Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Healthy Eating ResearchDeadline: July 31, 2019
Healthy Eating Research (HER) is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program that was part of the Foundation’s landmark commitment to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. HER solicits scientifically rigorous, solution-oriented proposals from investigators representing diverse disciplines and backgrounds, with the goal of accelerating evidence-based strategic, actionable, and equitable solutions for improving children’s health, weight, and nutrition. In 2018, HER expanded its scope beyond obesity to include a focus on improving dietary quality, food security, and access to affordable, high-quality foods in lower-income and minority communities, with an intentional health equity lens. The current funding opportunities represent HER’s continued shift toward addressing healthy eating and nutrition within a broader social determinants and health equity framework to achieve a Culture of Health. 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
Three types of studies will be funded: Small-Scale Grants, Large-Scale Grants, and Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Grants. These studies are further detailed below.
- 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. Additionally, the large-scale grants could include national cost-effectiveness studies, evaluations of policies, including national implementation studies, or evaluations of PSE changes.
- Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Grants: HER has set aside funds for supporting up to two community-based participatory research grants. 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; and has the aim of combining knowledge with action and achieving social or policy change to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities.
Target age groups are pregnant women and infants and children (ages 0 to 8) and their families. All studies must have the potential to impact groups at highest risk for poor health and well-being, and nutrition-related health disparities. RWJF 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.
RWJF 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.
Amount: Dependent on grant type, as follows:
- Small-Scale Grants: A total of $1,400,000 is available to make up to seven awards that range up to $200,000 each for up to 18 months.
- Large-Scale Grants: A total of $640,000 is available to make up to two large scale grants that range up to $320,000 each for up to 24 months.
- Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Grants: A total of $640,000 is available to make up to two large scale grants that range up to $320,000 each for up to 24 months.
- 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.
- RWJF 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. RWJF also encourages 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.