GCRI Trust: ‘Improving Sustainability in Tomorrows Protected Horticulture’

2022 Desk Study Competition – £2000 1st Prize!

And new this year, a Video Recording Competition – £2000 1st Prize also!!

The GCRI Trust is delighted to invite entrants to their new Competition. For 2022, the theme is ‘Improving Sustainability in Tomorrows Protected Horticulture’ and submissions are sought on topics that will help the UK protected crops sector lower their greenhouse gas emissions.


 1st Prize = £2000 in both the Desk Study and Video Recording categories.

 2nd Prizes = 2 prizes of £1000 in the Desk Study category, and 2 prizes of £1000 in the Video Recording categories.

There will be up to 8 runner-up Prizes of £500 across both categories.

Entrants are allowed to have one entry in both categories, but the subject covered must be different.

Deadline: The closing date for entries is the 31st July 2022

Who are the GCRI trust and what do we do?

The GCRI Trust was established in 1989 and is a registered charity governed by trustees. It was funded by financial contributions from growers and the Horticultural Research Association.

The GCRI Trust promotes scientific research and education bearing on the environmentally sustainable cultivation of horticultural crops growing in glasshouses, polytunnels and other structures.  The scope extends to crops such as mushrooms, pharmaceuticals and the intensive production of bulbs, flowers and shrubs grown in the open.

Desk Study and Video Competition – The brief

Similarly to the 2021, the competition is for a well-written desk studies or literature reviews that analyses new technologies, new science or novel practices, that can help inform growers, advisors or scientists in their future horticultural business or research considerations and decisions. New to 2022 will be the opportunity to enter a video presentation, with the same brief, as an alternative to the written desk study.

The protected crops sector and associated commerce (suppliers) are striving towards net zero emissions, water use improvements and reductions in waste.

The theme of this desk study competition is ‘Improving Sustainability in Tomorrows Protected Horticulture, and we invite incisive, well-informed submissions that explore current and future technologies, methodologies and blue skies thinking that can help take the protected cropping industry forward in the global ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Entries will be judged according to their originality, incisiveness, quality of presentation, and relevance of content.

Deadline for entries is midnight (GMT) on 31st July 2022. Entries received after this date will not be considered.

Why is the GCRI Trust launching this competition?

The GCRI Trust traditionally provides early career scientists and technical specialists with travel grants – helping the international exchange of novel ideas and technologies. With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we are wanting to continue reaching out globally, but without the travel!

The GCRI Trust also recognises that desk studies (literature reviews) and video presentations are an invaluable first step to future science, technology and innovation projects and aid growers considering future business investments.

Guidelines for writing your Desk Study

Title: Desk Study or Video Presentation (e.g. Capturing Carbon – A New Technology for Pepper Production)

Name of GCRI Trust Competition Entrant: (eg. Dr F Bloggs, DFB Consulting Ltd)

Headline bullet points: These bullet points (between 1-5 as guidance) should be written to flag up key highlights that will encourage a reader to continue exploring the report. The bullet points should succinctly answer the question: “As a result of this desk study, what could the UK Protected Crops and Outdoor Ornamentals sector look out for?”


  • The recycling of waste substrate into fuel or other beneficial products. Noting the energy required to do so.
  • The practicalities of recycling fertigation water. Noting also the water required for filter backwashing and energy for sterilising.
  • Temperature and humidity, old problems with new solutions. Are we getting this right?
  • High energy costs. How is this changing our protected cropping ideas and investment plans.

Background: Text highlighting the broad issues to be addressed in the desk study (max 800 words).

Desk Study (max 4200 words, excluding references): Text that expands on:

  • Advances or novel applications relevant to the title of the desk study
  • The opportunities and threats posed.
  • The Headline bullet points and explains in more detail what/why/how/when the ‘advance’ could be put into practice by growers/consultants/researchers. This is the main text body of the review which may include:  relevant financial information, action points, and sources of related information – anything that the Entrant thinks an industry member would find useful to put that ‘Highlight’ into practice. The addition of helpful graphs, diagrams, infographics or photographs to illustrate particular points is encouraged
  • Ideas for further related research or investigation.

Video Presentation (max 10 minutes): The addition of helpful graphs, diagrams, infographics or photographs to illustrate particular points is allowed and might be helpful.

The video link should not be shared with anyone or made public on any forum while the competition is underway. Once it is over, sharing is allowed.

The video must NOT be over ten minutes long. All videos suspected of plagiarism shall be disqualified.

The video must have been specifically made for this Competition. You are not allowed to use copyrighted video and/or audio. Entries using copyrighted audio or video shall not be considered.

Personal Statement: This section should describe how the work has impacted on you and why it is (or will be) of particular interest to the UK horticultural industry (50-150 words).For the video presentation this can be on camera.

Contact details: Please include your contact details including Name, residential address, email address, telephone number and occupation.

Eligibility Criteria

The competition is open to all UK residents aged 18 years old and above, who at the time of submission must be resident (spend 183 or more days in the UK in the tax year) in the UK.

Only one entry, in each category, per person is allowed.

The report, written in English (Arial 12 point font with single-line spacing), should be submitted as a Word document to the GCRI Trust (, by midnight (GMT) on 31st July 2022.

The video presentation should be uploaded to:  by midnight (GMT) on 31st July 2022. Please confirm your video upload to

Any personal data that may be submitted in an entry will be processed by the GCRI trust in accordance with any applicable data protection legislation.

By entering the Competition, entrants agree to hold the GCRI Trust harmless for liability, damages or claims for injury or loss to any person or property, relating to, directly or indirectly, participation in this Competition, or claims based on publicity rights, third party intellectual property rights, defamation or invasion of privacy.

Entrants agree that their entry is their own work, written solely for the purpose of the Competition, and warrant that their entry does not breach any applicable laws or regulations or infringe any third-party intellectual property or privacy rights, and is not in any way libellous, defamatory, obscene, indecent, harassing or threatening. Submissions may be screened for plagiarism.

Assessment Criteria

The GCRI Trust will hold a judging day, which will draw up a shortlist of entries. Entries will be judged according to their originality, incisiveness, quality of content, presentation and relevance of subject. A judging panel consisting of representatives of the GCRI Trust will select the winners and runners-up. The names of the judging panel will be made available on request. The judges’ decisions shall be final. No correspondence regarding the results will be entered into.

Winning entrants will be informed on or before 31st August 2022 by email or telephone or in writing (using the details provided at entry). If the prizes are declined or unclaimed by a winner, or if a winner cannot be contacted from the details supplied within 15 business days of notification, a replacement winner may be chosen at the GCRI Trusts discretion and will be notified by the GCRI Trust. The original entry that was chosen will then be forfeited. The GCRI Trust will not be liable for any failure, delay or inability to contact a winner.

The names of the winning entrants will be published on the GCRI Trust website and social media channels, along with the winning essays.

The GCRI Trust reserves the right to carry over the prize monies to a later competition if the quality of applications does not meet the required standard in this instance.

David Fox
Trust Administrator