Freelance Research Contract:
Plant-based and Cell-based Seafood
Freelance Research Contract:
Plant-based and Cell-based Seafood

Freelance Researchers Needed for Scoping and Analysis of Research Projects to Advance Plant-based and Cell-based SeafoodEngineer a New Paradigm in Seafood Production

Length of Contract: up to 80 hours, to be completed by January 15, 2019

The Good Food Institute (GFI) is on the forefront of the movement to use food technology and markets to solve some of the world’s biggest problems, from climate change and global hunger to antibiotic efficacy and the exploitation of billions of animals annually. The work of GFI’s team is expanding the frontiers of plant-based and cell-based (grown in a culture, no animal slaughter required) meat to provide sustainable, healthy, and humane options to conventional meat, seafood, and animal products. GFI has recently launched a Sustainable Seafood Initiative to address challenges and opportunities unique to the seafood space and is seeking contract researchers to develop and refine comprehensive research project proposals in a few key areas.

How You Will Make a Difference

GFI promotes the development and commercialization of plant-based and cell-based meat and seafood. As global experts in this sector, we work to ensure that a roadmap exists for plant-based and cell-based meat and seafood, including engaging the best scientists in relevant technical R&D and conducting the most impactful consumer research to drive meaningful adoption and commercial success of plant-based and cell-based products. To provide key academic, nonprofit, and industry stakeholders with actionable information to pursue focused research efforts for plant-based and cell-based seafood, GFI is conducting a comprehensive analysis and scoping exercise for several high-priority research projects to advance the field. The resulting analyses will enable efforts in early 2019 to solicit funding and attract highly talented researchers to complete this work.

Who We’re Looking For

We are seeking smart, thoughtful, and creative self-starters who want to transform the seafood industry and develop healthy and humane options that are accessible to everyone.

There are three high-priority research projects to be analyzed. Applicants are expected to have expertise in one or more of these areas:

  1. Detailed compositional and structural characterization of seafood products.
    • This project will establish the parameters that define various types of seafood and thus set the design requirements for both plant-based and cell-based seafood products.
  2. Development and maintenance of a cell line repository for key aquatic species.
    • This project will enable industry partners to develop tools and products for these lines, allow academic researchers to begin work relevant to cell-based seafood, and facilitate internal validation and controls for commercial cell-based seafood players to accelerate their R&D.
  3. Consumer research on drivers and motivations for consumers of seafood and seafood alternatives.
    • This project will provide nuanced information about the drivers for and against seafood alternatives in various geographical and demographical contexts in the U.S. and abroad, which will be critical for commercial success and for guiding promising product development opportunities.

We are currently looking for researchers with expertise in one or more of these areas to analyze and summarize relevant existing research, develop a detailed proposal for advancing the research with direct applicability to plant-based and cell-based seafood, identify potential research partners to conduct the research, and develop budgetary estimates and timelines for conducting the work, including corresponding deliverables. The researchers must have:

A background working with plant-based or cell-based meat companies or within the seafood industry is desirable but not necessary.

Key Deliverables

The final product for each of the three research projects listed above will be an approximately 8- to 10-page report that articulates the proposed research, how it builds upon prior research, and how it advances the industry. The proposal will include milestones and deliverables, researchers and/or research institutions with appropriate expertise to conduct the work, and an estimated budget to achieve meaningful results. This report must be provided in a draft publication format that includes references (see the foundational report on GFI’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative here for an example) and may include figures to illustrate key points but does not need to include any other graphic design.

The basic outline of the report should be as follows:

  1. Articulation of the importance of the proposed research for advancing the development and/or commercialization of plant-based and cell-based seafood
  2. Summary of relevant research that has already been conducted, with references
  3. Research proposal to advance knowledge in this key area, including concrete deliverables and milestones and how those will specifically advance plant-based and cell-based seafood efforts
  4. Prospective researchers (individuals, departments, and/or academic or contract research institutions - higher detail is preferred)
  5. Estimated budget at multiple levels:
    • What is the minimum budget required to achieve meaningful results, and roughly how would that budget be allocated?
    • Scope out the project that would be enabled with a budget 5-fold larger than that minimum. How does that change the deliverables, timelines, and allocation?
    • Perform the same scoping exercise with a budget 10-fold larger than the minimum.

The report will be used internally and shared with prospective partners and funders. This material may also be made publicly available on the GFI website, at the discretion of GFI. All contractors will be given credit on any publicly accessible version of the report, and in all cases they will be free to share this report freely with others (for example, as a sample work product for a potential future employer).

Important: We are looking for a candidate who can complete this project by January 15, 2019. Please only apply if you’re able to meet this deadline.


Please provide the following materials to Renee Bell, Editor and Assistant (, to be considered for this contract engagement. The deadline is November 25, 2018.