FFAR Awards $2.4 Million to Eight Early-Career Research Faculty Members for Innovative Research Projects

New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Awards Support Science in Plant Efficiency, Soil Health, Water Use, Nutrition and Food System Innovation

FFAR New Innovators visited the U.S. Capitol to discuss their research with members of Congress.


The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, a nonprofit established through bipartisan congressional support, today announced the second annual New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research award recipients and welcomed past and current awardees to Washington for a training program and visits to Capitol Hill.

Matching funds from each awardee’s respective institution will double the Foundation’s investment for a total of $4.8 million in awards over five years. The eight New Innovators will receive up to $600,000 per recipient.

As part of the award, eleven of the 2016 and 2017 recipients of the New Innovator award chose to participate in a scientific communications training in Washington this week followed by visits with their congressional representatives.

The New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research program provides strong support for promising scientists who demonstrate not only a commitment to catalyzing innovation in food and agriculture research, but also a dedication to mentoring undergraduate and/or graduate students.

Early career faculty members have much to gain from their first significant research grant; they earn credibility and are able to redirect time and resources from applying for grant funding to seeing their research through to successful publications and impact.

Attracting and retaining top talent in food and agriculture research is widely identified as one critical component of meeting the food and nutrition needs of the growing global population, which is now projected to reach 10 billion by 2050.

The Foundation’s New Innovator program invests in new university faculty, their novel and potentially groundbreaking research projects and the students and post-doctoral scholars who work on those projects.

The following individuals, who are assistant professors at the universities listed below, are the second annual class of New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research award recipients. Awardees will investigate important research questions in five categories:

Nutrition and Healthy Food Choices
Optimizing Agricultural Water Use
Plant Efficiency
Spurring Food System Innovation
Transforming Soil Health

The New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award is designed to provide the early investment needed to launch new faculty members into successful scientific careers in food and agriculture.

A public request for nominations for the New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award was limited to no more than two applicants per institution and only to researchers within the first three years of their faculty careers.

The second annual class of New Innovator awards bring the total FFAR investment to nearly $5 million in support of the program’s 17 early career awardees to date.

Learn more about the 2017 New Innovators.

Watch the 2017 New Innovators video:

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