Soil Science Challenge grants open

December 2, 2021
  • Grant applications open for innovative soil research
  • Applications are now open and close 9pm AEDT 14 February 2022
  • New and improved soil science to build better soil health

Up to $20 million is available for innovative research that addresses priority knowledge gaps in soil health and soil management as a part of the ‘Soil Science Challenge’, Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien announced today.

The new research grants will tackle soil research priorities around carbon dynamics, hydrology, biology and nutrients, and the soil/root interface.

Mr O’Brien encouraged research organisations in Wide Bay to apply to the challenge and seek funding to develop projects that improve soil health and quality.

“These grants will provide research organisations with the opportunity to influence soil health in Australia, potentially increasing productivity and profitability on-farm, which will benefit local producers in Wide Bay as well as increasing our resilience to environmental factors,” Mr O’Brien said.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the Soil Science Challenge will add to Australia’s soil health knowledge and address soil-related research priorities under the $214.9 million National Soil Strategy.

“Research will address priority gaps in soil science and help us understand how different management practices impact different soil types, soil organic carbon levels, productivity and environmental sustainability.” Minister Littleproud said.

“This will support decisions which influence soil health, leading to improved productivity, profitability, resilience and climate change mitigation.

“Better soil is a win for the farmers’ hip pocket and a win for the environment.

“New research to build knowledge and innovation is key to improving our soil health and helping land managers improve productivity and sustainability.”

Information on how to apply for the Soil Science Challenge can be found on the GrantConnect and Community Grants Hub websites.

Information about the National Soil Strategy can be found here.


  • Up to $20 million (GST exclusive) available over 4 years for priority soil research projects.
  • The Australian Government recognises that healthy soils improve agricultural productivity, resilience to climate change and natural disasters, and contribute to emissions reduction.
  • Innovation in the way we manage our soil and advances in soil science will be essential to meet the Ag2030 goal of growing the agriculture sector to $100 billion by 2030.
  • Released in May 2021, the $214.9 million National Soil Strategy sets out how Australia will value, manage and improve its soil for the next 20 years.
  • The Strategy prioritises soil health, empowers soil innovation and stewards, and strengthens soil knowledge and capability.


In the spirit of Australia, I acknowledge all citizens who contribute to making our nation the greatest on earth.

I acknowledge our defence force personnel, past, present, and emerging, for their service to our nation, and particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of Australia.

I also acknowledge the Australian taxpayers who, through their hard work, pay for the infrastructure, health, education, and emergency services that keep our proud nation healthy, safe, and prosperous.