The J-WAFS Grant for Transforming Animal Agriculture Systems is a funding opportunity for current members of the MIT community—including graduate and undergraduate students—interested in addressing problems associated with industrial food animal production (IFAP). The production of food from animals, including meat, milk, and eggs, has largely been industrialized in developed countries, providing a substantial portion of the typical diet in those countries with minimal human labor, but imposing significant environmental and other impacts that are often poorly monitored and regulated, and largely unaccounted for in economic terms. Developing countries still largely rely on smaller farms, but IFAP is expanding as these countries seek to intensify their food production systems, while meat consumption in these countries rises as per capita income increases. This presents a challenge as well as an opportunity: how to prevent these food production systems from mirroring the negative impacts of IFAP in developed countries.
J-WAFS is offering grants in the range of $15-25,000. The grants are supported by the J-WAFS Fund for Reducing Negative Impacts of Industrial Animal Agriculture. All current members of the MIT community interested in transforming animal agriculture systems are eligible. Support for teams will also be considered, though at least 50% of the team must be from MIT, and the proposed work must be substantially based on research or related efforts conducted at MIT. Funding requests should be aligned with the scope and duration of proposed activities. Funds for this grant are intended to support a project with a one-year to 18-month timeline.
- For single proposers, eligible individuals include MIT faculty members and full-time research staff, and currently matriculated MIT graduate and undergraduate students.
- Small teams with at least 50% MIT participation and an eligible individual in the leadership role will be considered for funding.
- The proposed work must be an MIT project: It should be substantially based on research or related efforts conducted at MIT, and the requested funds should primarily support work being done by MIT staff or students. (If you have questions about this, please contact us before you submit your proposal.)
- Local partners are encouraged but the funding from this grant should support MIT personnel and activities.
- Grants can be used over the course of one-year to 18-months, to support travel, technology pilots, scale-up studies, community outreach and education, etc. Funds may not be used for MIT equipment purchases.
Examples of relevant challenges could include but are not limited to the following:
- Reducing the environmental footprint of animal agriculture
- Addressing the social and economic impacts of animal agriculture
- Improving animal and human health
More examples are included in the RFP.