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  1. Eligibility
  2. Competition Rules
  3. Entrant Eligibility
  4. Entry Eligibility
  5. Submission Process
  6. Judging Process


Participants and their entries must meet the stated criteria; submissions that fail to meet both participant and entry eligibility requirements will be rejected without further consideration or notification.





Ideas for research foci and challenges will be accepted between April 1 and April 30, 2013 from eligible individuals.


It's easy to apply online!

  1. Just navigate to and click on "Submit A Challenge!" You will be automatically transferred to the submission site. Or, you can go to and click on the "Visit Website" button. And while you are there, you can check out other Challenges from the NSF and the U.S. Government!
  2. Fill in your registration information, including your full name, current institution affiliation, and title. Do not forget to include an email address so we can contact you if your idea is selected for a prize. Once you are on the submission website, learn more about the competition, timeline, prizes, eligibility, and rules.
  3. To submit your entry, click the "My Entry" tab and enter your Challenge in the "My BREAD Idea" box. Remember, it must be in English and 100 words or fewer! Click the "Save & Preview" button to save your entry, and then click the “Submit” button.

That's it!


If you do not have access to the web or cannot use the online entry system, you can email an entry in. However, we request that you use the online system, described above, if you are at all able.

  1. To email in a submission, prepare an email from your institutional email address with the subject line, "BREAD Ideas Challenge Submission" to Do not submit to the information email address Submissions to that address will not be registered.
  2. Enter the following information in the body of the email in this order:
    • Name: Enter your full name.
    • Institution: Enter the full name and location (city, state, country) of your institution. Remember, you must be at an eligible institution (e.g., a university, college, or non-profit research organization, including museums, research laboratories, professional societies, and similar organizations that are directly associated with educational or research activities) in the U.S. or internationally.
    • Title: Your title at the institution. Remember, you must be a graduate student, postdoctoral associate or faculty at an eligible institution, as described above.
  3. Enter your Challenge in the body of the email with the above information. Remember that your Challenge must be in English and 100 words or fewer to be eligible.
  4. Send your email to You will receive an automated notification that the email has been received. Due to the volume of responses, there will not be any further notification, so make sure to enter all the above information correctly.

Good Luck!


The Idea Challenge submissions will be reviewed against review criteria by an internal panel of experts at the National Science Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Final selections and eligibility determination will be made by National Science Foundation Program Staff.

The main criteria for selecting prizewinners will include:

Challenge – A successful entry describes a challenge or research focus, rather than a specific solution. Remember that the BREAD Ideas Challenges is looking for new innovative foci for future research proposal solicitations.

Potential – A successful entry describes a scientific challenge that, if resolved, would result in transformative change to smallholder agricultural outcomes and/or a scientific field relevant to smallholder agriculture.

Novelty – A successful entry describes a challenge that is new, or that has not received substantial consideration in the scientific community.

In keeping with the objectives of the BREAD Ideas Challenge, additional considerations may be used to select the final winners. These could include the potential to inspire basic research involving a broad spectrum of scientific fields, promote new and equal international partnerships and achieve a diverse global distribution of prize winners.

Information about the prizewinning challenges and the prizewinners will be posted at