Equity-Focused Policy Research

Building Evidence on Nutrition Supports for Low-Income Families with Young Children

    Release Date: August 20, 2019 | Application Deadline: Tue, 24 Sep 2019

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) aims to fund a body of research that will help guide decision-making about changes related to federal nutrition policies/programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), to better support access to these programs for low-income families with young children and reduce disparities in their access to healthy foods and beverages.

RWJF will fund approximately ten projects totaling $1.5 million dollars.

Join us for an informational applicant webinar on September 16 at 3 p.m. ET.


The purpose of this funding opportunity is to support action-oriented research that advances health equity, builds the knowledge base, and informs policymaking to increase access to nutrition supports and reduce nutrition disparities. (RWJF is supporting research on the two other policy areas addressed in the research agenda—access to income supports and ECE—through separate calls for proposals.) Evidence generated through funded projects should inform practice and policy and guide practitioners and policymakers (federal, state, and local) in setting priorities and allocating resources.

The Foundation is particularly interested in research on several federal nutrition programs that serve low-income families with young children and have the potential to help address nutritional disparities. They include the following:

  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides benefits to supplement household resources for purchasing food;
  • The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which provides benefits redeemable for specific foods, nutrition education, and breastfeeding support; and
  • The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which provides subsidies for meals and snacks served by child-care centers and family day-care homes.

Research on other federal, state, and local nutrition programs may also be relevant to this opportunity, to the extent that they benefit or target families with young children from birth to age 8.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  • Eligible applicant organizations include academic institutions, public entities and private nonprofit organizations, state and local government agencies, and for-profit organizations.
  • All organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.
  • Applicants also may represent partnerships between service providers or practitioners and researchers.

Key Dates

  • September 16, 2019 (3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET)
    Optional applicant webinar. Registration is required through this link.
  • September 24, 2019 (3 p.m. ET)
    Deadline for receipt of brief proposals.
  • November 5, 2019
    Applicants notified if they have been invited to submit a full proposal.
  • December 13, 2019 (3 p.m. ET)
    Deadline for receipt of full proposals.
  • January 15, 2020 
    Notification of finalists.
  • March 15, 2020
    Start of grants.

Total Awards

  • We will make approximately 10 awards through this funding opportunity, totaling $1.5 million. We expect that awards will range from $50,000 to $500,000 each.
  • For projects that involve primary data collection through surveys, interviews, focus groups, observations, and other methods (or a combination of methods), applicants may request up to $250,000, for a project duration of up to 24 months.
  • For projects that rely solely on secondary data analyses, applicants may request up to $75,000, for a project duration of up to 12 months.
  • For projects that involve implementing and testing innovative strategies to expand access to nutrition supports, participatory research methods, and/or substantial community partnerships, applicants may request up to $500,000, for a project duration of up to 30 months. The Foundation intends to make up to one award of this size.
  • Applicants should request amounts that are consistent with the scope and complexity of the research questions and methods they propose and for carrying out research methods aligned with the principles of equitable evaluation.

Application is Now Closed

Application closed as of:
September 24, 2019, 3:00 p.m. ET

Key Contacts

Gina R. Hijjawi, PhD, senior program officer
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Phone: (609) 627-5782
Email: ghijjawi@rwjf.org

Equity-Focused Policy Research project team
Mathematica Policy Research
Email: equityresearch@mathematica-mpr.com