Indoor Environment Strawberries

Open Opportunity


Dr. John Reich

Grants Team

Access Saved Application

An approved pre-application with an invitation to submit a full application is required for submission.

Pre-applications due: November 10, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Full application invitation: January 4, 2022

Full applications due: March 1, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Premium flavors in this context are defined in this request as novel flavors with potential commercial value that are largely absent in modern commercial varieties, not the enhancement of flavor in most existing modern varieties.

Eligible projects must identify genetic elements responsible for premium flavors, the chemical constituents responsible for those flavors, and environmental inputs that lead to the growing premium-flavored strawberries in controlled environment production systems.

Download Full RFA

About Indoor Environment Strawberries

Food production faces a range of challenges from climate change, competition for scarce resources and supply chain disruptions. One solution is controlled environment agriculture, which offers the ability to develop varieties of crops in controlled, non-traditional spaces. Controlled environment agriculture can also enhance desirable traits in crops.

Current public funding for controlled environment agriculture is lagging the private sector, where funding is largely spent on engineering, lighting and other tools. However, a successful controlled environment agriculture industry will depend on profitably growing a diverse range of crops indoors, a task requiring adaptation of the crops themselves for controlled environment growth.

To foster the development of controlled environment agriculture science, FFAR’s Precision Indoor Plants (PIP) consortium is seeking research applications focused on understanding the genetic and biochemical elements responsible for premium strawberry flavors, in addition to the environmental control of these elements.

Strawberries have a range of diverse flavors that have been lost in modern varieties but that still exist in nature. This funding opportunity aims to build on existing strawberry research, including flavor research, to increase scientific understanding of premium flavors in strawberry and how flavorful strawberries can impact the controlled environment agriculture sector. By understanding genetic and environmental influences on flavor, we can not only recover these flavors, but also expand our abilities to adapt crops to controlled environment agriculture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply?

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research welcomes applications from institutions of Higher Education, non-profit and for-profit organizations, government-affiliated researchers, 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 their organization to develop an application for support.

If a proposal includes a for-profit entity as either the applicant institution or support for an application, that for-profit entity must provide at least five percent of the total project budget requested from FFAR.

In keeping with FFAR goals to reach a diverse and broad range of institutions and individuals who participate in its programs, we highly encourage applications from Hispanic-serving institutions, 1890s Land Grant Institutions and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions.

What are the anticipated project duration, estimated number of awards and total amount available from FFAR?
  • Anticipated Project Duration: up to 48 months
  • Total Amount Available from FFAR: up to $1.8 million. Each for-profit institution that is part of an application, as either the lead institution or support for an application, must contribute at a minimum, five percent cash match of the total budget amount being requested from FFAR.
  • Estimated Number of Awards: One (1). FFAR reserves the right to negotiate all or none of the applications received for funding consideration.
What should I include in my application?



  • Contact information:
    • The applicant (applying organization)
    • Principal Investigator
    • Authorized Signing Official
    • Grant/Contract Administrator (if different from ASO)
  • Title of the Proposed Project
  • Proposed Project Overview (1500 words)
    • Describe selected premium flavor to be studied (250 words)
    • Describe the potential market for the selected premium flavor (250 words)
    • Describe project objectives (500 words)
    • Briefly describe the scientific methods for this study (250 words)
    • Describe anticipated deliverables and outcomes (250 words)
  • Anticipated Project Budget
  • Geographic Location(s) of Proposed Project
  • Key Personnel Involved in the Project (Name(s), affiliation, expertise, role on the project)
  • Collaborations: Project collaborators and their contributions to the project MUST be listed in the anticipated project budget. Invited full proposals that include additional for-profit institutions which were not submitted as part of the pre-proposal submission will be rejected.
  • Funding Overlap: Are the PI and key personnel involved in other projects being submitted to FFAR?

Optional Information – will not affect the evaluation of the proposed project.

  • How did you hear about this opportunity?
  • Demographic Information

Full Proposal

  1. Required
  • Project Title
  • Project Start and End Dates
  • Geographic Location (city, state, congressional district) where the proposed research will be conducted.
  • Proposed Total Budget
    • Total FFAR request
    • Total optional matching funds
    • Total proposed budget (FFAR funds + Optional Matching Funds)
  • Budget Justification (up to 1000 words)
  • Key Personnel
  • Current and Pending Support
  • Project Summary (500 words or page limit)
  • Abstract (250 words)
  • Project Description (5,000 words)

Description must include:

    • Novel insights that can be gained about generating premium flavors in strawberry for completely controlled environments
    • Selected premium flavor to be studied
    • The potential market for the selected premium flavor
    • Project objectives
    • Scientific methods for this study
    • Anticipated deliverables and outcomes
    • Description of possible barriers and approaches for overcoming them
  • Data Management Plan (800 words) In addition, full proposals must list data that will be shared with PIP partners—raw data and analysis of that data in the context of the project. Certain data are expected to be shared publicly. Data that is shared with PIP partners and the public is negotiable.
  • References Cited
  • Intellectual Property Management Plan (500 words)
  • Organization Assurances
    • Research involving human subjects
    • Research involving vertebrate animals
    • Research involving Recombinant DNA
    • Research involving National Security implications
    • Research involving hazardous materials
    • Research involving human fetal tissue
    • Research involving NEPA review

2. Attachments

  1. Required Attachments (templates and instructions can be found on FFAR’s Applicant Forms & Examples website. To access, click here or type into a URL browser).
    • Budget Form: There is no match required; however, each for-profit institution part of an application, as either the lead institution or support for an application must contribute at a minimum 5% of the amount requested from FFAR.
    • Current and Pending Support
    • PI and Key Personnel Biosketch: Five-page limit per individual listed as PI or key personnel in the project.
    • Project Timeline (by year) and deliverables per every quarter of a project year.
    • Gantt chart of Project Goals and Objectives (every quarter of a project year).
  2. Optional attachments to support project description. This section should not be used to circumvent the page limit for the Research Program Plan Section.
  • Graphics, Figures, Equations, and Tables (up to five pages) – The textbox for the Research Program Plan does not support equations, tables, graphics, and figures. Applicants may upload a PDF document with graphics, figures, tables, or a list of equations to support the research program plan.
  • Letters of Support – Applicants may provide letters of institutional, collaborator, or stakeholder support for the proposed project. Please combine all letters of support into a single PDF document before uploading as an attachment.
How do I apply?

Applications must be submitted through FFAR’s online Grant Management System. Applications not submitted through this portal will not be considered eligible for evaluation. To be fair to all our applicants, FFAR will not grant an extension to applicants who missed the deadlines posted in the Key Dates section.

If you are a new user, register for an account by clicking the “Create Account” button located under the email address field on the left side of the home page. Once you log in, you may begin working on your application. Please be sure to save your work often by clicking on “Save and Finish Later”. To access a saved application, please do so through your Grant Management Account.

Are matching funds required?

There is no matching funds requirement for this funding opportunity, however, if a for-profit institution is part of the proposal as the primary organization or collaborator, the project will need to have matching funds from that organization. Each for-profit institution participating in an application must contribute, at a minimum, five percent of the budget amount requested from FFAR.

Whom do I contact for further information or help?

You can review the full request for applications here.

All scientific and grants questions must be emailed to

FFAR only accepts scientific, programmatic and grants inquiries by email. We strive to respond to inquiries within three business days, but our response time depends on the volume of questions we receive and the complexity of the questions asked. Please note that we do not monitor this mailbox on evenings, weekends or federal holidays.

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates.