(CLOSED) FFAR New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award - 2020

Sponsor Name: 
Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research
Description of the Award: 

The Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) seeks nominations for its 2020 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award. With this program, FFAR intends to support and promote the future generation of exceptionally talented and creative new faculty who are conducting critical and highly innovative research, and are establishing research programs that will lead to expanded availability of food and facilitate the global practice of sustainable agriculture as the world’s population grows to more than 9 billion people by the year 2050. The New Innovator Award seeks to promote career advancement of highly creative and promising new scientists who intend to make a long-term career commitment to research in food and agriculture and bring innovative, ground-breaking research initiatives and thinking to bear on problems facing food and agriculture.

U.S. institutions of higher education, U.S. nonprofit institutions other than institutions of higher education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are invited to nominate one applicant for the 2020 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award.

Within the scope of the New Innovator Program, investigators will have the freedom to explore new avenues of inquiry that arise during their research. Therefore, FFAR is interested in the program of research to be explored and its impact as opposed to a list of very specific aims. The emphasis is on innovation and creativity; preliminary data are not required but may be included. An overall and annual budgets will be required, but connecting them to specific aims will not be necessary. The review process emphasizes the individual’s creativity, the innovativeness of the research approaches, and the potential of the program, if successful, to have a significant impact on an important research problem. FFAR always welcomes partnerships that will enhance the research program. Therefore, collaboration with others is encouraged.

It is expected that through this program investigators will have the ability to pursue highly creative ideas, to firmly establish their early lines of research into important food and agriculture scientific areas, and provide stability in funding during their critical early career years by reducing the time spent on writing applications.

FFAR anticipates funding no more than ten awards in the FFAR Challenge Areas:
• Advanced Animal Systems
• Health-Agriculture Nexus
• Next Generation Crops
• Soil Health
• Sustainable Water Management
• Urban Food Systems

No Matching Funds Required

Eligible Individuals
Faculty members at eligible institutions with the creative ideas, skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research program as Principal Investigator are invited to work with their institution to develop an application for support. The nominated faculty member must have been hired on or after August 1, 2016 for a tenure-track or equivalent position and may work in any discipline or any department within the institution. Preference will be given to individuals near the onset of their independent research career and who are within eight years of receiving a Ph.D. or equivalent degree. Individuals with significant research experience prior to obtaining their faculty position will not be considered for this award.

FFAR recognizes that agriculture and food sciences are highly complex, requiring individuals from a variety of disciplines to realize the potential in each field or research area. Particularly for early stage investigators, collaborators are often essential for success. While this award is made to an outstanding early career investigator, applicants should include information regarding essential collaborators and include letters of support from those collaborators. In these letters, the collaborators should comment on the potential of the individual to achieve success.

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor LOI Deadline: 
Mar 04, 2020
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
May 06, 2020
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should send the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_FFAR-NIA_2019 no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

Cover Page:
Nominee Name
Nominee's date of appointment to tenure-track or equivalent position (on or after 8/1/2016)
Nominator Contact Information
Nominee Contact Information
Comments on Nominee and nominee's research program (300-word limit)

Justification for the nomination
a. Explain how this individual is outstanding in his/her field (300-word limit)
b. Explain how this individual was selected for the nomination among, what is likely, many meritorious individuals (300-word limit)
c. Why should this nominee receive the FFAR New Innovator Award? (300-word limit)

Formatting Guidelines:

  • Font/size: Times New Roman (12 pt.)
  • Document margins: 1.0” (top, bottom, left and right)
  • Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)

Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to limitedsubs@psu.edu.

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 4:00pm
Julian Wang (CoE)