Healthy Eating Research

Funding Agency:
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Healthy Eating Research (HER) is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) committed to building a Culture of Health through identifying effective strategies to improve children’s nutrition and weight. HER’s mission is to support and disseminate research on policy, systems, and environmental strategies that promote healthy eating among children and advance nutrition security and health equity. Some goals of the program are to: build a vibrant, inclusive, interdisciplinary research base in the areas of healthy food access, nutrition security, diet quality, and healthy weight; and communicate research findings to accelerate policy, systems, and environmental changes. HER issues calls for proposals (CFPs) to solicit scientifically rigorous, solution-oriented proposals from investigators representing diverse disciplines and backgrounds.

Access to affordable, nutritious, culturally appropriate food should be a human right. All families in the U.S. should be able to provide their children with nutritious foods that support optimal growth and development.

Healthy Eating Research supports this goal through improving diet quality and nutrition for all Americans. This CFP hopes to generate evidence on supportive family policies and programs that have strong potential to impact equitable access to nutritious food in communities, nutrition security, diet quality, and improved nutrition and health outcomes. Programs that will be studied are in the areas of: federal nutrition assistance programs; hunger-relief programs; community-powered food systems efforts; and social and economic programs (nonfood policies). We are especially interested in strategies to improve health outcomes for children ages 0 to 18 at highest risk for poor nutrition, specifically lower-income families, as well as the racially and ethnically diverse populations experiencing higher rates of health disparities.

Through this CFP, we seek to learn what does and does not work and why; under what circumstances, who most benefits from these policies and programs; and if disparity gaps are reduced. We are interested in solution-oriented research that focuses on policy, systems and environmental (PSE) change at the national, state, local, and tribal levels. The PSE research strategies can focus on: how to strengthen existing policies or programs; evaluation of current policies or programs; or designing and pilot-testing new innovative programs that are policy-relevant. Findings will be used to guide and inform decisionmaking about policy and system changes that can advance nutrition equity and improve health.

Deadlines for Concept Papers: April 5, 2023

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.
  • Awards will be made to organizations, not to individuals.
  • 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. Additional documentation may be required by Duke University. 

Amount Description

Up to $2.5 million will be awarded through this CFP, with each award up to a maximum of $275,000 and 24 months in duration. We encourage proposals that request lower budget amounts and shorter periods (e.g., 12–18 months). 

Funding Type



Women and minorities encouraged


Community Outreach and Engagement
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational
Social Sciences

External Deadline

April 5, 2023