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Healthy Eating Research

Grants to USA Nonprofits and Agencies for Research
on Nutrition for Underserved Women and Children

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

10/02/19 3:00 PM ET


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Grants to USA and territories nonprofit organizations and public agencies for research on nutrition and food security for pregnant women, infants, and children in minority and low-income communities. Concept papers are due prior to applying. Funding is intended to support research that advances health equity in the areas of nutritional disparities, nutrition, and food security. The purpose of the grants is to provide advocates, decision-makers, and policymakers with the evidence needed to address the key social determinants of health and inequalities that underlie poor dietary patterns and related health consequences. Three types of grants are small-scale grants, large-scale grants, and Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) grants.

The program’s goals have been updated to better reflect its role in and contributions to building a national Culture of Health. HER goals are to:
- Establish a research base for policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) strategies that advance health equity in the areas of diet quality and nutrition.
- Build a vibrant, multidisciplinary field of research and a diverse network of researchers.
- Ensure that findings are communicated effectively to inform the development of solutions with the goal of promoting health equity.

All studies must have the potential to impact groups at highest risk for poor health and well-being, and nutrition-related health disparities. The Fund is especially interested in studies focused on black, Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander populations with an emphasis on families with pregnant women and children (ages 0 to 8) living in lower-income rural and urban communities.

Small- or Large-Scale Grants: Funded studies could include any of the following: experimental or quasi-experimental studies; secondary analyses of existing datasets; evaluations of PSE interventions or natural experiments; retrospective analyses of PSE change successes; case studies; financial, economic, or cost-effectiveness studies; health impact assessments; statistical modeling or simulation studies; policy and legal analyses to identify or evaluate promising PSE interventions; and quantitative meta-analyses. The large-scale grants could include national cost-effectiveness studies, evaluations of policies, including national implementation studies, or evaluations of PSE changes.

CBPR refers to a collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings. CBPR begins with a research topic of importance to the community; has the aim of combining knowledge with action; and achieving social or policy change to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities. The Foundation is particularly interested in research that focuses on policies, programs, or interventions to improve nutrition, or access to resources that support healthy nutrition, for young children’s health in low-income communities.

For additional study guidelines for all grants, see the Program Overview:

HER is particularly interested in food and nutrition policy, system, and environmental (PSE) strategies that can positively impact families, early care environments, and communities at a population-level. Research studies must target food and nutrition PSE approaches with strong potential to improve child development. Grant funds may be used for project staff salaries, consultant fees, data collection and analysis, meetings, supplies, project-related travel, and other direct project expenses, including a limited amount of equipment essential to the project.

For information about topics of interest, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169949

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Funding is available for up to 7 small research grants, 2 large-scale grants, and up to 2 CBPR grants.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The anticipated allocation of funds is as follows:
- Small-scale grants: Approximately $1.4 million will be award. Each grant will award up to $200,000.
- Large-scale grants: Approximately $640,000 will be awarded. Each grant will award up to $320,000.
- CBPR grants: Approximately $640,000 will be awarded. Each grant will award up to $320,000.

Term of Contract:

Small-scale grants will be awarded for up to 18 months. Large-scale grants and CBPR grants will be awarded for up to 24 months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicant organizations include academic institutions, public entities and private nonprofit organizations, state and local government agencies, and for-profit organizations. Preference will be given to applicants that are either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations. Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.

The applicant team must demonstrate the ability to conduct the proposed research. Entities that do not have in-house research capacity are strongly encouraged to partner with qualified researchers who have established track records in the topical area and research methods proposed.

The Foundation strongly encourages applications that include researchers who are from groups that are underrepresented in policy research and/or who are affiliated with institutions that serve underrepresented groups, such as historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), academic institutions serving primarily Latino students, tribal colleges, and other similar institutions. They also encourage applicants from diverse geographic areas and a range of disciplines that are relevant to policy research, including public administration, sociology, psychology, economics, community development, public health, education, social work, nutrition, and others.

In keeping with RWJF policy, grant funds may not be used to subsidize individuals for the costs of their health care, to support clinical trials of unapproved drugs or devices, to construct or renovate facilities, for lobbying, for political activities, or as a substitute for funds currently being used to support similar activities.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for concept papers is July 31, 2019, at 3:00 PM ET.

Key Dates:
- June 25, 2019 (3 p.m. ET): Optional applicant webinar. Registration is required.
- June 19–July 31, 2019 (3 p.m. ET): RWJF online system available to receive concept papers from applicants for small-scale and large-scale grants. Concept papers submitted after July 31, 2019 (3 p.m. ET) will not be reviewed.
- Mid-August 2019: Applicants notified whether they are invited to submit a full proposal.
- October 2, 2019 (3 p.m. ET): Invited full proposals due in the RWJF online system.
- Early December 2019:Notification of finalists.
- February 1, 2020: Awards begin.
- March 4–6, 2020: Healthy Eating Research Annual Meeting.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Duke Global Health Institute
310 Trent Drive
Duke Box 90519
Durham, NC 27708

(800) 578-8636

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

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USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)