Funding Opportunities

Congratulations to CRFS student award recipients (Summer 2021): Julia Davies and Ziya Kaya

Every spring semester, CRFS offers up to three student research awards in support of food-related research or educational activities over the summer months. This year, CRFS supported the Ph.D. research of Julia Davies (School of Geography, Developoment, and Environment) and Ziya Kaya (School of Anthropology). Congratulations, Julia and Ziya!



Julia Davies is a third year PhD student in the University of Arizona’s School of Geography, Development and Environment. She received her BSc (Honors) in Environmental and Geographical Science and MSc in Climate Change and Development from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Julia’s PhD dissertation focuses on urban food system transformations and governance in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). She is particularly concerned with the high levels of food insecurity being experienced in low-income urban communities in the SSA region. She is interested in understanding the multiple, interlinked drivers of urban food insecurity, including climate change and related food price shocks, high rates of urban poverty, and ineffective food system governance. Core areas of her research include understanding the barriers to urban agriculture and the governance of traditional open-air food markets in SSA. Julia’s work forms part of a broader, NSF-funded project focused on the linkages between coupled human-natural systems and across rural-urban continuums in Zambia and Kenya.

The CRFS grant contributed to her research on the governance of traditional open-air food markets in SSA. Data for this research were collected through a phone call survey, administered to the market committees of 81 markets in Zambia. She is using the data from this survey to analyze the types of governance arrangements that tend to lead to sustained and effective markets. This research is important because while some markets are well governed and function effectively, others face multiple challenges such as poor sanitation, a lack of food safety protocols, infrastructure deficits, and ineffective management. When markets are not well governed then they are not resilient to shocks, nor are they sustainable in the long-term, thereby ultimately impacting the livelihoods of food producers, vendors, and the households who depend on markets for food purchases.


Ziya Kaya is a PhD student in sociocultural anthropology with a minor in geography interested in simultaneous, mutually-reinforcing transformations at the intersection of rural livelihoods and environmental and technological change. His earlier research was on labor processes in and outside a small-scale vegetable-producing greenhouse in western Turkey. For his doctoral dissertation, he will conduct ethnographic research on digital farming technologies as part of food security policies in Turkey and their impacts on farmers’ interactions with agroecology (crops, soils, climate) and farmers’ livelihoods, starting in Spring 2022.

He would like to express his gratitude to the CRFS award committee for supporting his virtual pre-dissertation research on the digital transformation of agriculture in Turkey in Summer 2021. During this remote research, he virtually interviewed digital farming technology companies’ coordinators and farmers and public officials; participated in their virtual meetings and webinars; and conducted archival research on their websites that includes annual reports and scholarly and popular publications on digital farming.