IFS crop nutrition research awards

Two awards aimed at encouraging more young researchers to study soil science have been launched this week in memory of the renowned soil scientist Professor Brian Chambers, head of the Soils and Nutrient Group at ADAS and a member of the International Fertiliser Society (IFS) Council, who died suddenly last year.

The IFS has launched a new scheme to encourage and support young researchers studying at the MSc or PhD levels carrying out research that will have practical benefits for crop nutrition. The Brian Chambers International Award Scheme provides a cash prize of £1,000 and two runner-up prizes of £500. It is open to any researcher aged up to 25 studying at an academic institution anywhere in the world. Applicants are invited to complete and submit a one page pro-forma (downloadable from the IFS website) about their work by October 31st 2015.  The ten best applications will then be invited to produce a poster to display at the IFS Agronomic Conference to be held at Cambridge on December 11-15, when the award winners will be judged.

The IFS intend that the award will complement the many existing science-focused ones by emphasising the practical relevance of the research.  The criteria to be used to evaluate entries are: the originality / distinctiveness of the topic, research design skill / creativity; academic rigour; clear conclusions by the researcher on the potential for their work to make a practical contribution to crop nutrition; and clarity and conciseness.

“At a time when agriculture needs to feed another 3.7 billion people on the planet, finding better ways to grow crops has never been more important,” comments IFS president Antoine Hoxha. “Involving bright young people in the future of agriculture will be essential, and the IFS is keen to use its international expertise to make a contribution to this. 

“The award is also a suitable and positive way to pay tribute to Brian Chambers’ enthusiastic commitment to the agricultural industry and his encouragement of younger people.”

More information about the Award via: http://fertiliser-society.org/about-us/brianchambersaward.

At the same time, the Brian Chambers Soils Fund (BCSF) has been created to offer grants to support the careers of young scientists who wish to work with soils, nutrient and manure management. Grants will help with activities such as conference attendance or the purchase of field and laboratory equipment.

More details via: www.soils.org.uk/bcsf.