Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Working to Jumpstart Scientific Careers in Food and Agriculture with Up to $6M in Research Awards

Foundation Seeks Inaugural Partners for “New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research” Award

WASHINGTON, October 28, 2015 – The Foundation for Food and Agriculture (FFAR) intends to present up to 10 early-career scientists with a new award for innovative research in one or more of FFAR’s seven focus areas. The up to $200,000 per year award is designed to give recipients three years of financial support to pursue highly innovative research of importance to FFAR and to the recipient in establishing a vibrant research career.

Slated to launch in early 2016, the award will require that applicants be in the first three years of their tenure-track faculty careers, be conducting innovative research that aligns with FFAR goals and demonstrate a commitment to mentoring. Investing in faculty members within the first three years of their careers will allow them to pursue innovative and transformational ideas uninhibited by the pressure of identifying their next grant.

U.S. colleges and universities will be asked to nominate one applicant from their institution. Nominees will then submit applications and be selected by a committee of experts assembled by FFAR, with first awards to be issued in 2016.

“Supporting the next generation of top scientists in food and agriculture is tantamount to the transformation that must happen in order to feed the more than 9 billion people predicted to populate the world by 2050,” said Dr. Sally Rockey, executive director of FFAR. “The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research board and I are thrilled to launch the New Innovator award among our first initiatives.”

Authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, FFAR’s operating model includes forging unique partnerships to support actionable research confronting today’s food and agriculture challenges. The Foundation is currently seeking founding partners who share FFAR’s commitment to meeting the need for a creative workforce who will train, encourage, and inspire future generations of agricultural and food scientists.

This award, one of the Foundation’s two inaugural initiatives, is a step toward attracting and retaining aspiring scientists to the agricultural field in an environment where funding constraints often lead young researcher to shift their focus away from agriculture toward research topics where they can more readily obtain funds.

Organizations and individuals interested in becoming a founding partner in this landmark initiative may contact Dr. Sally Rockey at s.rockey@far.foundation.

Print This Post Print This Post

###

About the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a nonprofit organization established by bipartisan Congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today’s food and agriculture challenges. FFAR leverages public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. The FFAR Board of Directors is chaired by Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum and includes ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation.

Learn more: www.foundationfar.org Connect: @FoundationFAR | @RockTalking

Overcoming Water Scarcity

Overcoming Water Scarcity

Continue

Agriculture uses 70 percent of the world’s accessible freshwater. FFAR’s 2016-2018 Overcoming Water Scarcity Challenge Area addressed water use efficiency in agriculture by developing water conservation and reuse technologies, improving crop and livestock breeds, creating improved agronomic practices, increasing the social and economic tractability of conservation practices and enhancing the efficacy of Extension services.

FFAR’s Sustainable Water Management Challenge Area builds on earlier work to increase water availability and water efficiency for agricultural use, reduces agricultural water pollution and develops water reuse technologies.

Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms

Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms

Continue

FFAR’s 2016-2018 Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms Challenge Area increased soil health by building knowledge, fueling innovation, and enabling adoption of existing or new innovative practices that improve soil health.

The Soil Health Challenge Area advances existing research and identifies linkages between farm productivity and soil health, while also addressing barriers to the adoption of soil health practices.

Protein Challenge

Protein Challenge

Continue

FFAR’s 2016-2018 Protein Challenge Area sought to improve the environmental, economic and social sustainability of diverse proteins.

The Advance Animal Systems challenge area supports sustainable animal production through environmentally sound productions practices and advancement in animal health and welfare. Additionally, the Next Generation Crops Challenge Area develops non-traditional crops, including plant-based proteins, and creates new economic opportunities for conventional crops to increase future crop diversity and farm profitability.

Food Waste and Loss

Food Waste and Loss

Continue

About 40 percent of food in the US, or $161 billion each year, is lost or wasted. FFAR’s 2016-2018 Food and Waste Loss Challenge Area addressed the social, economic and environmental impacts from food waste and loss through research that developed of novel uses for agricultural waste, improved storage and distribution, supported tracking and monitoring, minimized spoilage through pre- and post-harvest innovations and changed behaviors to reduce food waste

FFAR’s current Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area addresses food waste and loss and supports innovative, systems-level approaches to reduce food and nutritional insecurity and improve human health in the US and globally.

Forging the Innovation Pathway to Sustainability

Continue

Supporting innovation is necessary for sustainable results. Over the last 50 years, farmers have tripled global food production thanks to agricultural innovations. Forging the Innovation Pathway to Sustainability was a 2016-2018 Challenge Area that focused on understanding the barriers and processes that prevented the adoption of technology and research results into sustainable practices.

Urban Food Systems

Urban Food Systems

Continue

The 2016-2018 Urban Food Systems Challenge Area addressed feeding urban populations through urban and peri-urban agriculture and augmenting the capabilities of our current food system.

The Urban Food Systems Challenge Area continues this work and enhances our ability to feed urban populations.

Making My Plate Your Plate

Continue

FFAR’s 2016-2018 Making My Plate Your Plate Challenge Area focused on helping Americans meet the USDA 2015 Dietary Guideline recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption, including research to both produce and provide access to nutritious fruits and vegetables.

FFAR’s current Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area supports innovative, systems-level approaches to reduce food and nutritional insecurity and improve human health in the US and globally.