FFAR Seeks Early Career Nominees for New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award

Second Annual New Innovator Awards Will Fund Talented Scientists Exploring Innovative Solutions to Food and Agriculture Challenges 

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a nonprofit organization that supports innovative science through unique partnerships, seeks outstanding early career nominees for the 2017 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award.

Continued scientific innovation is critical to meeting the needs of a world in which one in nine people suffers from hunger. The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research created the New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award to help support the next generation of food and agriculture scientists.

The New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award funds promising individuals pursuing research with potential to sustainably enhance agricultural production or improve health through food. Nominees will compete for up to 10 awards, with each awardee receiving up to $600,000 over three years.

Institutions of higher education, other nonprofit research institutions and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are encouraged to nominate up to two candidates for the Award. Nominees must be within the first three years of tenure-track or equivalent faculty careers.

“We urgently need bright, creative thinkers dedicating their scientific careers to food and agriculture, whether that means developing methods to grow more food with fewer resources, uncovering nutritional knowledge that leads to better health, or identifying ways for crops to thrive under conditions like drought or a changing climate,” said Dr. Sally Rockey, the Foundation’s executive director. “The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research is proud to play a part in developing talent today to help tackle food and agriculture challenges now and in the future.”

Eligible nominees will be invited to apply for an award within one of seven research categories and will be evaluated on their research program proposals as well as a demonstrated commitment to mentoring.

In November 2016, the nine inaugural recipients of the New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award were awarded a total of $4.95 million from FFAR and the recipients’ respective institutions.

Learn more or Submit a Nomination
Meet the 2016 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award Winners
Overcoming Water Scarcity

Overcoming Water Scarcity

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.