Applicant FAQs

We bet you have questions. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about applying for a FFAR grant.
We bet you have questions. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about applying for a FFAR grant.


Grants Management

Funding & Process FAQs

How does FFAR award funding?

Our Funding & Approval process outlines how we develop research programs and fund research through those programs.

We award grants in three ways:

  1. Request for Application (RFA): We issue a Request for Application to solicit ideas from the broadest group of researchers. Some of FFAR’s programs issue RFAs annually and others are a one-time opportunity. The highest quality proposals are selected for funding through a rigorous scientific review process.
  2. Prizes: We develop prize competitions to solve an imminent problem in food and agriculture science. Prizes are awarded to individuals or organizations who meet the prize criteria and solve the food and agriculture challenge. Teams of experts and partners serve as the judging panel in creating criteria and selecting prize winners.
  3. Direct Solicitation: When we know of a specific individual or organization that is well-suited to conduct the necessary research, a proposal may be directly solicited from that organization. The proposal is subject to the same rigorous scientific review process and matching funding requirement as other proposals.

We welcome individuals to propose a research concept through our option to Submit Your Own Concept.

How many grant cycles does FFAR have?

We do not work in cycles, except for our Seeding Solutions and New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award programs. These programs run annually.

Is FFAR a federal funding agency?

No, we are an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

What activities are not funded by FFAR?

As we are in part funded through Congress, we adhere to specific funding limitations.

Additionally, FFAR does not support organizations that have a policy of discriminating based on race, color, religion (creed), sex, gender expression or transition, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, whether the discrimination policies are written or are in practice. Our policy is to not provide grants to any organization that maintains such a policy.

Does FFAR sponsor events?

Our Funding Limitations page outlines our policies on event sponsorship.

Applicant FAQs

What is your grant application process and how do I apply?

Our Funding & Approval process outlines how we develop research programs and fund research through those programs.

Our Grants & Funding section includes information on How to Apply. Applicants should submit complete applications in response to a FFAR request for application through our online grants management system.

Who can apply for a FFAR grant?

Each funding announcement includes information about eligibility.

In general, we welcome applications from all U.S. institutions of higher education, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, government-affiliated researcher and domestic and international organizations. Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support.

Can non-U.S. institutions apply for a grant?

Yes, non-U.S. institutions can apply for open funding opportunities. All correspondence must be in English.

Can one institution submit more than one application?

Yes, an institution can submit multiple applications for different funding opportunities.

Can U.S. Government scientists apply for a grant?

Unless otherwise indicated in the RFA, funding opportunities are open to U.S. Government scientists. All grant applicants, including U.S. government scientists, are subject to the same non-federally sourced matching funds requirement.

Can an early career scientist, with no established research portfolio, apply for a grant?

Yes, we encourage researchers at all stages of their career with bold scientific ideas to apply for our open opportunities. We offer specific Scientific Workforce Development programs designed to support the future scientific workforce.

Can I submit a concept to address any issue within the food and agriculture system?

We fund bold research in food and agriculture that aligns with our mission. While we allow researchers to submit research concepts, strong preference is given to concepts that fall within one or more of our Challenge Areas. Please also note that FFAR research fills critical knowledge gaps and advance science. While an independent nonprofit, the Foundation complements and advances the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) mission and builds programs that are of mutual interest to USDA and the agricultural community at-large.

Do you accept concepts and fund applications that address food and agriculture challenges outside the U.S.?

Yes, the legislation that created FFAR allows us to fund domestic and international research.

Are all FFAR concepts received through the online research concept portal?

Yes, all applications, concepts and associated forms must be submitted through our Grants Management System.

When will I receive a response about my concept

Our staff typically respond within 30 days.

I don’t want to miss an open opportunity. How do I make sure I’m in the know?

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates on funding opportunities. We also publish all open solicitations on our Open Opportunities page.

When are your application submission deadlines?

Application deadlines, as well as other details about each opportunity, are listed in the specific funding opportunity RFA or description.

Do I have to secure matching funds before applying?

No, though we strongly encourage applicants to have the matching funds in-hand or have a solid commitment by the application deadline to prevent delays, if we select the proposal for funding. We do not disburse funds until matching funds are secured from all project funders. We certify matching funds annually until the project is complete.

What size and scope of research concepts is FFAR seeking?

The size and scope of a research project are up to the principal investigator’s discretion, though maximum amounts will be specified in an RFA. Please review the applicable RFA for the average project budget size and program priorities. We advise applicants to not interpret the maximum allowable time and funding in an RFA as a suggestion that they should expand their anticipated work and budget to this level.

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