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The prize is endowed through generous gifts from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences recognizes research by a mid-career scientist at a U.S. institution who has made an extraordinary contribution to agriculture or to the understanding of the biology of a species fundamentally important to agriculture or food production. For the purpose of the prize, areas of science with applications to agriculture include plant and animal sciences, microbiology, nutrition and food science, soil science, entomology, veterinary medicine, and agricultural economics. The recipient will be awarded a medal and a $100,000 prize.
"Mid-career" scientist is defined as up to 20 years since the completion of his or her Ph.D.