Efficient Fertilizer Research Priorities Request for Proposals

Open Opportunity

Consultant will be selected January 2023

This is anticipated to be a short-term contract with a consultant selected by January 2023 and the final deliverable due by the end of March 2023. Thus, we seek an experienced consultant already familiar with the state of agronomic research as it relates to fertilizer. Work will be conducted remotely and include regular video calls with FFAR staff and Consortium partners.

About the Efficient Fertilizer Research Priorities Request for Proposals

FFAR is seeking a short-term consultant to assist with the design and launch of a new program – the Efficient Fertilizer Consortium. This program will be designed to contribute to the Global Fertilizer Challenge, which supports innovative research, demonstration and training to help countries with high fertilizer usage and loss improve crop system efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the adoption of efficient nutrient management practices and alternative fertilizers.

The Efficient Fertilizer Consortium supports critical research to advance these goals. FFAR is currently identifying private sector funding partners and establishing program structure, management and staffing. We anticipate the program will begin issuing competitive solicitations for research funding in Q3 of 2023.

The objective of this short-term consulting agreement is to initiate development of research priorities for the Consortium to consider. We seek an experienced scientist with expertise in crop nutrition, mineral fertilizer and the economic and environmental impacts of fertilizer products and fertilizer management decisions.

Scope of Work & Deliverables

The primary task will involve evaluation of recent literature and relevant reports, consultation with industry partners, and drafting of a white paper on critical research needs aligned with both public sector and industry priorities.

The white paper should focus on assessing research opportunities in areas to include agronomic research on fertilizer use efficiency, testing and evaluation of fertilizer products, environmental outcomes related to fertilizer use and crop yield gaps related to low fertilizer application. Particular focus should be given to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with fertilizer production and use and the causes and consequences of the regional imbalance between excess and insufficient fertilizer availability and use. Identification of needs for data standardization, common field trial research protocols and how to leverage data generated across different regions and studies is also desired.

The final white paper should highlight high priority areas of research investment that will reduce uncertainty and inform development of actionable programs and policies that lead to economically and environmentally efficient fertilizer use.

The consultant should have broad scientific expertise in plant nutrition research, specific to mineral plant nutrition, and a strong understanding of the fertilizer industry. Additional expertise in the regional variation in fertilizer use globally and the environmental impacts of fertilizer use is desired.

Proposal Guidelines

Applicants should submit a written proposal to develop the research priorities white paper. Proposals should contain:

  1. Approach description including proven qualifications of similar work performed in a scientific setting.
  2. Approximate timeline for producing documents to their final form.
  3. A consultant profile, including qualifications and experience with similar efforts
  4. Other items or information that may assist us in evaluating your proposal (e.g., awards, letters of recommendation, or sample reports).
  5. Advise FFAR of any other areas, services, or important steps to take that are not listed above.

Proposals will be evaluated by FFAR and will be ranked in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Completeness and quality of response
  • Ability to meet requested service needs
  • Experience with analyzing and writing for research organizations in a strategic context
  • Availability
  • Satisfaction of other clients
  • Hourly cost and proposed level of effort

The final award will be based on the best overall value when taking into consideration the competence in scientific writing.

Proposals will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. The position is open until filled. Proposals should be developed in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint and may be submitted in PDF form. Direct proposals and inquiries to athomson@foundationfar.org.

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