NEW! 2017 Healthy Food Behavior Research Grants: Using Behavioral Economics to Promote Healthier, Economical Food Choice by Low-Income Consumers
Deadline for proposal receipt: June 9, 2017 by 5:00 pm EST
The BECR Center seeks proposals for Healthy Food Behavior Research Grants that draw on behavioral economics theory to develop and test strategies for improving food choice behavior in low-income populations, particularly SNAP participants, using field experiments that leverage existing research activities.
Policy relevant research projects related to SNAP participants that employ behavioral economic strategies in the food retail environment are encouraged. In particular, we are interested in approaches that could feasibly be scalable, possibly via such strategies as integration into the USDA SNAP-Ed program. We are also interested in research to test the feasibility and effectiveness of larger-scale implementation of a strategy previously shown to be efficacious in a smaller-scale experiment.
BECR will award up to 2 grants (of up to $50,000 each) to teams of researchers to develop and implement focused field experiments using behavioral economics theory and strategies to promote healthy, economical food purchasing by SNAP participants and other low-income consumers. Funding will span a 12-month period so proposals that can build upon ongoing research activities are encouraged.
Projects that utilize behavioral economics and are feasible in the current policy environment are of particular interest. We are interested in interventions using non-monetary interventions, such as changes in the choice architecture, social norms, etc., not in manipulation of price.
We are expecting that the proposals will include clearly presented ideas for innovative interventions, based on behavioral economics theory, that are feasible within the current food environment.
Funding for the Period from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Please see the full RFP for more information and details about submitting your proposal.
2016 Special Solicitation WIC Grants: Improving the WIC Shopping Experience Using Behavioral Economics-Based Approaches
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) serves to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating including breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals to health care. The WIC food packages provide supplemental foods designed to meet the special nutritional needs of the WIC population.
As described in a recent BECR Research Brief, participants in focus groups of WIC shoppers reported that the WIC shopping experience varies widely across vendors in terms of such factors as ease of locating and purchasing WIC approved foods, courteous treatment by store staff and a smooth, problem-free checkout experience. Problems with the shopping experience can have negative consequences for WIC participants—for example, they may not redeem their full WIC benefits because of problems locating and identifying approved foods. Negative shopping experiences may even discourage continued participation in the program. Moreover, because they value a positive shopping experience and price does not influence their ability to purchase WIC foods, WIC shoppers may choose to redeem their WIC benefits at stores that offer a more positive shopping experience, even if it is not the lowest cost option or their usual food shopping option.
We seek brief proposals for the 2016 Special Solicitation WIC Grants that draw on behavioral economics theory to develop and test strategies for improving the WIC shopping experience. We will award up to 3 grants ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 (based on the availability of funds) to teams of researchers to investigate strategies to improve the WIC shopping experience that are based on behavioral economics theory. Funding will span a 12-month period.
We expect that the brief proposals will include clearly presented ideas for innovative interventions, based on behavioral economics theory, that are feasible given the current food environment and consistent with WIC program regulations. Potential methodologies could include small-scale experiments conducted with individuals who are representative of WIC shoppers (for example, a test of response to different formats for identifying WIC products); field experiments in appropriate settings such as WIC-approved retailers or WIC clinics; or “big data” approaches. Outcomes of interest include assessment of how improvements in WIC program effectiveness, defined by such factors as improved WIC shopper satisfaction, program retention, and increased WIC food redemption, are balanced with food cost management.
Following the initial application process, selected applicants will be requested to submit a full proposal including a detailed project narrative. Late proposals will not be reviewed. More information can be found in the Request for Proposals or our recent report about this topic.
Note: the deadline for submission of brief proposals has passed.
2016 Healthy Food Behavior Research Grants: Using Behavioral Economics to Promote Healthier, Economical Food Choice
BECR will award up to 6 grants (of between $20,000 and $50,000) to teams of researchers to develop and implement focused field experiments either alone or coupled with secondary data analysis using behavioral economics theory and strategies to improve food choice, particularly among low income individuals. Funding will span a 12-month period. We are expecting that the brief proposals will include clearly presented ideas for innovative interventions, based on behavioral economics theory, that are feasible within the current food environment and, for those focusing on Federal food assistance programs, within existing legislation and regulations. We are interested in interventions using non-monetary interventions, such as changes in the choice architecture, social norms, etc., as described below in “sample research topics,” not in manipulation of price. We are particularly interested in proposals aiming to improve the food choices of low income individuals on food assistance programs, especially SNAP. We also do not fund projects related to the USDA school meal programs or other projects related to the school food environment.
The funding will be for the period from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017. Note: the deadline for submission of brief proposals has passed.
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