Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research Working to Jumpstart Scientific Careers in Food and Agriculture with Up to $6M in Research Awards

Foundation Seeks Inaugural Partners for “New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research” Award

WASHINGTON, October 28, 2015 – The Foundation for Food and Agriculture (FFAR) intends to present up to 10 early-career scientists with a new award for innovative research in one or more of FFAR’s seven focus areas. The up to $200,000 per year award is designed to give recipients three years of financial support to pursue highly innovative research of importance to FFAR and to the recipient in establishing a vibrant research career.

Slated to launch in early 2016, the award will require that applicants be in the first three years of their tenure-track faculty careers, be conducting innovative research that aligns with FFAR goals and demonstrate a commitment to mentoring. Investing in faculty members within the first three years of their careers will allow them to pursue innovative and transformational ideas uninhibited by the pressure of identifying their next grant.

U.S. colleges and universities will be asked to nominate one applicant from their institution. Nominees will then submit applications and be selected by a committee of experts assembled by FFAR, with first awards to be issued in 2016.

Supporting the next generation of top scientists in food and agriculture is tantamount to the transformation that must happen in order to feed the more than 9 billion people predicted to populate the world by 2050. The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research board and I are thrilled to launch the New Innovator award among our first initiatives. Sally Rockey, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, FFAR’s operating model includes forging unique partnerships to support actionable research confronting today’s food and agriculture challenges. The Foundation is currently seeking founding partners who share FFAR’s commitment to meeting the need for a creative workforce who will train, encourage and inspire future generations of agricultural and food scientists.

This award, one of the Foundation’s two inaugural initiatives, is a step toward attracting and retaining aspiring scientists to the agricultural field in an environment where funding constraints often lead young researcher to shift their focus away from agriculture toward research topics where they can more readily obtain funds.

Organizations and individuals interested in becoming a founding partner in this landmark initiative may contact Dr. Sally Rockey at


About the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, a nonprofit organization 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 and includes ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation.

Learn more: Connect: @FoundationFAR | @RockTalking

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates.