FFAR Seeks Nominations for 2020 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award

2020 New Innovator awardees will not be required to secure matching funds

WASHINGTON (January 8, 2020) – The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) is now accepting nominations for the 2020 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award. FFAR intends to grant up to ten Awards to early-career scientists pursuing research that supports the Foundation’s Challenge Areas and promotes global, sustainable food production. Each applicant is eligible to receive up to $150,000 per year for a maximum of three years totaling $450,000 from FFAR. For the first time, FFAR is not requiring awardees to secure matching funds, opening this opportunity to a wider pool of applicants.

The New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award provides early-career scientists the investment needed to bolster their successful careers in food and agriculture. FFAR grants this unique award to highly creative, promising scientists whose research has the potential to address major challenges facing food and agriculture. Often early-career scientists struggle to secure grant funding at the onset of their careers. This award gives them the opportunity to focus exclusively on research without the pressure to secure additional funding for these particular ideas.

“Investing in scientific workforce development is a cornerstone of FFAR’s mission, and the New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award exemplifies the Foundation’s recognition that funding ‘cream of the crop’ early-career scientists is one of the best ways to assure innovation in our future,” said FFAR Executive Director Sally Rockey. “For the first time, FFAR itself is providing matching funds for these awards, which may mean more institutions will participate.”

Institutions of higher education, nonprofit research institutions and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are encouraged to nominate one applicant who holds tenure-track or equivalent position and meets the eligibility criteria specified in the Call for Nominations. 

Applications from eligible nominees will be evaluated on their research program proposals as well as a demonstrated commitment to mentoring future generations of agricultural and food scientists. The deadline for submitting nominations is March 4, 2020 at 5:00 pm ET. Complete submission guidelines and program deadlines are available on the FFAR website. 

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Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization originally 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, Ph.D., and includes ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation.

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.