The global search is on for breakthrough research projects in food and agriculture! USDA and the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) are offering up to $2 million to multiple teams and projects to pursue high-risk, high-reward research.

The “Nourishing Next Generation Agrifood Breakthroughs” (Innovation Challenge) funding opportunity will fund transdisciplinary teams led by early-career scientists (who have received a Ph.D. within the past ten years) to undertake transformative research addressing society’s most pressing challenges. Crucially, the research projects should integrate the themes of human health, climate-smart agriculture, and social equity, justice, and opportunity.

According to USDA, climate, nutrition security, and equity are often viewed and addressed as three distinct challenges, but the Innovation Challenge asks teams to see these problems as interconnected.

“Through this Innovation Challenge, USDA and FFAR are investing in researchers who are sources of disruptive ideas and breakthrough solutions in agricultural science,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “USDA recognizes that investing in transdisciplinary science is necessary to strengthen our nation’s agrifood systems and we are committed to supporting innovative problem-solvers that harvest hope through ingenuity to better nourish our people and our planet.”

Innovation Challenge applications are due by Monday, July 29, 2024. To find out more, visit: USDA/FFAR Innovation Challenge page.