The Green Food Contest

The Green Food Contest

The Green Food Contest is a competition for students who have finished their undergraduate studies from six countries in the Southeast Asia region: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The competition aims to engage students who want to apply their scientific strengths to one of the key sustainability issues facing the food industry: finding plant-based alternatives in relation to mitigating the impact of the current (animal-based) food system. Participants in the competition will have to submit a research proposal with a focus on solving a relevant problem in this field.

Plant-based food refers to plant-based meat, seafood, eggs, and diary. The interest for plant-based alternatives to animal-based food production is driven by the realization that animal-based food production comes with high costs in terms of sustainability. Whereas plant-based food was initially the domain of vegetarian or vegan consumers, the market is currently expanding with people (e.g. flexitarian) who would still like to enjoy great tasting, healthier and affordable food, but without the environmental footprint. Examples in the food industry where we see plant-based alternatives emerging include the meat analogue, the cheese analogue (for example: vegan parmesan cheese) as the alternatives to dairy-based cheese; plant-based drinks (dairy-alternative beverages), vegan yoghurts, and shakes. For more information, see:

The competition is initiated by IMCD: a global leader in the distribution and formulation of specialty ingredients, through its “IMCD Cares” Programme. “IMCD Cares” will offer a scholarship to the winner of this contest to pursue a full-time Master’s degree (by research) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore: MSc (Research) in Plant Biology.

Proposals for the competition will be assessed by a jury of experts. Participants in the competition shortlisted for the winning proposal will have to apply and pass NTU’s regular application process, before the jury will determine the winner of the competition.

Nuffic Southeast Asia is coordinating the implementation of the competition, including supporting the jury and follow-up support to the winner.

Target Group

The Green Food Contest targets students who graduated as of January 2021 or students in their final semester (expected to graduate not later than March 2023) who have an academic background in food technology, food science and biotechnology, and other related fields.  We expect candidates to be committed to pursue their career in the field of food security and interested to contribute to the sustainable development of their country in particular and the Southeast Asia region in general.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Students need to have the nationality, reside and study at an Educational Institution in one of the following six countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  1. Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with minimum Honours (Distinction) or its equivalent (graduated as of January 2021) or students in their final semester (expected to graduate not later than March 2023) and the ability to pursue research in the candidate’s proposed field of advanced study.
  1. A valid GRE score is required for applicants (unless you are graduate of one of the Autonomous Universities in Singapore) valid for 5 years from the date of the test.
  1. For applicants from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, a good TOEFL score is required, valid for 2 years from the date of test. IELTS may be submitted in place of TOEFL. The minimum score for TOEFL is ≥ 90; IELTS Minimum Score ≥ 6.5

Apply for this competition

The competition will be open on 05 December 2022. Interested candidates need to apply by 5 January 2023 to the following address:

Applicants need to submit:

  • Passport copy
  • An academic transcript and certificate (original language and official translation in English – if the original is not in English), and grading or marking scale of the Transcript (Interpretation of Grades/Marks)
  • Valid English Language Proficiency test (for applicants whose native language is not English)
  • Valid GRE Result (for applicants who are not graduates of the Autonomous Universities in Singapore)
  • Along with the application, the students must also submit a proposal about plant-based alternatives with the following details:
  • A proposal is between 2-3 pages long (in between 800 – 1300 words) and address the following questions:
  • Why does your idea contribute to a sustainable food industry?
  • What kind of plant-based alternatives do you propose?
  • How do the upstream and downstream components of your idea look like?
  • Respecting an Asian style culinary heritage
  • The proposal needs to be original (i.e. will be checked for indications of plagiarism)
  • Application in English

Selection Procedure and Timeline

05 December 2022

Opening of application for the Green Food Contest

05 January 2023 (5pm Singapore time GMT+8)

Deadline for the submission of the Green Food Contest application

05 January – 03 February 2023

Eligibility check and assessment by Nuffic Neso Southeast Asia and Jury.

07 February 2023

Notification of the shortlisted candidates. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and invited to proceed to the next step in the process: submit the application to NTU

08 February – 31 March 2023

Shortlisted candidates submit application to NTU (MSc (Research) in Plant Biology) and assessment by NTU. Deadline to receive unconditional offer letter from NTU: 29 April 2023.

30 April 2023

Deadline for the shortlisted candidates to submit unconditional offer letter from NTU to Nuffic Southeast Asia (contact person: Oktavia;

01 – 15 May 2023

Final assessment by the Jury of the candidates who received the Letter of Acceptance by NTU

25 May 2023

Announcement of the Winner of the Green Food Contest


  • The award covers the annual tuition fee and miscellaneous fees of NTU, and monthly stipends, as well as an economy class international airline return airfare for students from Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand.
  • The award is tenable for one year in the first instance and is renewable subject to good progress and performance.
  • The period of the Scholarship is 2 years for Master’s candidates.

Service Obligation

The winner is expected to return to their home country following the completion of the study program, in order to apply their research proposal.

More Information

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