexity and facing problems of environmental sustainability and heightened disease risk. Since 2011, LCIRAH’s programme has evolved to address these range of problems.

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Programmes and projects

To date, LCIRAH has helped to develop over 30 externally funded projects between our Colleges and with external partners. Each new project is led by LCIRAH members in those institutions, and joins our portfolio of activities. We then add value to each by fostering interactions across them, while continuing to stimulate new project ideas and development. Current collaborations between LCIRAH members include a range of externally funded research projects and PhD students. Read an analysis of LCIRAH as a novel initiative in interdisciplinary research for development.

Partnerships

LCIRAH is keen to build partnerships nationally and internationally with groups working in agri-health areas, and to serve as a hub for connecting agri-health researchers from different sectors and disciplines. In 2011, we set out to build a global research community in agri-health through a series of annual international research conferences. Today, these have grown, with new partners and funding, into the Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy (www.anh-academy.org), with over 2000 members from institutions in 90 countries. LCIRAH welcomes international contacts and collaboration.