NSF BREAD Ideas Challenge: 100 words can earn you $10,000

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today launched the BREAD Ideas Challenge, a prize competition for the Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development (BREAD) program.

The BREAD Ideas Challenge is an opportunity for researchers in the agricultural sciences to identify, in 100 words or fewer, what they believe are today’s most pressing issues facing smallholder farmers in the developing world. Up to 25 winners will receive $10,000 each and their ideas will be showcased on the BREAD Ideas Challenge website to draw international attention to these important challenges.

Ideas are now being accepted at the BREAD Ideas Challenge website from applicants in the United States and around the world.

“The BREAD Ideas Challenge builds on the success of the BREAD program by stimulating and eliciting new ideas from the global research community,” said John Wingfield, NSF assistant director for Biological Sciences. “We expect the prizewinning ideas to catalyze new international collaborations that will explore untested, but potentially transformative, basic research that could improve the lives of smallholder farmers in the developing world.”

Interested researchers have until 5 p.m. EDT, April 30, 2013 to submit their ideas describing a challenge or research focus consistent with BREAD Program objectives. The BREAD Ideas Challenge is open to graduate students, postdoctoral associates and faculty at universities, colleges and non-profit research organizations in the United States and internationally.

Entries will be judged by an internal panel of experts from NSF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Final selections and eligibility will be determined by NSF program staff. Prizes for U.S. winners whose ideas fall within the scope of NSF’s Plant Genome Research Program, which financially supports the BREAD program, will be paid from NSF funds. All other prizes, including those to international winners, will be supported by funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which also financially supports BREAD.

After announcing the BREAD Ideas Challenge winners, the BREAD program will begin accepting Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals that address one or more of the Ideas Challenge winning entries or other ideas within the scope of the BREAD Program. Information about BREAD is available at the BREAD program website. Awards made through the first three BREAD competitions can be found on NSF’s Directorate for Biological Sciences awards webpage for BREAD.

For contest rules and more information on the BREAD Ideas Challenge, go to the BREAD Ideas Challenge website or email