Food and Health Research Using the Consumer Food Data System
Introduction & Purpose
RWJF and ERS are announcing a call for proposals (CFP) for researchers who will use one or more restricted-use data assets in the USDA’s Consumer Food Data System (CFDS). We seek to develop a cohort of CFDS researchers from a diversity of academic disciplines and institutions who will produce policy-relevant research on food policy, food retail markets, consumer behaviors related to food purchases and diet, and USDA nutrition assistance programs. We encourage applications from researchers who have not previously received external funding. Awards for selected proposals are intended to encourage researchers from a range of backgrounds to: (a) develop new research projects that feature restricted-use CFDS assets; or (b) incorporate restricted-use CFDS data assets into ongoing (pre-existing) research projects. See Appendix A in the Call for Proposals for a detailed description of the CFDS and available data assets. Additional information on the CFDS data assets is available at www.mathematica.org/projects/consumer-food-data-system-grant-competition.
Researchers who respond to this CFP are required to submit proposals for research that will use at least one of the restricted-use data assets listed in Appendix A. In addition, researchers are encouraged to use any of the public-use CFDS data assets listed in Appendix A in combination with restricted-use CFDS data asset(s). Note that the available restricted-use data assets include eight data assets that are accessed through the Coleridge Initiative’s Administrative Data Research Facility (ADRF) (i.e., via secure, remote access), and three data assets that are accessed through Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (FSRDCs) (i.e., on-site at an FSRDC; remote access is not an option). Note that Appendix A shows which data assets are accessed through the ADRF versus FSRDCs. Researchers who propose to use any of the data assets accessed through FSRDCs are subject to additional application requirements, including a separate application to the Census Bureau for data access.
See Appendix B in the Call for Proposals for proposal instructions and requirements for projects that will require access through FSRDCs.
See Appendix C in the Call for Proposals for proposal instructions and requirements for projects that will require access through the ADRF.
Proposals may focus on issues related to the intersection between food and health, for example, as they relate to consumers, retailers, nutrition assistance programs, and public policy. Proposals of particular interest involve changing markets, the food retail environment, social and racial equity, nutrition security, food security, diet quality, obesity, food access, and the COVID-19 pandemic. RWJF anticipates making approximately 12 to 15 awards of up to $100,000 each and will provide additional funds that are needed to access data through FSRDCs (see Appendix B for more information). Grant periods will extend from the date of award (anticipated to be in November 2022 for many grantees) to February 2025.
Eligibility & Selection Criteria
- Researchers applying for funding from this CFP are required to submit proposals making use of one (or more) of the restricted-use data assets listed in the USDA’s Consumer Food Data System (CFDS; see Appendix A in the Call for Proposals).
- Proposals for research involving multiple CFDS data assets conjointly are allowed and encouraged. A researcher may also import non-CFDS data into ADRF to conduct the research supported by an award. However, researchers must obtain and provide evidence that owners of the data to be imported permit linking their data as proposed.
- To be eligible for an award, research supported by this CFP must be for research or statistical purposes, in contrast to regulatory or law enforcement purposes. The research must use at least one of the restricted-use CFDS data assets from the list provided below (see Appendix A for further details).
- To be eligible for an award, researchers must be affiliated with U.S. academic organizations that are either institutes of higher education, public entities, or nonprofits that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations.
- Projects that already have funding are not eligible for funding under this CFP for the same work. Researchers with funded projects may apply under this CFP for support for related research or an expanded project scope, accompanied by a clear explanation of how the work supported by this CFP relates to work that is already funded.
- Additional criteria apply to FSRDC researchers and ADRF researchers, as described in Appendix B and Appendix C in the Call for Proposals, respectively.
Key Dates & Deadlines
April 4, 2022
Announcement of CFDS call for proposals.
April 18, 2022
Optional office hours session for questions related to CFDS data assets (virtual); additional information and resources will be posted on the Mathematica website. The office hours are optional for researchers; it is not a requirement for submitting proposals.
May 16, 2022 (3 p.m. ET)
Deadline for submission of brief proposals, including signed third-party agreements (as needed; see Appendix C in the Call for Proposals).
June 27, 2022
Invitations sent to selected applicants to prepare a full proposal.
August 8, 2022 (3 p.m. ET)
Deadline for submission of full proposals.
October 17, 2022
Notification of Awards:
- Selected applicants who submitted full proposals to access data at the ADRF are notified about awards.
- Researchers who submitted full proposals to access data at an FSRDC who do have SSS are notified about awards.
- Researchers who submitted full proposals to access data at an FSRDC who do not yet have SSS are notified of a possible award. Such applicants should begin the process to apply for SSS (see Appendix B in the Call for Proposals). Subject to granting of SSS, these awards will be finalized at a later date.
Approximately December 2022 - February 2023
Official award notifications from RWJF concluded with signed paperwork.
December 2, 2022 (tentative)
Initial conference (virtual).
Interim conference (virtual).
Final conference (tentatively in person).
- The total award will be up to $100,000 per project. Multiple researchers are allowed on a project, dividing the award.
- Funding for FSRDC data access fees will also be provided.
- ADRF data access fees have already been covered by ERS prior to this CFP.
- Approximately 12 to 15 projects will receive awards.
- The duration of awards will be up to 27 months, from November 2022 to February 2025.
- Awards for researchers who need to apply for and receive Special Sworn Status (SSS; see Appendix B in the Call for Proposals) will be shorter (approximately 24 months) to allow for this process; receipt of SSS is a requirement for these awards to be finalized.